Empathy versus Offending, Aggression and Bullying : Advancing Knowledge using the Basic Empathy Scale book cover
1st Edition

Empathy versus Offending, Aggression and Bullying
Advancing Knowledge using the Basic Empathy Scale

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after March 22, 2021
ISBN 9780367253745
March 22, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
232 Pages 14 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book advances knowledge about the measurement of empathy, using the Basic Empathy Scale (BES), and how empathy is related to offending, aggression and bullying in community and incarcerated groups. Empathy is widely accepted as one of the most important individual factors that is related to offending, aggression or bullying, and it is common in many intervention projects to aim to improve empathy in order to reduce offending, aggression and bullying. The BES was constructed by Jolliffe and Farrington (2006) and has been widely used in a number of countries.

This book presents a collection of papers exploring the application of BES in 10 different countries (England, Portugal, Spain, Poland, Italy, the Netherlands, Croatia, Australia, Canada and the USA). Each chapter reviews the use of the BES in that particular jurisdiction, its psychometric properties, and its importance in relation to offending, aggression or bullying. The research includes samples from primary schools, secondary schools, and the community, as well as those who are justice-involved and on probation, in prisons and secure psychiatric hospitals.

In bringing together this broad range of contributions, the book concludes with wider implications for intervention, policy and practice. This book will be valuable for students, academics and practitioners who are interested in developing their understanding of the complex link between empathy and a range of antisocial behaviours.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Friedrich Lösel

1: Measuring empathy using the Basic Empathy Scale

Darrick Jolliffe and David P. Farrington

Part I. The Basic Empathy Scale and Parenting

2: The Basic Empathy Scale: Psychometric Properties and Contributions to the Understanding of Antisocial Behaviour

Miguel Basto-Pereira and David P. Farrington

3: Parents’ Empathy and Child Attachment Security: A Brief Review

Evelyn Heynen, Ellin Simon, Peer van der Helm, Geert Jan Stams and Mark Assink

4: Parenting Style and Empathy in Youth: A Three-level Meta-Analysis

Evelyn Heynen, Peer van der Helm, Ellin Simon, Geert Jan Stams and Mark Assink

Part II. Empathy and Offending

5: Contextual Correlates of Empathy

Peer van der Helm

6: Empathy, Convictions and Self-Reported Offending of Males and Females in the Cambridge Study in Delinquent Development

David P. Farrington and Darrick Jolliffe

7: Empathy and Reoffending in a UK Probation Sample

Darrick Jolliffe and David P. Farrington

8: Empathy and Psychopathy: How are they Related in Men and Women?

Henriette Bergstrøm, Darrick Jolliffe and David P. Farrington

9: Correlates of Affective and Cognitive Empathy Among Incarcerated Male and Female Youth Offenders

Pedro Pechorro, Darrick Jolliffe and Cristina Nunes

10: The Relationship between Empathy, Clinical Problems and Reoffending

in a Sample of Canadian Male Offenders

Christopher J. Koegl

11: Enhancing Empathy Amongst Mentally Disordered Offenders with Music Therapy

Stella Compton-Dickinson and Darrick Jolliffe


Part III: Aggression and Bullying

12: Cognitive Empathy as a Moderator in the Relation Between Negative Emotionality Traits and Schoolchildren’s Aggressive Behaviours

Noelia Sanchez-Perez and Carmen González-Salinas

13: Low Empathy and its Relationship to Physical, Indirect and Online Aggression in young adults in Australia.

Tara Renae McGee, Darrick Jolliffe, David P. Farrington, Li Eriksson and Christine E. W. Bond

14: Empathy in Polish and Spanish Children and Adolescents: Validation of the Basic Empathy Scale and its Relation to Bullying, Cyberbullying and Other Antisocial Behaviours

Izabela Zych, David P. Farrington, Darrick Jolliffe and Estera Twardowska-Staszek

15: Risk Factors for Cyberbullying: The Mediating Role of Empathy in Italian Adolescents in a One-year Follow-up Study

Anna Sorrentino, Anna Costanza Baldry, Darrick Jolliffe and David P. Farrington

16: A Retrospective Examination of Bullying Victimization During High School: Exploring Narcissism Deficits and Empathy

Jeffrey A. Walsh, Jessie L. Krienert and Samantha McAdams

17: The Relationship Between Empathy and Prison Bullying in a Sample of Croatian Prisoners

Ivana Sekol and Tihomir Vidranski

Part IV: Conclusions

18: Empathy and offending, aggression and bullying: Taking Stock and Moving Forward

Darrick Jolliffe and David P. Farrington



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Darrick Jolliffe is Professor of Criminology and Head of the School of Law and Criminology at the University of Greenwich. He has published extensively in the areas of empathy, individual differences and offending, developmental life-course criminology, punishment and offending and has conducted numerous research studies for National and International Government Agencies.

David P. Farrington, O.B.E., is Emeritus Professor of Psychological Criminology at Cambridge University. He has received the Stockholm Prize in Criminology and he has been President of the American Society of Criminology. His major research interest is in developmental criminology, and he is Director of the Cambridge Study in Delinquent Development, which is a prospective longitudinal survey of over 400 London males from age 8 to age 61. In addition to 850 published journal articles and book chapters on criminological and psychological topics, he has published 115 books, monographs and government publications, and 161 shorter publications (total = 1,126).