Emotion regulation, mindfulness, and alexithymia: Specific or general impairments in sexual, violent, and homicide offenders?

Steven Gillespie, C. Garofalo, Patrizia Velotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose
Problems in emotional functioning have been identified as a risk factor for both sexual and violent offending, yet the precise pattern of impairment in emotional functioning that is experienced by sexual and violent offenders remains unclear.

Methods
In this study, we examined self-reported difficulties in emotion regulation, the use of different strategies for regulating emotions, levels of trait alexithymia, and dispositional mindfulness in men with a history of sexual offending, non-sexual violent offending, homicide, and community controls.

Results
A comparison between these groups showed that while sexual offenders had some circumscribed difficulties in emotional nonacceptance, violent offenders showed more generalized problems in emotional nonacceptance, alexithymia, and mindfulness. In contrast, homicide offenders reported few difficulties compared with other offender groups.

Conclusions
Our results have implications for the allocation of individuals to treatment modules aimed at improving emotion regulation to reduce negative affect and offending behavior.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-66
JournalJournal of Criminal Justice
Volume58
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Keywords

  • AGGRESSION
  • ANGER
  • Aggression
  • Alexithymia
  • CROSS-VALIDATION
  • DYSREGULATION
  • EFFORTFUL CONTROL
  • Emotion regulation
  • ITEM SELECTION
  • Mindfulness
  • Negative affect
  • PERSONALITY-DISORDER
  • QUESTIONNAIRE
  • REGULATION SCALE
  • SELF-REGULATION
  • Sexual abuse

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