Facial affect processing in violent offenders: a comparison of intimate partner violent and generally violent men

Chapman, Harriet (2016). Facial affect processing in violent offenders: a comparison of intimate partner violent and generally violent men. University of Birmingham. Foren.Psy.D.

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This thesis explores facial affect processing in violent offenders, with a specific focus on how patterns of impairment seen in Intimate Partner Violent (IPV) prisoners differ to those of other violent prisoners. Chapter one introduces IPV as a serious public health concern with inadequate treatment efficacy. It discusses the overlap between IPV and non-IPV violence and highlights the need for further research elucidating how the treatment needs of IPV prisoners differ to those of non-IPV prisoners. The role of facial affect processing is then discussed in relation to empathy and violent offending. Chapter two reviews the literature on facial affect processing in violent offenders. The review found deficits in violent offenders’ recognition of negative affect, with deficits in fear, anger and disgust most reliably reported, across indices of accuracy, sensitivity and response bias. Subtleties in processing patterns were observed between violent offenders and non-violent offenders, and between violent offenders and sexually-violent offenders. The review highlighted a dearth of research exploring facial affect processing in IPV prisoners. Chapter three presents a study investigating facial affect processing among IPV and non-IPV violent prisoners and nonoffending controls. It investigated the role of eye-scan paths as a mechanism underpinning recognition deficits in violent offenders and explored the influence of psychopathology on visual scanning behaviour. Groups did not differ in their recognition accuracy but they did differ in their eye-scan paths as a function of intensity and sex of the expression; with nonoffenders demonstrating different visual scanning behaviour relative to offender groups, who did not differ from each other. There was little evidence to suggest that eye-scan paths were influenced by psychopathological profiles of the groups. Chapter four presents a critique of the revised Conflict Tactics Scales (CTS2, Straus, Hamby, Boney-McCoy & Sugarman, 1996), a widely used measure of IPV. The review highlights the objectivity of the measure as both a strength, in terms of its limiting denial, minimisation and cognitive distortions but also a limitation in its failure to take into consideration the context in which the behaviour occurred. The scales’ psychometric properties are also discussed. The thesis conclusions are presented in Chapter five, alongside recommendations for practice and research.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Foren.Psy.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Foren.Psy.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
School or Department: School of Psychology
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA1001 Forensic Medicine. Medical jurisprudence. Legal medicine
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/6979


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