An evaluation of the effectiveness of an empathy training module for child sex offenders : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Masters of Arts in Psychology at Massey University
The aim of the current study was to evaluate the effectiveness of an empathy training module for treatment of child sexual offenders incarcerated at a New Zealand Special Treatment Unit. Twenty-eight participants volunteered for the study which involved three time conditions; pre-intervention, post-intervention and three-month follow-up. Three measures were used to assess generalised empathy and victim-specific empathy in this sample. No significant results were found, although preliminary data did suggest that this sample may differ from previous studies on the victim-specific measure. Namely, contrary to previous research the sample demonstrated the greatest empathy deficit for the child accident victim, rather than their own victims. The current study had a number of limitations, including methodological errors that make the generalisation of results unfeasible.