Narcissism and Empathy in Young Offenders and Non-offenders
Article first published online: 2 SEP 2013
Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
European Journal of Personality
Volume 28, Issue 2, pages 201–210, March/April 2014
How to Cite
Hepper, E. G., Hart, C. M., Meek, R., Cisek, S. and Sedikides, C. (2014), Narcissism and Empathy in Young Offenders and Non-offenders. Eur. J. Pers., 28: 201–210. doi: 10.1002/per.1939
- Issue published online: 9 APR 2014
- Article first published online: 2 SEP 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 22 JUL 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 19 JUL 2013
- Manuscript Received: 4 MAY 2013
- criminal behaviour;
Understanding the individual factors that predispose persons to criminal behaviour is vital to reducing offending and rehabilitating those who have been sentenced to prison. This study examined the roles of narcissism (at both clinical and subclinical trait levels) and empathy, by comparing levels in young adult males currently serving a prison sentence to those with no history of criminal convictions. Prison participants had significantly higher levels of narcissism—in particular entitlement—than control participants, and this link was sequentially mediated by lower perspective-taking and subsequently lack of empathic concern. Trait narcissism showed stronger effects than narcissistic personality disorder symptoms. Narcissistic young men's feelings of entitlement and ensuing lack of empathy for others may account for their greater likelihood of criminal behaviour. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.