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Can Probation Officers Identify Remorse Among Male Adolescent Offenders?

NCJ Number
Psychological Assessment Volume: 29 Issue: 6 Dated: 2017 Pages: 754-761
Adam Fine; Caitlin Cavanagh; Paul J. Frick; Laurence Steinberg; Elizabeth Cauffman
Date Published
8 pages
Using a sample of 325 first-time youth offenders who were arrested for offenses of moderate severity, this study examined whether probation officers' ratings of an adolescent's remorse soon after arrest were associated with the youth's self-report of showing a callous and unemotional interpersonal style, being arrested for a violent offense, and several demographic and background characteristics (e.g., age, race, socioeconomic status [SES], and intelligence).
The findings indicate that both arrest for a violent offense and the adolescent's self-reported level of callous-unemotional (CU) traits were associated with probation officers' ratings of remorse. Further, youths' age, SES, and intelligence were not associated with these judgments nor did they moderate the association between CU traits and probation officers' ratings of remorse; however, youths' race or ethnicity did moderate the association between CU traits and judgments of remorse, such that Latino youth who were high on CU traits showed a very low probability of being rated as remorseful. (Publisher abstract modified)