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"No Remorse, No Repent": Linking Lack of Remorse to Criminal Offending in a Sample of Serious Adolescent Offenders

NCJ Number
Justice Quarterly Volume: 34 Issue: 2 Dated: 2017 Pages: 350-376
Alex R. Piquero
Date Published
27 pages
This study used data from a sample of serious adolescent offenders followed for 7 years in order to test Warr's hypothesis that regret is related to discontinuity in offending or, conversely, that a lack of remorse may be related to continuity in offending.
Linking emotions to offender decision-making has only recently become of theoretical interest to criminologists, but empirical work in this area has not kept pace nor has such research examined the role of emotions in offending in offender-based samples. Recently, Warr outlined regret as one such emotion that may be useful in thinking about offending. Results of the current study provide support for Warr's hypothesis that remorse-resistant adolescents incur a higher number of re-arrests, while remorse-prone adolescents incur fewer re-arrests, even after controlling for other relevant risk factors. (Publisher abstract modified)