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Janet Marsden, Vollm B and Glazebrook C
University of Nottingham, UK
Posters & Accepted Abstracts: J Psychol Psychother
Background: Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) is commonly associated with a lack of remorse or regard for others and has consequently been a focus of interest for those wishing to determine whether emotion processing and empathy deficits contribute to antisocial behavior. However, the way that these deficits manifest specifically in adult male ASPD populations has not previously been systematically reviewed. Aim: To determine the nature of emotion processing and empathy deficits specific to adult male ASPD populations. Method: Searches were completed across seven electronic databases, a range of grey literature sites, by hand searching and through contact with authors. Inclusion and exclusion criteria were applied and quality assessments undertaken on eligible studies. Results: Fifteen primary studies were included in this systematic review, and thirteen reported evidence to support either emotion processing or cognitive empathy deficits in ASPD. However, the validity of results was compromised by small samples and sampling bias. Thus, generalizability of findings to the wider ASPD population is limited. Conclusion: A wide range of methodological approaches have been used to investigate emotion processing and empathy deficits in ASPD which has led to mixed findings. Whilst emotion processing deficits and cognitive empathy deficits were reported, greater clarity regarding the contribution of potential confounders is required to inform the extent to which deficits are attributable to ASPD specifically.
Marsden J is a third year ForenPsyD student from the University of Nottingham, School of Medicine (Division of Psychiatry and Applied Psychology), who has trained with personality disordered patients in low, medium and high secure hospital settings. Her main research aims are to determine the nature of empathic and emotion processing deficits in male antisocial personality disordered populations as a means of enhancing clinical interventions to reduce and ultimately prevent violent offending and recidivism. Her research is specifically focused on investigating deficits in cognitive and affective empathy or emotion processing as measured through self-report, behavioral and psychophysiological measures.