Emotion Goals: What do Sexual Offenders Want to Feel?

Garofalo, C and Lopez-Perez, B. and Gummerum, M and Hanoch, Y and Tamir, M (2019) Emotion Goals: What do Sexual Offenders Want to Feel? International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 63 (15-16). 2611 -2629. ISSN 0306-624X

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Sexual offenders typically experience more negative emotions and greater difficulties in regulating emotions than non-offenders. However, limited data exist on what sexual offenders want to feel (i.e., their emotion goals). Notably, emotion goals play a key role in emotion regulation and contribute to emotional experience. The present study tested whether sexual offenders (N=31) reported higher scores for negative emotion goals and lower scores for positive emotion goals, compared to general offenders (N=26) and non-offenders (N=26). In addition, we tested whether sexual offenders differed from the other two groups in their perceived pleasantness and perceived utility of emotions. Sexual offenders reported greater scores for the emotion goal of sadness, and lower scores for the emotion goal of excitement, compared to both general offenders and non-offenders. State and trait levels of these emotions could not fully account for these differences. Further, sexual offenders reported lower perceived pleasantness for sadness than general offenders and lower perceived pleasantness for excitement compared to both other groups. Finally, sexual offenders reported greater perceived utility of sadness than non-offenders. These novel findings and their implications for research and interventions are discussed in the context of sexual offenders’ emotional dysfunction.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information and Comments: This is the author's post peer review version of an article, the final version of which was published in the International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0306624X19866114
Keywords: sex offenders; general offenders; emotion goals; emotion regulation; excitement; sadness
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Science > Psychology
Depositing User: Belen Lopez-Perez
Date Deposited: 22 Jul 2019 15:31
Last Modified: 29 Jun 2020 10:16
URI: https://hira.hope.ac.uk/id/eprint/2909

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