OFFENDER MEMORIES OF THEIR CRIMES: EXPLORING THE FACTORS INVOLVED IN THE EXPERIENCE OF INTRUSIVE MEMORIES
Mossiere, Annik Marketa 1985-
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Objective: Limited research has examined perpetrator induced trauma symptoms in offender populations. The aim of the current study was to examine offenders’ memories about their crimes, and explored potential factors involved in the experience of intrusive memories. Method: One hundred adult male offenders serving provincial sentences completed a questionnaire package examining offence-related shame, guilt, instrumentality-reactivity, psychopathy, and memory characteristics. This cross-sectional design relied solely on participant self-reports. Results: Forty-three percent of the sample reported experiencing intrusive memories of a crime they committed. Intrusive memories were experienced across all crime types. As expected, shame was found to be the most significant and accurate correlate of intrusive memories, over and above the other primary factors of interest in this study. Discussion: Findings suggest that a substantial number of offenders suffer from intrusive memories about their crimes. Results are in line with theoretical foundations of posttraumatic stress disorder, and are consistent with literature examining trauma symptomology in victim, first responder, and veteran populations. This study further demonstrates that the experience of offence-related symptoms like intrusive memories and shame are not limited to forensic psychiatric or homicide perpetrator samples. Enhancing knowledge about intrusive memories has important implications with regard to responsivity factors, as well as for assessment and treatment.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
CommitteeOlver, Mark; Wormith, Stephen; Cummings, Jorden; Kent-Wilkinson, Arlene; Morrison, Melanie
Copyright DateOctober 2018
Offenders, intrusive memories, shame