Moral Disengagement, Empathic efficacy, Emotion Dysregulation and Cognitive Distortions in Prison Inmates

Fatima Siddiqui (MPhil, 2016-2018) Supervisor: Farah Malik, PhD

The current study investigated the association between moral disengagement, empathic efficacy, emotion dysregulation and cognitive distortions in prison inmates while taking empathic efficacy as a moderator and emotion dysregulation as a mediator between IV and DV. It was hypothesized that moral disengagement would be positively related to cognitive distortions and empathic efficacy would be negatively related to cognitive distortions in prison inmates. It was hypothesized that empathic efficacy would moderate the relationship between moral disengagement and cognitive distortions in prison inmates. It was also hypothesized that emotion dysregulation would mediate the relationship between moral disengagement and cognitive distortions. A sample of 80 convicted male prisoners drawn from the Central Jail, Kotlahput, Lahore, Punjab with an age range of 21- 60 years (M = 37.47, SD = 8.71) using purposive sampling. Urdu version of Moral Disengagement Scale (Bandura, Barbaranelli, Caprara, & Pastorelli, 1996), Empathic Efficacy Scale (Bandura et al., 2003), Emotion Dysregulation Scale (Gratz & Roemer, 2004) and Cognitive Distortions Scale (CDS; Ishfaq & Malik, 2013) were administered. Semi- structured Interview for Adult Prisoners (Malik, Tariq, & Rana, 2018) was also administered. The result of Pearson product moment correlation showed that moral disengagement had significant positive relationship with cognitive distortions, subscales of cognitive distortions View about the world, view about future. Empathic efficacy had significant negative relationship with cognitive distortions (total), view about the world, view about future. The moderation analysis through Hierarchical regression analysis revealed that empathic efficacy did not moderate the relationship of moral disengagement and cognitive distortions. Mediation analysis through Hierarchical regression analysis revealed that emotion dysregulation mediated between moral disengagement and cognitive distortions. It was also found to mediate between euphemistic language and cognitive distortions. The findings of the study are discussed in the light of existing literature.

Keywords: Moral disengagement, empathic efficacy, emotion dysregulation, cognitive distortions, prison inmates.

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