Women offenders' emotional experience of crime

Kayley Ciesla, Maria Ioannou, Laura Hammond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


The main aim of the study was to examine the emotional experiences of crime amongst women offenders. With a mean age of 36.40 years (SD = 11.12), 128 women offenders completed a questionnaire exploring emotions they had experienced whilst committing a crime. Participants included incarcerated individuals as well as those in community-based projects. Smallest space analysis of the emotions highlighted four key themes; depression, distress, elation, and calm. Results reflected the circumplex model of emotions but highlighted strong distinction between pleasure and displeasure. Overall, the majority of women reported negative emotional experiences of crime. Understanding how individuals felt during their crime commission offers alternative perspectives of criminal behaviour and a framework for future explorations. Results offer crucial insights for policy makers, criminal investigations, and therapeutic treatment options.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-303
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling
Issue number3
Early online date30 Aug 2018
Publication statusPublished - 7 Oct 2018

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