Empathy as a moderator of sexual violence perpetration risk factors among college men

Matthew D. Hudson-Flege, Holly M. Grover, Merita H. Meçe, Athena K. Ramos, Martie P. Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective: This study examined if empathy was a significant moderator of several empirically established risk factors for sexual violence perpetration among college men. Participants: Data are from 544 college men who participated in a longitudinal study from 2008 to 2011 at a large, public university. Methods: Participants completed a self-report survey in their first through fourth years in college. A series of generalized linear models were conducted using sexual violence risk factors and empathy during the sophomore year as predictors of sexual violence perpetration frequency during junior year. Results: Empathy was found to be a significant moderator of six out of the 10 sexual violence risk factors tested, such that high levels of empathy were associated with lower sexual violence perpetration rates among high-risk males. Conclusion: Additional research, including the measurement and evaluation of empathy in implementation of college sexual violence prevention and intervention efforts, should be undertaken.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of American College Health
StateAccepted/In press - 2018


  • Empathy
  • rape
  • sexual aggression
  • sexual violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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