The Lived Experience of Remorse Among Male, Adolescent Offenders: A Phenomenological Inquiry

Wolff, Kathleen
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University of Hawaii at Manoa
Remorse continues to play an important role in the legal system and in offender rehabilitation; yet, it remains an understudied concept. Research related to remorse at the phenomenological level is sparse and studies that focus on youthful offenders are nearly non-existent. The purpose of this study was to describe the essence of the lived experience of male, adolescent offenders, who have experienced the phenomenon of remorse in the context of their crimes. Colaizzi‟s descriptive, phenomenological approach to inquiry and analysis guided this qualitative study. Narratives from in-depth, semi-structured interviews with 13 male, African American and European American, ages 16-18 year-old offenders placed in privately owned Residential Treatment Programs served as data. Eight clusters of themes and 18 themes emerged from the data and provided rich descriptions of the remorse experience among this population. Findings supported the positive and negative aspects of remorse noted in the literature. Implications for future nursing research, nursing practice, and policy were provided.
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