Miguel Clemente Díaz

University of A Coruña

Minors and Young Victims and the Justice System

Participants: Pablo Espinosa1; M. Carmen Cano-Lozano2; Lourdes Contreras2; Elena Fernández del Río3; Telma C. Almeida4

1University of A Coruña; 2University of Jaen; University of Zaragoza34Instituto Universitário Egas Moniz, Lisbon (Portugal)

Symposium Summary

Introduction: One of the problems addressed by Legal Psychology is that of victims of sexual crimes, especially when these victims are minors or adolescents. This symposium addresses this problem, focusing on several groups (minors sexually assaulted by one of their parents as revenge towards the other parent after a process of breaking up a couple, minor victims who become aggressors of their parents as well as the repercussions of such attacks in parents, adolescent and young consumers of pornography and their propensity towards favorable attitudes towards violence, and the relations between behaviors and favorable attitudes towards sex without commitment of young people and psychopathy). The main theoretical framework of these works is the so-called dark triad of personality (Machiavellianism, subclinical narcissism and subclinical psychopathy), a construct that has been adding to its list of other problematic variables, such as sadism. Researchers from three Spanish universities (A Coruña, Jaén and Zaragoza) and one Portuguese university (Instituto Universitário Egas Moniz, Lisbon) participate in the symposium, linked together by joint research projects.

Methods: All communications employ a quantitative, semi-causal correlational methodology, focused primarily on the use of questionnaires with proven psychometric properties.

Results: It is revealed how the dark triad is a concept of great importance for the detection of the aggressors, both after the breakup of the couple relationships and in the formation and development of the same. In addition, minors and adolescents who attack their parents have previously been victims of them. It has not been investigated at the moment if these parents have dark personality characteristics.

Discussion: The results indicate how, from Psychology, the Justice system can be helped to provide, identifying possible people who are not suitable for the custody of their children, as well as to detect if they have been possible aggressors of minors. Therefore, the results are of special importance in Legal and Forensic Psychology.

Short CV

Professor of Social and Legal Psychology at the University of A Coruña Director of the Research Unit in Legal Psychology and Child Protection at the same university, now part of the Quality Reference Research Group (Xunta de Galicia) "Criminología, Psicología Jurídica y Justicia Social".

He develops his work in the areas of protection of minors and filio-parental relations after the processes of partner break-up, imitation of violence in minors and screens, and reinsertion of inmates in prison. Specifically, his latest work relates to the use of minors by their parents to attack the other parent, the dark personality, revenge and forgiveness.

He has written about thirty books on Legal Psychology and Social Psychology, and publishes regularly in journals of scientific impact, having more than 200 articles.

He has directed more than 20 Doctoral Theses. He participates in competitive quality projects. Past or present direction of a total of 7 Postgraduate activities, between Masters and Experts in Legal Psychology, having created the First Master in Legal Psychology that was taught in Spain (UNED). He has held academic management positions such as Academic Secretary of the Faculty, Director of the Department of Psychology, and currently Coordinator of the Doctorate Programme in Social and Behavioural Sciences. He is a regular evaluator of competitive research projects and is currently a member of ANECA's D-17 Evaluation Committee (Behavioural Sciences).

Conference speaker and lecturer of the Spanish Cooperation in Health Education in Central America and Panama and in Latin America. He has been President of the Legal Psychology Section of the Official College of Psychology of Madrid and Galicia.

Go back to guest symposium