Date of Award


Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) Honours


School of Arts and Humanities

First Supervisor

Professor Alfred Allan

Second Supervisor

Dr Maria M Allan


The justice system diverts young offenders away from further contact through restorative justice processes. Juvenile justice conferencing allows for the goals of restorative justice to be met, including meeting the needs of victims and offenders. Apologies, when offered by offenders to victims within a conferencing setting, can assist with meeting these restorative goals. Apologies, however, need to be effective to have the desired outcome. Several variables influence the effectiveness of apologies, including the perceived voluntariness of apologies, with prompted apologies reducing apology effectiveness. The reduced effectiveness of prompted apologies might be an issue during conferencing as some offenders are prompted to apologise during these procedures. Prior wrongful behaviour of offenders is also thought to impact apology effectiveness, but there is no published research that investigates whether the impact of prior wrongful behaviour is different for voluntary and prompted apologies. Participants (N = 124), recruited through convenience sampling, were positioned as victims of a crime where they were asked to rate a voluntary or prompted apology from either an offender with prior police contact or no prior police contact. The findings of this study indicated that voluntary apologies were significantly more effective than prompted apologies, but prior wrongful behaviour did not have a significant effect


Thesis Location