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The implicit theories of male child sexual offenders residing in a high secure psychiatric hospital

By Karyn Mannix, David L. Dawson and Kerry Beckley


Although the vast majority of individuals with a mental disorder do not commit sexual offences, sexual offenders are a significant group within forensic psychiatric populations and command a high level of healthcare resources. Despite this, there is little published research focussing on the offence-specific cognitive styles (e.g. cognitive distortions and implicit theories) of these individuals, limiting understanding of their assessment and treatment needs. The current study aimed to establish whether evidence for the implicit theories identified by researchers of non-mentally disordered child sexual offenders would also be present amongst a population of high secure psychiatric male sexual offenders. Analysis of interviews with twelve such individuals indicated that the majority of the cognitive distortions articulated by these men could be categorized within existing implicit theory descriptions. The findings are discussed in relation to clinical practice and suggestions for future research with this specific population are proposed

Topics: C840 Clinical Psychology
Publisher: 'Informa UK Limited'
Year: 2013
DOI identifier: 10.1080/13552600.2012.732616
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