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- PublicationPsychological characteristics of Irish clerical sexual offendersControlled studies suggest that clerical child sexual offenders may be better adjusted psychologically than their lay counterparts, although no studies of Irish clerical offenders have been reported. The aim of this study was to compare clerical and non-clerical sexual offenders with a normal control group, within an Irish context, on broad-band personality traits and narrow-band psychological characteristics that have been identified as risk factors for child sexual abuse. Thirty clerical men and 73 laymen who had sexually abused children and 30 lay controls completed the NEO Personality Inventory Revised (NEO-PI-R), the Sexual Offender Assessment Pack (SOAP) and the Multiphasic Sex Inventory (MSI). The three groups differed significantly on 11 of 18 dependent variables. The only variable which distinguished between the two groups of offenders was conscientiousness, with clerical offenders being more conscientious than lay offenders. The two groups of offenders showed significantly lower self-esteem than normal controls and scores indicative of greater denial on the MSI sexual social desirability scale. However, they also showed greater agreeableness and empathic concern than the control group. Compared with the control group, the lay offenders (but not the clerical offenders) showed greater neuroticism, less extraversion, less openness, greater emotional loneliness and more sensitivity to personal distress in others than the control group but also showed greater assertiveness. These results indicate that there were few differences between clerical and lay sexual offenders, and that clerical offenders differed from normal controls less than lay offenders on the Big Five personality traits and psychological risk factors for sexual offending assessed by the SOAP and MSI.
Scopus© Citations 8 893
- PublicationFactor structures of measures of cognitive distortions, emotional congruence, and victim empathy based on data from Irish child sex offendersThis study evaluated the factor structures of three instruments from the Sexual Offender Assessment Pack. The Children and Sex Cognitive Distortions Scale, the Children and Sex Emotional Congruence Scale, and the Child Victim Empathy Distortions Scale were administered to 203 sex offenders in Ireland. Confirmatory factor analyses did not support the proposed single factor structure for each of the three scales. Exploratory factor analyses suggested more complex factor structures. The Children and Sex Cognitive Distortions Scale was found to have two factors: (a) Perceptions of Children as Sexually Mature and (b) General Justifications for Sex With Children. The Children and Sex Emotional Congruence Scale was found to have three factors: (a) Positive Affect From Children, (b) Special Relationships With Children and (c) Preference for Relationships With Children. The Victim Empathy Scale was found to have two factors: (a) Positive Misattributions of Pleasure and (b) Denial of Negative Feelings in the Child. In clinical settings, the more complex factor structures identified in this study may used in scoring and interpreting responses to the three instruments investigated here. Our results require replication and further research should focus on the correlates of the factorial scales identified in this study.
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