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NCJ Number: 153906 Find in a Library
Title: Cognitive Distortions and Affective Deficits in Sex Offenders: A Cognitive Deconstructionist Interpretation
Journal: Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment  Volume:7  Issue:1  Dated:(January 1995)  Pages:67-83
Author(s): T Ward; S M Hudson; W L Marshall
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 17
Type: Research (Theoretical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper conceptually integrates cognitive distortions and affective deficits in sex offenders and discusses their role in initiating, maintaining, and justifying sexual offending.
Abstract: Sexually aggressive behavior is often facilitated and justified by distorted thinking and affective deficits; however, there is no clear conceptual model that accounts for the mechanisms that generate these phenomena and informs treatment goals. Sex offenders often demonstrate a number of underexplained features such as denial or minimization of offending, victim blaming, passivity, covert planning, dependence on immediate consequences, empathy and other emotional regulation deficits, intimacy and other social competency deficits, and finally, alcohol and other drug problems. These features are usually viewed as offense precursors. The authors of this paper argue that Baumeister's construct of cognitive deconstruction, the process by which people attempt to reduce the negative implications of self-awareness, provides both a middle-level theoretical explanatory framework that integrates these puzzles in a parsimonious way and a mechanism that suggests these features may be consequences of, as well as precursors to, an offense. Suggestions for research and clinical practice are offered. 42 references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Cognitive developmental theory; Offender profiles; Psychological evaluation; Sex offenders
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