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NCJ Number: 202257 Find in a Library
Title: Evaluation of the Bumby RAPE and MOLEST Scales as Measures of Cognitive Distortions with Civilly Committed Sexual Offenders
Journal: Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment  Volume:15  Issue:4  Dated:October 2003  Pages:237-249
Author(s): Steve Arkowitz; James Vess
Date Published: October 2003
Page Count: 13
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article evaluates the Bumby MOLEST and RAPE scales as measures of cognitive distortions.
Abstract: Cognitive distortions have been proposed as critical elements in both the assessment and treatment of sexual offenders. Cognitive distortion has been used interchangeably with a variety of other terms including irrational attitudes, maladaptive beliefs, rape myths, and rationalizations. Almost all treatment programs for sexual offenders address the issue of cognitive distortions. The MOLEST and RAPE scales were developed to specifically measure the cognitive distortions of men that sexually assault children and women, respectively. The MOLEST scale is composed of 38 items and the RAPE scale is composed of 36 items scored on a 4-point Likert scale from strongly agree to strongly disagree. The MOLEST and RAPE scales were reported as useful in measuring treatment progress. These scales were selected for inclusion in the standard assessment battery for California’s Sex Offender Commitment Program. The sample consisted of 86 child molesters and 40 rapists. A comparison of the current sample with that of Bumby’s original study is presented. The results of the study did not demonstrate that the Bumby RAPE and MOLEST scales adequately distinguished between samples of rapists and child molesters. If the RAPE and MOLEST scales distinctly measured the cognitive distortions of rapists and child molesters, it would be expected that child molesters would obtain higher scores on the MOLEST scale and rapists would obtain higher scores on the RAPE scales. This study revealed that the child molesters did not obtain significantly higher scores on the MOLEST scale as compared to the rapists. The mean of this sample of child molesters was significantly higher than the mean of the rapists on the RAPE scale. Rapists and child molesters in this current sample endorsed markedly fewer cognitive distortions than the sexual offenders in Bumby’s original study. Current self-report measures such as these two scales are too susceptible to a socially desirable response set to provide useful data with sexual offenders that are involuntarily committed for treatment. 4 tables, 28 references
Main Term(s): Instrument validation; Sex offenders
Index Term(s): Child molesters; Offenders; Psychological influences on crime; Rape research; Rapists; Studies; Testing and measurement
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