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NCJ Number: 222046 Find in a Library
Title: Cognitive Distortions of Religious Professionals Who Sexually Abuse Children
Journal: Journal of Interpersonal Violence  Volume:18  Issue:8  Dated:August 2003  Pages:905-923
Author(s): Adam Saradjian; Dany Nobus
Date Published: August 2003
Page Count: 19
Document: PDF (Purchase from Publisher)
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The purpose of this study was to investigate the cognitive distortions in the self-report statements of a sample of clergymen who had sexually abused children.
Abstract: The study reveals that clergy child sex offenders, like other child molesters, hold extensive cognitive distortions throughout their offending cycle. The cognitive distortions fall into 10 categories that relate to stages throughout the offending behavior, from distorted beliefs prior to offending to distortions about the choice of victims and the acts themselves and through to post-offense distorted beliefs. The study also revealed that a number of distorted beliefs that facilitated and maintained the clergymen’s offending involved their religious role and relationship with God. The cognitive content offers the basis for understanding the clergy offenders’ behavior. However, when the relationship between these cognitions is revealed and the sequence of these thought processes considered, a more complete understanding of the offenders’ behavior can be gained. This study represents an attempt to categorize and provide a tentative model of the cognitions of religious offenders. From self-report statements of 14 clergymen who had sexually abused children, the content of the offenders’ cognitive distortions were identified and categorized into thematic groups. These groups were found to relate to the various stages of the offending cycle. A tentative model is generated illustrating the relationship between the groups and the hypothesized sequence of thought facilitating the initiation and maintenance of sexually abusive behavior. Table, figure, references
Main Term(s): Child molesters; Cognitive developmental theory; Sex offender profiles
Index Term(s): Child Sexual Abuse; Child victims; Crimes against children; Offender profiles; Sex offenders; Sexually abused adolescents
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