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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 222212 Find in a Library
Title: Defense Styles of Pedophilic Offenders
Journal: International Journal of Offender Therapy And Comparative Criminology  Volume:52  Issue:2  Dated:April 2008  Pages:185-195
Author(s): Martin Drapeau; Veronique Beretta; Yves de Rotem; Annett Koerner; Jean-Nicolas Despland
Date Published: April 2008
Page Count: 11
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study investigated the defense styles of pedophiles.
Abstract: Results show that pedophiles had lower overall defense of functioning scores on the Defense Mechanisms Ratings Scales than the controls. The results suggest that pedophiles use more pathological defenses than outpatients, including more image-distorting and action defenses, and fewer obsessional-level defenses. Overall, defense mechanisms used by child abusers are generally less mature; even though they used significantly fewer obsessional-level defenses, more immature defenses such as major image-distorting or action-level defenses were employed. More specifically, the findings suggest the child abusers use less intellectualization, a cognitive strategy where the individual deals with emotional conflicts through the excessive use of abstract thinking. The child abusers in the sample also tended to use less rationalization, which involves devising plausible-sounding and self-serving excuses and reasons to cover up facts and motives that one wishes to hide. Instead, the abusers used defense mechanisms such as disassociations, displacement, fantasies, and splitting and projective identification. Finally, the findings suggest that users used more acting out and passive-aggression than the control group. Data were collected from 20 male pedophile sexual offenders between 25 and 46 years of age who had been sentenced to a Federal penitentiary term following the sexual abuse of children, having molested victims outside their family, having never committed murder, and having never abused teenagers between 12 and 17 years. Tables, references
Main Term(s): Child Sexual Abuse; Inmate attitudes; Inmate characteristics
Index Term(s): Child molesters; Psychological evaluation; Psychological victimization effects; Psychosexual behavior
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