Empathy Deficits and Cognitive Distortions in Child Molesters

Empathy Deficits and Cognitive Distortions in Child Molesters An attempt was made to examine the thesis that the apparent empathy deficits in child molesters are simply another aspect of their self-serving tendency to distort information by, in this case, failing to recognize victim harm. Thirty-four child molesters were compared on a victim empathy measure and a measure of cognitive distortions, with 24 nonsex offenders and 28 nonoffending males. Child molesters displayed greater cognitive distortions than the other subjects and their greatest empathy deficits were toward their own victims. Consistent with the theory being examined it was found that the empathy scores of the child molesters toward their own victims were significantly correlated with the responses to the cognitive distortions scale. The results are discussed in terms of their implications for theory and practice. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment Springer Journals

Empathy Deficits and Cognitive Distortions in Child Molesters

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2001 by Plenum Publishing Corporation
Subject
Psychology; Sexual Behavior; Psychiatry; Clinical Psychology; Criminology and Criminal Justice, general
ISSN
1079-0632
eISSN
1573-286X
D.O.I.
10.1023/A:1026652321327
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

An attempt was made to examine the thesis that the apparent empathy deficits in child molesters are simply another aspect of their self-serving tendency to distort information by, in this case, failing to recognize victim harm. Thirty-four child molesters were compared on a victim empathy measure and a measure of cognitive distortions, with 24 nonsex offenders and 28 nonoffending males. Child molesters displayed greater cognitive distortions than the other subjects and their greatest empathy deficits were toward their own victims. Consistent with the theory being examined it was found that the empathy scores of the child molesters toward their own victims were significantly correlated with the responses to the cognitive distortions scale. The results are discussed in terms of their implications for theory and practice.

Journal

Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and TreatmentSpringer Journals

Published: Oct 16, 2004

References

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