One focus of research concerning offending behavior has been the concept of the cognitive distortion, although the importance of the need for research into the underlying cognitive structures in offenders has been highlighted. This study examined schemas in child molesters, rapists, and violent offenders, predicting content differences in the offence-related schemas between these groups. In accordance with previous research, the prevalence of a “suspiciousness/hostility to women” schema in rapists was predicted. Twelve rapists, twelve child molesters, and twelve violent offenders incarcerated in a male maximum-security prison completed “Life Maps” (autobiographies) and the My Life questionnaire (R. E. Mann & C. R. Hollin, 2001), both designed to indicate the presence of schemas. A content analysis template containing nine schemas was constructed and applied to the Life Map data. Results showed a significant difference in the prevalence of schema type between the three groups. There was a prevalence of a “hostility/distrust of women” schema in the rapists. Analysis of the My Life questionnaire revealed a difference between violent offenders and rapists only. This study highlights the need for further research into schemas with sexual and violent offenders.
Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 1, 2005
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