Sexual Offenders’ State-of-Mind Regarding Childhood Attachment: A Controlled Investigation

Sexual Offenders’ State-of-Mind Regarding Childhood Attachment: A Controlled Investigation Attachment experiences have been regarded as significant by researchers and clinicians attempting to explain the etiology of sexual offending. Although initial studies have revealed some promising evidence, there are a number of theoretical and methodological problems with this preliminary body of work. While addressing these limitations, the goal of the present study was to investigate state-of-mind regarding childhood attachment among subtypes of sexual offenders, comparing them to both a sample of nonsexual offenders and to the documented patterns of nonoffenders. Sixty-one sexual offenders (extrafamilial child molesters, incest offenders, and rapists) and 40 nonsexual offenders (violent and nonviolent) were administered the “Adult Attachment Interview.” Results indicated that the majority of sexual offenders were insecure, representing a marked difference from normative samples. Although insecurity of attachment was common to all groups of offenders, there were important differences in regard to the specific type of insecurity. Most notable were the child molesters, who were significantly more likely to be Preoccupied. Rapists, violent offenders, and, to a lesser degree, incest offenders were more likely to be Dismissing. Although still most likely to be Dismissing, nonviolent offenders were comparatively more Secure. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment Springer Journals

Sexual Offenders’ State-of-Mind Regarding Childhood Attachment: A Controlled Investigation

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2006 by Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.
Subject
Psychology; Criminology & Criminal Justice; Clinical Psychology; Psychiatry ; Sexual Behavior
ISSN
1079-0632
eISSN
1573-286X
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11194-006-9022-3
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Attachment experiences have been regarded as significant by researchers and clinicians attempting to explain the etiology of sexual offending. Although initial studies have revealed some promising evidence, there are a number of theoretical and methodological problems with this preliminary body of work. While addressing these limitations, the goal of the present study was to investigate state-of-mind regarding childhood attachment among subtypes of sexual offenders, comparing them to both a sample of nonsexual offenders and to the documented patterns of nonoffenders. Sixty-one sexual offenders (extrafamilial child molesters, incest offenders, and rapists) and 40 nonsexual offenders (violent and nonviolent) were administered the “Adult Attachment Interview.” Results indicated that the majority of sexual offenders were insecure, representing a marked difference from normative samples. Although insecurity of attachment was common to all groups of offenders, there were important differences in regard to the specific type of insecurity. Most notable were the child molesters, who were significantly more likely to be Preoccupied. Rapists, violent offenders, and, to a lesser degree, incest offenders were more likely to be Dismissing. Although still most likely to be Dismissing, nonviolent offenders were comparatively more Secure.

Journal

Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and TreatmentSpringer Journals

Published: Jul 27, 2006

References

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