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Exploring the attachment style of sex offenders

Reis, Mariana (2015)
Foren.Psy.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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The aim of this thesis was to explore the contribution of attachment theory to the understanding of sexual offending behaviour. The introduction chapter is followed by a systematic literature review (Chapter 2), exploring whether child abusers and rapists differ in attachment style. Chapter 3 investigated the psychometric properties of the Attachment Style Interview (ASI; Bifulco, Moran, Ball, & Bernazzani, 2002). This semi-structured interview demonstrated satisfactory reliability and validity. Chapter 4 consists of an empirical study using a mixed-methods approach to explore the attachment styles of adolescent sex offenders. The Attachment Style Interview for Adolescents (Bifulco, 2012) was used to investigate whether there is a relationship between attachment style and offender status (child abusers, peer abusers). The quantitative results supported the hypotheses that child abusers are more likely to be anxiously attached; whereas peer abusers are more likely to be avoidantly attached. The qualitative results further explored what participants valued in relationships with others, and what represented as barriers for them to make and maintain relationships. The final chapter summarises the findings and implications for practice of this thesis. Overall, this thesis highlights that sex offenders are a heterogeneous group, whose needs are complex and go beyond their sexually harmful behaviours.

Type of Work:Foren.Psy.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Beech, Anthony R.
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
Department:School of Psychology, The Centre for Forensic and Criminological Psychology
Subjects:BF Psychology
HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:6212
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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