The experiences, attitudes, and motivations of those within circles of support and accountability

Pearson, Fiona (2021). The experiences, attitudes, and motivations of those within circles of support and accountability. University of Birmingham. Foren.Psy.D.

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This thesis examines the nature of attitudes held by students, members of the public, and volunteers towards individuals who have been convicted of a sexual offence, and considers the importance of better understanding these attitudes. This is explored within a group of individuals who volunteer within a community-based initiative providing support to those who have committed a sexual offence, along with their motivations for initially choosing to volunteer in such a programme. The experiences of those individuals within the programme who have been convicted of a sexual offence (Core Members) are also reviewed. Chapter 1 presents a general introduction to the concepts of sexual offending, Circles of Support and Accountability (CoSA), and attitudes. Chapter 2 consists of a literature review regarding the experiences of Core Members (CMs) participating in a CoSA. Chapter 3 then presents a critique of a scale designed to measure attitudes towards individuals who have been convicted of a sexual offence and examines its validity, reliability, and the way in which it has been used within research. Chapter 4 presents an empirical research study regarding volunteers within CoSA. Their attitudes towards people who have committed a sexual offence are assessed and compared to both undergraduate students and members of the wider public. Their perceptions are also measured following exposure to vignettes depicting different types of sexual offences. Volunteers’ motivations for joining the programme are also considered through Thematic Analysis. Additional reliability data regarding the attitudinal measure, the Attitudes towards Sexual Offenders scale (ATS; Hogue, 1993), is then presented within this chapter. Finally, Chapter 5 presents an overall summary of the thesis. The implications of the main findings are discussed, as well as potential directions for future research.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Foren.Psy.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Foren.Psy.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
School or Department: School of Psychology, Centre for Applied Psychology
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology


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