Exploring pathways to sex offending: childhood abusive histories, interpersonal relating and victim choice in sex offenders

Willis, Hannah (2014). Exploring pathways to sex offending: childhood abusive histories, interpersonal relating and victim choice in sex offenders. University of Birmingham. Foren.Psy.D.

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This thesis considers childhood abusive histories and relating style in a sex offender population. The second chapter is a systematic review of the literature that explores relationships between these variables. Childhood abuse was associated with insecure attachment and differences between subtypes of sex offenders were also present. Only one of the included studies indicated a possible pathway from abuse through relating style to victim selection. Due to the heterogeneous methodology of included studies, firm conclusions could not be drawn and therefore a more specific research question was recommended. The third chapter presents a critique of the Person’s Relating to Others Questionnaire (PROQ) (Birtchnell, Falkowski & Steffert, 1992). The reliability and validity of the measure is discussed along with its use in research and its benefit for the current study. The fourth chapter explores childhood abuse and relating style, as measured by the Person’s Relating to Others Questionnaire in subtypes of sex offenders. Childhood abuse was not related directly to victim choice. Childhood abuse was found to be associated with relating style, with any experience of physical abuse, with or without sexual abuse, increasing total negative relating. Subtypes of sex offenders were also found to relate differently on a number of scales, those with adult victims relating more comparably with violent offenders. A mediational effect of relating style between childhood abuse and victim choice was not found. The research demonstrated the relationship between childhood abuse and interpersonal relating in subtypes of sex offenders, but further research is required before a pathway to sex offending can be identified.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Foren.Psy.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Foren.Psy.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
School or Department: School of Psychology
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/5125


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