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Child Sex Offenders' Cognitive Distortions and Related Personality Traits

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posted on 2021-11-10, 08:48 authored by Jones, Jennifer Joyce

Research has identified that child sex offenders hold thematically distinct cognitive distortions, which Ward and Keenan (1999) call Implicit Theories. The aim of the study was to investigate the relationship between offenders' Implicit Theories and their personality related cognitions. The variables were measured using the Implicit Theory Questionnaire and Millon's (1990) MCMI-III personality scales. Participants comprised 28 male child sex offenders serving a custodial sentence in New Zealand, who elected to have treatment. Majority of participants' personality scale scores reached the clinical threshold. Results identified dependant, depressive and schizoidal personality traits to significantly correlate with three Implicit Theories. Significant personality scale score differences were also revealed between Maori and NZ/European offenders. Clinical and theoretical implications are discussed.


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Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Degree Name

Master of Science

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Psychology


Vess, Jim