Identifying the implicit theories of child sexual exploitation material offenders

Merdian, Hannah Lena and Bartels, Ross (2015) Identifying the implicit theories of child sexual exploitation material offenders. In: Annual Research and Treatment Conference of the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers, 14-17 October 2015, Montreal, CA..

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Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Poster)
Item Status:Live Archive


Researchers have both proposed and found evidence that sexual offenders (i.e., child abusers, rapists, sexual murderers) hold a set of distorted entrenched beliefs about themselves, others, and the world (Beech, Fisher, & Ward, 2005; Marziano, Ward, Beech, & Pattison, 2006; Polaschek & Gannon, 2004; Polaschek & Ward, 2002; Ward & Keenan, 1999). It has been argued that these beliefs – often referred to as implicit theories (Ward, 2000) – bias information in an offence-supportive manner, contributing to the etiology of sexual offending (Ward & Beech, 2006). As such, these underlying beliefs (or implicit theories) have become of interest to treatment providers (Ó Ciardha & Gannon, 2011). In recent years, there has been an increasing interest in ‘child sexual exploitation material’ (CSEM) offenders, particularly since research suggests they are distinct from contact child abusers (Babchishin, Hanson, & VanZuylen, 2014). Given this distinction, it is hypothesized that CSEM users will possess their own set of implicit theories that guide their interpretation of intra/interpersonal information in a manner that influences online offending behavior. In this poster, a conceptualization of the implicit theories held by CSEM users is presented. The five proposed implicit theories are derived from a systematic analysis of the existing empirical and theoretical literature, alongside findings from its empirical validation, based on interviews with CSEM users (n = 12) at different stages in the prosecution process. The poster will inform about the content and function of these implicit theories, as well as their role in the differentiation of CSEM subtypes. Practical and research implications of this study are also highlighted.

Keywords:child sexual exploitation, implicit theory
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C810 Applied Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
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ID Code:19523
Deposited On:09 Nov 2015 15:50

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