Case formulation in child sexual exploitation material offending

Merdian, Hannah Lena and Perkins, Derek (2016) Case formulation in child sexual exploitation material offending. In: Bi-annual conference of the International Association for the Treatment of Sexual Offenders, 7-10 September 2016, Rigshospitalet, University Hospital of Copenhagen.

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


There are demographic and psychological differences offenders who commit contact sex offences against children and those who download or distribute Child Sexual Exploitation Material (CSEM) without any contact sex offences against children , and it has been acknowledged that there could be discrete aetiological pathways that underlie this specific offending behaviour. Increases in the number of arrests and convictions of CSEM have highlighted a need to further understand this group of offenders, with a view to informing assessment and treatment. This paper describes the initial development of the first aetiological model specific to CSEM offending, based on literature review, theoretical considerations, professional consultations, and empirical validation on individuals arrested or convicted for their CSEM use. Users of CSEM (n = 20) were interviewed regarding their life and sexual history, their relationships, substance use, offending details, and circumstances leading to their CSEM offending. Pathways to CSEM were explored using thematic analysis, identifying seven superordinate themes: Developmental Context, Individual Propensities (risk-related and risk-protective) and Psychological Vulnerabilities, Personal Circumstances, Permission Giving Thoughts, Internet Environment and Behaviour, Evaluation of Consequences for the Individual, and Desistance. The resulting model presents the first case formulation tool specific for CSEM users, with the aim of providing guidance for assessment and treatment providers.

Keywords:child protection, online sex offending, case formulation, psychological assessment
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C840 Clinical Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
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ID Code:24673
Deposited On:15 Oct 2016 20:23

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