Assessing sexual interest in children using the Go/No-Go Association Test

Bartels, Ross, Beech, Anthony, Harkins, Leigh and Thornton, David (2018) Assessing sexual interest in children using the Go/No-Go Association Test. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 30 (5). pp. 593-614. ISSN 1079-0632

GNAT study (Accepted copy - Peer-review version).pdf
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Item Type:Article
Item Status:Live Archive


The present study investigated whether a latency-based Go/No-Go Association Task (GNAT) could be used as an indirect measure of sexual interest in children. A sample 29 individuals with a history of exclusive extrafamilial offenses against a child and 15 individuals with either a history of exclusive intrafamilial or mixed offenses (i.e., against both adults and children) were recruited from a treatment center in the US. Also, a sample of 26 nonoffenders was recruited from a university in the UK. All participants completed the Sexual Fantasy-GNAT, a Control-GNAT, and two self-report measures of sexual fantasy. It was hypothesized that, relative to the two comparison groups, the extrafamilial group would respond faster on the block that paired 'sexual fantasy' and 'children'. Also, GNAT scores were expected to correlate with child-related sexual fantasies. Support was found for both hypotheses. Response-latency indices were also found to effectively distinguish the extrafamilial group, as well as those who self-reported using child-related sexual fantasies. The implications of these findings, along with the study's limitations and suggestions for future research, are discussed.

Keywords:Go/No-Go Association Task, Indirect Measures, Deviant Sexual interest, Sexual offenders, Sexual fantasy
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C810 Applied Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
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ID Code:25203
Deposited On:22 Nov 2016 11:37

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