Self-blame, coping, perceived control and psychological symptoms in child sex offenders and batterers

UNCW Author/Contributor (non-UNCW co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Mary T. Engelstatter (Creator)
The University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW )
Web Site:
Caroline Clements

Abstract: Psychological variables associated with higher risk for abuse perpetration in known sex offenders and batterers include emotional status, impaired coping, low self-blame and low perceived control. Research suggests that these variables could contribute to high recidivism rates seen in both populations. To date, not much information has been collected on abuse perpetrators and whether they differ according to their crime. In this study, 49 child sex offenders and 30 domestic batterers were assessed within one month of treatment contact. Abusive behavior occurred chronically and frequently. There were no group differences on race, marital or court ordered status. Sex offenders were older than batterers and age was used as the covariate in further analyses. There were no group differences in the victims’ gender. Batterers reported using more alcohol and reported a higher number of DUIs. Four multivariate analyses of covariance (MANCOVAs) were run to assess emotional status, coping, self-blame and perceived control. Sex offenders were more depressed and more anxious than batterers. They reported more emotion-focused coping, self-distraction, denial and behavioral disengagement. Sex offenders had higher perceived control over current abusive behavior than batterers. They also scored higher than batterers in guilt feeling and external blame attribution measures. Batterers reported significantly higher dysfunctional impulsivity. In this study, sex offenders differed from batterers in variables predicting repeat offending in other studies. Greater understanding of variables distinguishing abuse perpetrators may help in tailoring treatment specific to offense type.

Additional Information

A Thesis Submitted to the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in Partial Fulfillment Of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts
Language: English
Date: 2009
Abusive men, Abusive men--Psychology, Sex offenders, Sex offenders--Psychology
Abusive men
Abusive men -- Psychology
Sex offenders
Sex offenders -- Psychology

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