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Title: Emotional loneliness, empathy and locus of control in child sex offenders with an intellectual disability : an exploration of relationships
Author: Thompson, Rachel.
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2006
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High emotional loneliness, poor empathy and an extemallocus of control have all been implicated in the development and maintenance of sexually offending behaviour. However, little research has been conducted on sexual offenders with intellectual disabilities. Current literature provides contradictory and inconclusive answers and little attention has been paid to how these constructs are related to offending in intellectually disabled sex offenders. This study therefore sought to explore these relationships. Method 57 participants were recruited in to three groups: (i) 17 men with an intellectual disability who had committed a sexual offence against a child; (ii) 17 men with an intellectual disability who had no known history of offending or sexually inappropriate behaviour; and (iii) 23 men without an intellectual disability and no known history of offending or sexually inappropriate behaviour. Each participant completed measures of loneliness, empathy and locus of control. Results The comparison group of non-intellectually disabled non-offenders were significantly more empathic than the intellectually disabled non-offenders, but not the sex offenders. The comparison sample also had a significantly more internal locus ofcontrol than the other two groups, both of which endorsed an extemallocus of control. The two groups of intellectually disabled participants, both offenders and non-offenders, did not differ in their levels of empathy or locus of control. In addition, participants with a higher IQ had a more intemallocus of control and demonstrated a greater level of empathy. There was no significant difference between the three groups on the measure of emotional loneliness. Conclusions The implications of these findings on theory, research and clinical practice for people with intellectual disabilities are discussed. It seems that the relationship between emotional loneliness, empathy, locus of control and offending may be different in sex offenders with intellectual disabilities, compared to their counterparts in the general population
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available