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Title: Are sex offenders with both adult and child victims different from those with adult-only or child-only victims? : a comparative study within a special hospital population
Author: Islam, Momotaj Gafur
ISNI:       0000 0001 3587 3299
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2000
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It has been recognised in the research literature for some time now that sex offenders are not a homogenous group (e.g. Harry, 1993). Identification of important distinguishing factors between types of sex offences and the characteristics of the offenders have improved the knowledge base in this area. Unfortunately, much of the research thus far has focussed on comparative studies involving adult rapists and child molesters. Although it has been recognised that a proportion of sex offenders offend against both adults and children, very little research has been conducted within this subgroup. Based on recent suggestions that this subgroup may be more dangerous and at higher risk for recidivism (e.g. Rice & Harris), it is imperative that further information is acquired about this type of sex offender. The setting for this study was Broadmoor Special Hospital, a maximum security psychiatric hospital in England for mentally disordered offenders judged to be dangerous. Within the adult male population, those patients known to have committed a Sex Offence (either as their index offence or at some time in their offence history) were identified. They were then categorised into the following subgroups: Adult Sex Offenders; Child Sex Offenders; and Mixed Sex Offenders, on the basis of whether their victims were aged 16 years or over, below 16yrs, or both, respectively. The objective of this study was to compare these subgroups on the following variables: psychopathy; personality, social and emotional characteristics; attribution of blame; and history of childhood sexual abuse. The aim was to identify factors which may discriminate the Mixed Sex Offender subgroup from the other two subgroups, based on the hypothesis that this under-researched group is more psychopathic and presents a higher risk for recidivism (e.g. Rice & Harris; Hemphill et al, 1998). Also, due to the lack of information in the literature on sex offenders in Special Hospitals, characteristics of the sample as a whole were described. In addition, as psychopathy and personality characteristics were the main measure on which the subgroups were compared, the standardised measures used to assess these characteristics were correlated for comparison purposes. The measures used were: Psychopathy Checklist Revised (PCL-R: Hare, 1991); Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory (Millon, 1994); Sex Offender Assessment Pack (Beckett, Beech & Fisher, 1996); Guddjonsson Attribution of Blame Inventory (Guddjonsson & Singh, 1989) As hypothesised, the Mixed Sex Offenders were found to be more psychopathic than the other two subgroups. Also, the Mixed Sex Offenders could be distinguished across other personality and social/emotional variables, such as compulsive and masochistic traits, emotional loneliness and deficits in perspective taking. The conclusion from this study is that further investigation of Mixed Sex Offenders as a distinct subgroup is warranted due to indications that they are a higher risk group for sexual offending behaviour and sexual and violent recidivism. The clinical implications of these findings in relation to risk assessment, treatment and management of sex offenders are discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Learning disabilities; Clinical depression