Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: https://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.770850
Title: Attitudes towards sex offenders : a review of therapists' attitudes and their impact on therapeutic alliance, and a qualitative study of support workers' attitudes towards sex offenders with intellectual disabilities
Author: Czosnyka, Olga Julia
ISNI:       0000 0004 7654 8486
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2019
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Abstract:
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Little is known about how therapists' attitudes impact on therapeutic alliance in their clinical work with sex offenders, and what attitudes support workers, who work with sex offenders with intellectual disabilities, hold towards their clients. Research suggests that therapeutic alliance can strongly influence the effectiveness of therapy, and that positive attitudes towards sex offenders are important for their rehabilitation. Understanding how therapists' attitudes influence the therapeutic alliance may help in developing more effective psychological therapies, and research on support workers' attitudes may provide better understanding of their experience of working with sex offenders with intellectual disabilities. The objective of the review was to explore what attitudes therapists working with adult male sex offenders hold towards their patients, and how their attitudes impact on therapeutic alliance. The aim of the empirical study was to explore the experiences and attitudes of support workers who work with sex offenders with intellectual disabilities. Method: a systematic review was conducted to explore the objective of the review. An electronic and hand literature search was conducted using PsycINFO, Medline, EMBASE and CINAHL databases in accordance with outlined inclusion and exclusion criteria. Ten studies met the inclusion criteria for this review: 6 qualitative and 4 quantitative papers. The empirical project was conducted using qualitative methodology. The sample of participants consisted of four female and seven male participants. Data was collected through semi-structured interviews and analysed in accordance with Braun and Clarke's (2006) six stages of thematic analysis. Results: the results of the review were common themes identified across the literature: therapists' attitudes becoming more positive through the experience of working with sex offenders, and difficulties with establishing therapeutic alliance with sex offenders. The results of the empirical study were: workers were found to be motivated to enter the profession by their values and beliefs, such as that everyone deserves help. Participants reported having positive attitudes towards sex offenders, perceiving them as human beings, as well as some negative attitudes like mistrust. Some negative impact of the occupation was described by respondents, although they used coping strategies to manage some of these. Conclusion: There were concerns over the methodological qualities of some of the reviewed papers. The objective of the review wasn't fully addressed by the assessed studies. Furthermore, targeted research is needed to examine the impact of therapists' attitudes on their clinical practice with this population. Attitudes towards sex offenders with intellectual disabilities were found to be quite diverse. Some gender-related differences were outlined in relation to the perception of safety and courtesy stigma. The objective of the review was to explore what attitudes therapists working with adult male sex offenders hold towards their patients, and how their attitudes impact on therapeutic alliance. The aim of the empirical study was to explore the experiences and attitudes of support workers who work with sex offenders with intellectual disabilities. METHOD: a systematic review was conducted to explore the objective of the review. An electronic and hand literature search was conducted using PsycINFO, Medline, EMBASE and CINAHL databases in accordance with outlined inclusion and exclusion criteria. Ten studies met the inclusion criteria for this review: 6 qualitative and 4 quantitative papers. The empirical project was conducted using qualitative methodology. The sample of participants consisted of four female and seven male participants. Data was collected through semi-structured interviews and analysed in accordance with Braun and Clarke's (2006) six stages of thematic analysis. RESULTS: the results of the review were common themes identified across the literature: therapists' attitudes becoming more positive through the experience of working with sex offenders, and difficulties with establishing therapeutic alliance with sex offenders. The results of the empirical study were: workers were found to be motivated to enter the profession by their values and beliefs, such as that everyone deserves help. Participants reported having positive attitudes towards sex offenders, perceiving them as human beings, as well as some negative attitudes like mistrust. Some negative impact of the occupation was described by respondents, although they used coping strategies to manage some of these. CONCLUSION: There were concerns over the methodological qualities of some of the reviewed papers. The objective of the review wasn't fully addressed by the assessed studies. Furthermore, targeted research is needed to examine the impact of therapists' attitudes on their clinical practice with this population. Attitudes towards sex offenders with intellectual disabilities were found to be quite diverse. Some gender-related differences were outlined in relation to the perception of safety and courtesy stigma.
Supervisor: MacMahon, Kenneth Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.770850  DOI: Not available
Keywords: therapeutic alliance ; sex offenders ; learning disabilities ; support workers ; rehabilitation ; therapists' attitudes ; systematic review
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