Examining impulsivity among individuals with sexual crimes against children
LE3 .A278 2014
Price, E. Lisa
Bachelor of Science
Psychology with Applied Option
Individuals who commit sexual crimes against children are a part of a widely heterogeneous population. At present, little is known about how impulsivity manifests itself within different populations who commit sexual crimes against children. The purpose of the present study was to examine impulsivity across three groups with sexual crimes against children: child pornography offenders, contact offenders with diagnoses of pedophilic disorder, and contact offenders without diagnoses of pedophilic disorder. Facet 3 scores from the Psychopathy Checklist-revised were used to measure impulsivity in a sample of 616 adult male Nova Scotia residents drawn from the Nova Scotia Forensic Sexual Behaviour Program database. Initial analyses confirmed prior findings that child pornography offenders contained a greater proportion of individuals with diagnoses of pedophilic disorder. Results also indicated that the population of contact offenders was more impulsive than the group of child pornography offenders. More specifically, contact offenders with pedophilic disorder were more impulsive than child pornography offenders, but less impulsive than contact offenders without pedophilic disorder, who demonstrated the highest impulsivity scores. The results mostly supported the hypotheses. While impulsivity is a complex, multi-faceted construct, results of the present study suggest that higher levels of behavioural impulsivity might be implicated in certain forms of sexual offending against children. Results have significant implications for assessment and treatment, specifically for the purpose of reducing recidivism.
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