Author(s)

Lyndsie Johnson

Date Approved

7-24-2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. Applied Psychology and Professional Mental Health Counseling

Department

Psychology

College

College of Science & Mathematics

First Advisor

Angelone, DJ

Subject(s)

Child molesters;Cognitive psychology

Disciplines

Psychiatric and Mental Health

Abstract

Historically, sexual encounters between adults and children were rarely reported to authorities, and thus considered a rare problem. However, as many as 33% of girls and 14% of boys experience sexual encounters with adults and as a result may experience consequences such as aversive feelings regarding the act of sex, substance abuse, and self-mutilation. Such consequences lead research to examine pedophile's cognitive distortions. This exploratory study examined pedophiles' website forum posts to determine if any posters demonstrated cognitive distortions. Four independent raters used content analysis to determine which cognitive distortions were demonstrated by the examined pedophiles. Results suggested that cognitive distortions were not prominently demonstrated by those posting on the examined forum. Results may also suggest that cognitive distortions are not evident in a supportive environment. Results cannot be generalized to the entire pedophilic population and future research could analyze posters' cognitive distortions over a period of time and examine which cognitive distortions have altered over time.

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