Sexual offenders’ parental and adult attachments and preferences for therapists’ interpersonal qualities

N. McKillop, Sarah J. Brown, S.W. Smallbone, R. Wortley

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    1 Citation (Scopus)
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    Abstract

    This study explored sex offenders’ parental and adult attachment difficulties and assessed the extent to which these were associated with preferences for therapists’ interpersonal qualities. One-hundred and twelve adult male child sexual offenders were invited to provide self-report data on their attachment histories, adult attachments and preferences for therapists’ interpersonal qualities. A weak relationship between childhood and adulthood secure attachment was found, suggesting that attachment at the time of offending may be more relevant than childhood attachment to the etiology of sexual offending. Participants valued a range of therapists’ qualities previously identified as important for positive treatment change. Therapist trust and genuineness were perceived as particularly important by those with attachment difficulties, demonstrating the need for these qualities in offender programmes where attachment difficulties would be expected. There were some differences in the preferences for therapists’ qualities between participants with different adult attachment types, highlighting the importance of responsivity factors in treatment. Publisher statement: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Sexual Aggression on 24th July 2015, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/13552600.2015.1057243
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)177-191
    JournalJournal of Sexual Aggression
    Volume22
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 24 Jul 2015

    Bibliographical note

    This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Sexual Aggression on 24th July 2015, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/13552600.2015.1057243

    Keywords

    • attachment
    • child-sex offenders
    • therapist interpersonal qualities
    • sex offender treatment programmes
    • responsivity

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