Correlates of Denial: Exploring the Function of Denial Among Men Who Commit Sexual Offences Against Children

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Lucente, Gabrielle




Men who commit sexual offences against children may engage in denial and minimization that relates to an increased risk to reoffend or as an adaptive response in an adversarial environment. To better understand how and when denial may be related to risk, its function must first be understood. The current study examined the association between denial and factors indicating denial as a risk factor or as an adaptive response among 29 adult men who had committed a sexual offence against a child. Contrary to hypotheses, denial was negatively related to callous-interpersonal traits of psychopathy, and largely unrelated to self-esteem. In line with hypotheses, denial was negatively related to self-identification as a sexual offender and negatively related with attitudes towards sexual offenders. The current study's findings may be consistent with an adaptive use of denial, which has implications for treatment and management decisions.


Psychology - Experimental




Carleton University

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