Psychological profiles of clerical and non-clerical men who have sexually abused children

Randall, Patrick

March 2008

Thesis or dissertation

© 2008 Patrick Randall. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

This thesis examined the psychological characteristics of clerical and laymen who had sexually abused children. A three group design was used which permitted comparisons to be made between a group of 30 clerical men who had sexually abused children, a group of 73 laymen who had sexually abused children, and a group of 30 laymen who had not sexually abused children. The following instruments (all but two of which are from the Sex Offender Assessment Pack) were included in the assessment protocol: the Personal Reactivity Index, the Interpersonal Reaction Inventory, the Assertiveness Inventory, the Locus of Control Inventory, the UCLA Emotional Loneliness Scale, the Self-Esteem Inventory, the Victim Empathy Scale, the Children and Sex Scale, the SHAPS Lie Scale, the Multiphasic Sex Inventory, and the NEO Personality Inventory-Revised. Groups were compared on dependent variables using analysis of variance with post hoc comparisons for interval scale variables and found to differ significantly on 11 of 18 variables. Clerical offenders were more conscientious than lay offenders, and were more agreeable, more empathically concerned, and reported greater social sexual desirability than normal controls. But they also had lower self-esteem than the normal control group. The lay offenders had greater neuroticism, less extraversion, less openness, more agreeableness, greater emotional loneliness, more empathic concern, more personal distress, lower self-esteem, less assertiveness, and social sexual desirability than normal controls. In addition to the ANOVAs a multivariate discriminant analysis (MDA) was completed to identify which set of dependent variables best predicted group membership. The MDA identified 2 discriminant functions that predicted group membership of 72% of participants. Function 1 which accounted for 76% of the variance, distinguished clerical and lay offenders from normal controls and included these variables: agreeableness, self-esteem, openness, social sexual desirability, extraversion, personal distress and neuroticism. Function 2, which accounted for 23% of the variance, distinguished clerical offenders from the other two groups and included these variables: under assertiveness, conscientiousness, empathic concern and emotional loneliness.

Department of Clinical Psychology, The University of Hull
Carr, Alan, 1957-
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