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The cognitive distortions of child molesters are in need of treatment

Ó Ciardha, Caoilte, Gannon, Theresa A. (2011) The cognitive distortions of child molesters are in need of treatment. Journal of Sexual Aggression, 17 (2). pp. 130-141. ISSN 1355-2600. (doi:10.1080/13552600.2011.580573) (KAR id:28142)

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This paper forms the second part of a debate led by Marshall, Marshall, and Kingston (2011) regarding the need to address so-called cognitive distortions in sexual offender treatment. In their paper, Marshall et al. argue that so-called cognitive distortions may not necessarily require intense and focused attention or challenge throughout treatment. In evaluating Marshall et al.'s arguments, we highlight some inherent differences in how both Marshall et al. and ourselves choose to define the term "cognitive distortion". We surmise that these key definitional differences appear to account for many of the issues that we "debate". In particular, for example, Marshall et al. focus their arguments regarding cognitive distortions more explicitly upon excuses, denial and minimisations, whereas we choose to focus upon schemas and higher-order belief structures. Thus, we argue that the broadness and vagueness of the term "cognitive distortion" can lend itself to quite different interpretations and research foci. We offer some alternative views to Marshall et al.'s position and advocate the consideration of cognitions with an aetiological role in offending. We conclude with some suggestions for future research and treatment.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1080/13552600.2011.580573
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Theresa Gannon
Date Deposited: 08 Sep 2011 10:56 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 10:06 UTC
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