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Desistance From Sexual Offending: Behavioral Change Without Cognitive Transformation

Desistance From Sexual Offending: Behavioral Change Without Cognitive Transformation The treatment and management of sexual offenders has long been focused on risk and recidivism. As a consequence, the phenomenon of desistance from sexual offending has only recently gained research attention. Unsurprisingly, the area of theory building to account for this empirical reality has been slow. Although a number of psychological theories of behavioral change and criminological theories of desistance exist, a comprehensive theoretical understanding of desistance from sexual offending is lacking. A theme common across a number of theories of internal desistance is cognitive transformation and specifically, one’s readiness for and willingness to change. This study tested the relevance of that particular theme for a sample of 45 men convicted of sexual offenses who are living offense-free lives in the community. In contrast to this theme, long-term desistance was observed in most cases in the absence of any initial desire for intervention. The impact of current approaches such as mandatory treatment is discussed and implications for future research and practice are presented. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Interpersonal Violence SAGE

Desistance From Sexual Offending: Behavioral Change Without Cognitive Transformation

Journal of Interpersonal Violence , Volume 32 (20): 22 – Oct 1, 2017

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References (29)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
© The Author(s) 2015
ISSN
0886-2605
eISSN
1552-6518
DOI
10.1177/0886260515596537
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The treatment and management of sexual offenders has long been focused on risk and recidivism. As a consequence, the phenomenon of desistance from sexual offending has only recently gained research attention. Unsurprisingly, the area of theory building to account for this empirical reality has been slow. Although a number of psychological theories of behavioral change and criminological theories of desistance exist, a comprehensive theoretical understanding of desistance from sexual offending is lacking. A theme common across a number of theories of internal desistance is cognitive transformation and specifically, one’s readiness for and willingness to change. This study tested the relevance of that particular theme for a sample of 45 men convicted of sexual offenses who are living offense-free lives in the community. In contrast to this theme, long-term desistance was observed in most cases in the absence of any initial desire for intervention. The impact of current approaches such as mandatory treatment is discussed and implications for future research and practice are presented.

Journal

Journal of Interpersonal ViolenceSAGE

Published: Oct 1, 2017

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