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The cognitive errors and coping patterns of child molesters as assessed by external observers: a pilot study
Open Criminology Journal
Cognitive errors (CE) and coping strategies (CS) are the focus of most cognitive-behavioral treatments for incarcerated child molesters. Several studies have reported differences in CEs and CSs between child molesters and controls. However, the vast majority of these studies assessed cognitive errors and coping using questionnaires, which are known to present a number of important limitations. This pilot study aimed to compare the CEs and CSs of N = 17 incarcerated child abusers and N = 12 controls using observer-rated methods, namely the Cognitive Error Rating Scale (CERS; Drapeau et al., 2005) and the Coping Action Pattern Rating Scale (CAPRS; Perry, Drapeau, & Dunkley, 2005). Results showed that child molesters presented more cognitive errors, in particular positive selective abstraction, and lower coping functioning, such as escape strategies. Treatment and research implications, including the use of observer-rated methods, are discussed.
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