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To change or not to change? An examination of factors related to willingness to change in sex offenders

Stephanie L Bruhn, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Abstract

Assessing sex offender treatment amenability is an important component of making treatment and risk assessment more successful. For the purpose of this paper, treatment amenability is defined as a sexual offender's motivation to enter and be successful in treatment. A range of concepts related to treatment amenability such as psychopathy, empathy, and criminal thinking were reviewed. With limited exception, little research has been performed related to sexual offender's willingness to change. Utilizing Prochaska and DiClemente's (1984) transtheoretical model related to willingness to change, the author proposed an in-depth examination of cognitive and affective factors related to sexual offender decision making regarding entering treatment. It was hypothesized that sex offenders who are more willing to change their behaviors will exhibit lower levels of criminal thinking, more empathy, higher levels of psychopathy, and less perceived coercion to enter treatment. ^ Results of the present study indicated no significant differences in level of empathy, criminal thinking styles, level of psychopathy, or level of perceived coercion between sex offenders classified as less willing to make changes versus those classified as more willing to make changes to their sexually assaultive behaviors. These results suggest that these factors were not valuable in differentiating sex offenders who are less willing to make changes versus those sex offenders who are more willing to make changes to their sexually assaultive behavior. ^

Subject Area

Psychology, Clinical|Sociology, Criminology and Penology

Recommended Citation

Bruhn, Stephanie L, "To change or not to change? An examination of factors related to willingness to change in sex offenders" (2006). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3218191.
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/dissertations/AAI3218191

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