Date of Submission
Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)
Robert A DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP, Chair, Department of Psychology
Elizabeth Gosch, PhD, ABPP, Chairperson
Petra Kottsieper, PhD
Robert Gill, EdD
This study examined the relationship between cognitive distortions, risk to sexually re-offend, and length of time in treatment, and psychopathy. This study investigated differential treatment effects across three different treatment modalities to gain a better understanding of cognitive distortions in the treatment of adolescent sexual offenders. Literature has theorized that a fundamental aspect of sex offender treatment is addressing these cognitive distortions. Archival data from an existing database were collected from 99 adolescent males between the ages of 12 and 18. Of these adolescents, 51.5% were Caucasian; 28.3% were Latino; 10% were African American; 8.1% were Bi-racial, and 2% were Asian. At Time One, adolescents were administered the PCL: YV, ICD, and the JSOAP-II. At Time Two, three months following the first administration of the ICD, adolescents were re-administered the ICD and the dynamic factors on the JSOAP-II. Correlational analyses examined the relationship between cognitive distortions, psychopathy and risk to sexually re-offend; it also examined the relationship between change in levels of cognitive distortions, change in level of risk to re-offend sexually, and length of time in treatment. Analyses revealed a strong positive correlation between psychopathy and risk to re-offend sexually, and a strong positive correlation between change in levels of endorsed cognitive distortions and length of time in treatment. An analysis of covariance examined differential treatment effects on cognitive distortions based on treatment modality. When the variance accounted for by length of time in treatment and initial endorsements of cognitive distortions was removed and controlled, there were no differential treatment effects on cognitive distortions based on treatment modality. It is a matter of critical importance to gain a better understanding of the function of cognitive distortions in sex offending behavior. Research targeting their roles can pave the way for developing better measures of assessment and standardized treatment protocols.
Haldaman, Christina D., "The Relationship Between Cognitive Distortions and Risk to Sexually Re-offend in Adolescents: Comparing Three Levels of Treatment" (2012). PCOM Psychology Dissertations. 249.