The relationship between schemas and offence supportive attitudes in mentally disordered sexual offenders



Rebecca Szlachcic, Simone Fox, Clare Conway, Alex Lord & Alison Christie

Journal of Sexual Aggression: An international, interdisciplinary forum for research, theory and practice

October 2014



The study of schemas in sexual offenders is a relatively new approach in attempts to understand the deviant beliefs and attitudes of sexual offenders. Emerging findings suggest that offence supportive attitudes may be the product of an offender's underlying schemas. This study aims to establish the relationship between offence supportive attitudes and schemas in a sample of mentally disordered sexual offenders (MDSOs). Thirty-one male sexual offenders held within low through high security forensic mental health units were assessed using the Young Schema Questionnaire - Short Version 3 and the Questionnaire on Attitudes Consistent with Sex Offending. Correlational analyses suggested a pattern of relationships in which Insufficient Self-control, Entitlement and Enmeshment arose as the schemas associated with most offence supportive attitudes. This supports a relationship between schemas and offence supportive attitudes in MDSOs and is consistent with the literature to date. Implications for further research and treatment are considered.









Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee