The measurment of the cognitive distortions of child molesters

Gene G. Abel, David K. Gore, C. L. Holland, Nancy Camps, Judith V. Becker, Jerry Rathner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

270 Scopus citations


Two hundred and forty child molester paraphiliacs, 48 non-child molesting paraphiliacs and 86 non-paraphiliacs were administered a 29 item Likert scale of statements designed to determine: 1) if cognitive distortions concerning child molestation exist among child molesters and (2) if child molesters can be discriminated from non-child molesters by assessing their cognitive distortions. Factor analysis yielded six factors covering the general area of child molestation being harmful to the child. The factors were reliable and successfully separated child molesters from non-child molesters. Results confirmed that child molesters not only vary from non-child molesters by their behavior with children, but also by their cognitions or beliefs about the consequence of their child molestation behavior on the child.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-152
Number of pages18
JournalAnnals of Sex Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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