Adverse Childhood Experiences Related to Cognitive and Emotional States: A study on Sexual Offenders in Italy and Portugal Cover Image

Adverse Childhood Experiences Related to Cognitive and Emotional States: A study on Sexual Offenders in Italy and Portugal
Adverse Childhood Experiences Related to Cognitive and Emotional States: A study on Sexual Offenders in Italy and Portugal

Author(s): Irene Petruccelli, Giulio D’urso, Silvia Cataldi, Alfredo De Risio, Simona Grilli, Rui Abrunhosa Gonçalves, Marta Sousa, Luciano Lucania, Marino Bonaiuto
Subject(s): Social Sciences, Psychology, Sociology, Cognitive Psychology, Studies in violence and power, Family and social welfare, Victimology
Published by: Expert Projects Publishing
Keywords: cognitive distortions; sex offenders; empathy; psychopathology; adverse experiences;

Summary/Abstract: This study analysed the levels of cognitive distortions and verified whether adverse experiences (e.g., emotional abuse) may influence psychopathological traits, empathy deficits and levels of moral disengagement and cognitive distortions. Participants were 96 sex offenders: 64 participants are Italians and 32 participants are Portuguese studied cross-sectionally. A semistructured interview was administered to collect data about family and social histories, with self-report questionnaires to evaluate psychopathology, empathy, moral disengagement strategies and cognitive distortions. The results showed that about 14% of sexual offenders reported a moderate / severe level of deviance of distorted beliefs relating to children; 28% of the total sample (but 53% of Italians) reported a moderate/severe level of deviance related to cognitive distortions "sexual right". The results also showed how sex offenders who have suffered emotional abuse during their life report higher levels of emotional empathy, depression, anxiety, paranoid ideation, and psychoticism compared to those who have not suffered it. Theoretical and practical implications are provided.

  • Issue Year: 2022
  • Issue No: 76
  • Page Range: 93-110
  • Page Count: 18
  • Language: English