An international group of researchers, led by FCRG member, Dr Hannah Merdian, have recently published research findings relating to the cognitive distortions of child sex offenders.

The abstract for the paper, published in Psychology, Crime & Law, reads:

This study examined the endorsement of cognitive distortions in child pornography offenders (CPOs), using an established assessment tool, the Abel and Becker Cognition Scale. The scale was expanded to include cognitions specific to child pornography offending, extracted from Howitt and Sheldon’s Children and Sexual Activities Inventory (C&SA). Three samples of CPOs, child sex offenders and offenders with both offence types responded to the cognition items. An exploratory Principal Component Analysis suggested six main components of the scale. CPOs were significantly less likely to endorse these statements in general, and this was more pronounced on items that project blame onto the child or other people, describe a need for power and consider children as sexually active. The statements extracted from C&SA did not differentiate between the groups. These findings are discussed under consideration of the relationship between cognitive distortions and contact sex offending, and in reference to the general criticism concerning the definition and appropriate measurement of cognitive distortions

You can access the full paper here:

Alternatively, please contact Dr Merdian ( directly.