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Can adult offenders with intellectual disabilities use mindfulness-based procedures to control their deviant sexual arousal?

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Adults with intellectual disability who commit sexual offences against children are prosecuted and sometimes diverted to mental health facilities for training and treatment. Of the few treatment modalities used with this population, cognitive-behavioral approaches appear to hold most promise. In a preliminary study, we assessed whether three adult sexual offenders with intellectual disability could learn to control their deviant sexual arousal. Using a multiple-baseline design, we evaluated the individuals' ability to use self-control methods, Meditation on the Soles of the Feet, and a Mindful Observation of Thoughts meditation procedure to control their deviant sexual arousal when given relevant printed stimulus materials. Our data show that the individuals were minimally successful when they used their own self-control strategies, more effective with Meditation on the Soles of the Feet, and most effective with Mindful Observation of Thoughts meditation. We discuss the limitations of the study, as well as some reasons why mindfulness-based procedures may be worthy of future investigation for adult sexual offenders with intellectual disability.

Keywords: Adult sexual offenders with intellectual disability; Meditation on the Soles of the Feet; Mindful Observation of Thoughts; cognitive behavior therapy; deviant sexual arousal; self-control

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: ONE Research Institute, Midlothian, VA, USA 2: Department of Psychology, University of Bari, Bari, Italy 3: School of Psychology, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand 4: Department of Psychology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, USA 5: Department of Psychology, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA, USA

Publication date: 2011-02-01

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