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Social cognition in violent and sexual offending: an overview

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The main aim of this review is to provide a broad overview of social-cognitive theory and research applied to violent and sexual offending behaviour. The review suggests that there is some variation in the adoption of social-cognitive theory and methods to differing offending behaviours. The violent offending literature, for example, has many examples of novel social-cognitive research methods used to examine the cognitions of highly aggressive men while the child sexual offending literature has very few examples of such social-cognitive techniques. The advantages of adopting a social-cognitive perspective to differing offending behaviours is examined and discussed alongside suggestions for future research in the social-cognitive domain.
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Keywords: child molester; rapist; sexual offender; social-cognitive; violent offender

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Psychology Department, University of Kent, Canterbury, UK

Publication date: February 1, 2009

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