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Is sexual offender denial related to sex offence risk and recidivism? A review and treatment implications

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The present article reviews literature pertaining to denial among sexual offenders and its impact on sexual recidivism and treatment progress. It is concluded that the research does not convincingly demonstrate that denial is a risk factor for re-offending, nor that targeting denial in treatment is associated with improved treatment outcomes. It is argued that denial be viewed instead as a responsivity factor and as a cognitive distortion process that is common among sexual offenders, and that efforts be made to retain these individuals in treatment such that they may potentially reduce their likelihood to re-offend. Suggestions for addressing denial clinically in treatment are made.
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Keywords: denial; sexual offenders; treatment of sexual offenders

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Cabot Consulting and Research Services, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Publication date: February 1, 2009

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