Some aspects of social competence in sexual offenders

  • W. L. Marshall
  • H. E. Barbaree
  • Yolanda Maria Fernandez
Clinical Articles

Abstract

Outpatient rapists and child molesters were compared with a socioeconomically similar group of nonoffenders and with a group of university students on various measures of social functioning and in terms of their judgments about actors displaying under-, over-, and appropriately assertive behavior. The child molesters did not differ from the matched community group, with both groups reporting social anxiety, underassertiveness, and low self-esteem. These two groups also judged the unassertive actor to be the most appropriate of the three actors. The rapists thought the overassertive actor was the most appropriate and they also appeared more confident, more assertive, and less anxious than the child molesters. The university students were more socially appropriate, more confident, and less anxious than the other groups, and they made judgments about the actors that were consistent with prosocial expectations. Evidently the model of social functioning that these sexual offenders accepted differed from prosocial expectations, and this, as well as their actual functioning, needs to be addressed in research and treatment.

Key Words

social anxiety sexual offenders social skills training child molesters rapists 

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. L. Marshall
    • 1
  • H. E. Barbaree
    • 2
  • Yolanda Maria Fernandez
    • 1
  1. 1.Queen's University Psychology DepartmentKingstonCanada
  2. 2.Forensic DivisionClarke Institute of PsychiatryTorontoCanada

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