Mapping Child Molester Treatment Progress with the FoSOD: Denial and Explanations of Accountability

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FoSOD, denial, measurement, self-report, treatment progress, accountability, responsibility, explanations

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A continuing challenge in the treatment of sexual offenders involves the identification of measurement instruments that can be used to monitor treatment progress. This paper provides evidence that the Facets of Sexual Offender Denial (FoSOD; pronounced “façade”) Scale maps critical aspects of treatment progress, yet avoids problems typically associated with self-report measures. Fifty-three child molesters completed the FoSOD twice with an 18-month interval between administrations. The Time 1 and Time 2 FoSOD scores were analyzed as a function of advancement through a court-sanctioned sexual offender treatment program. Results demonstrated not only that advancement in treatment corresponded with predictable changes in FoSOD scores, but also that FoSOD component scores, representing denial associated with refutation, minimization and depersonalization of the offense, revealed critical patterns indicative of the issues with which offenders contend at various points within treatment. These results are discussed within a conceptual framework that recognizes the relationships between denial in its various forms and the explanations that offenders develop to limit their accountability for alleged offenses, associated thoughts or behaviors, and deviant predispositions.

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Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, v. 16, issue 2, p. 85-105