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Sex Offending Viewed Through the Lens of Self-Regulation: A Theory and Preliminary Findings

Stinson, J.D., S.B. Robbins, and C.W. Crow. (2011). Self-regulatory deficits as predictors of sexual, aggressive, and self-harm behaviors in a psychiatric sex offender population. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 38(9), 885-895.

By Lori Whitten, Staff Writer, RTI, International, Rockville, MD


Most people are able to exert control over their own feelings, thoughts, and actions. But some are more successful at mastering these “self-regulatory” skills than others. In the main feature, “Sex Offending ViewNIC_Stinson SexOffenders_v2ed Through the Lens of Self-Regulation: A Theory and Preliminary Findings,” researcher Jill D. Stinson, Ph.D., of East Tennessee State University, presents a new theory about how sex offending develops, noting that many sex offenders have great difficulty self-regulating their emotions, cognitions, and interpersonal relationships. For example, she says, they get angry more easily and have greater difficulty coping with intense emotions than others do. In many cases they have been abused or neglected themselves. In reaction, they begin to adopt maladaptive coping strategies, using sex or aggression to deal with their anger and frustration.

Stinson and colleagues have written a treatment manual based on their “multi-modal self-regulation theory” of sex offending. It is designed to help therapists teach patients to self-monitor, build an awareness of their self-regulatory difficulties, and use adaptive skills to develop healthy coping strategies.  

Posted Mon, Sep 9 2013 9:05 AM by Tracey Vessels


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