Personality characteristics of child molesters: Implications for the fixated-regressed dichotomy
AdvisorKahn, Marvin W.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis study attempts to empirically validate the fixated-regressed typology utilized in the child sexual abuse literature. The sample consisted of 136 consecutive cases of convicted child molesters tried in Pima County, Arizona over a two-year period (1984-1985) for whom case history, MMPI, pre-sentence reports, and police report data were collected prior to sentencing. Application of the criteria defining fixated versus regressed status yielded a unimodal and continuous distribution of child molesters, rather than the bimodal distribution predicted by theory. In a multiple regression analysis, three independent variables, i.e., whether the victim and offender were related, an offender's prior non-sex-criminal record, and offender age, significantly enhanced the accuracy of predicting an offender's degree of regression. Alternative conceptualizations to the fixated-regressed typology are described, and implications for understanding child molesters are discussed.
Degree ProgramGraduate College