Development and preliminary evaluation of a questionnaire on cognitions related to sex offending for use with individuals who have mild intellectual disabilities

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BackgroundA number of authors note that distorted cognitions may play a significant role in sex offending behaviour in both the people with intellectual disability (ID) and general populations. However, no scales have been specifically developed for use with individuals with ID. To date, there is no valid, reliable, self-report questionnaire that assesses cognitive factors in these individuals. This paper aims to develop a valid, reliable self-report questionnaire to assess antisocial attitudes consistent with sex offending behaviour in individuals who have mild ID.MethodsSeventeen male individuals with ID who had sexually offended were compared with two non-sex offender groups: 19 males with and 36 males without ID. The Questionnaire on Attitudes Consistent with Sex Offending (QACSO) measure was used to establish sexual attitudes in the three groups. The reliability and validity of the QACSO was examined.ResultsThe groups were compared and results demonstrated that the QACSO is a promising tool in terms of providing an internally consistent, reliable and valid indicator of cognitive distortions/attitudes held by sex offenders with ID.ConclusionsThe limitations, suggestions for modification, potential uses of the questionnaire and directions for further research are proposed.

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