This study investigated attachment, intimacy, and anxiety related to interpersonal interactions, in offenders convicted of Internet child pornography (ICP), other sexual offenders, and non-offenders.Methods.
The sample of 162 male participants comprised 32 ICP offenders, 32 matched child sexual offenders, 31 matched adult sexual offenders, 20 offenders convicted of both ICP and an offline sexual offence, and 47 community controls who reported that they had not been convicted of any sexual offences.Results.
The ICP group reported significantly less secure attachment than non-offenders and both the matched child and adult sexual offenders. Both the ICP group and the group convicted of an ICP offence in addition to an offline sexual offence reported a significantly more fearful attachment style and a more negative view of themselves than non-offenders. The ICP group also reported a more negative view of themselves than both of the matched sexual offender groups. Finally, the ICP group reported more social avoidance and distress than non-offenders.Conclusions.
Despite a small sample size these findings provide insights into the cohort of offenders convicted of ICP and their similarities/differences to other sexual offenders.