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Aggressive Offenders' Cognition: Theory, Research and Practice

Theresa A. Gannon (Editor), Tony Ward (Co-Editor), Anthony R. Beech (Co-Editor), Dawn Fisher (Co-Editor)
ISBN: 978-0-470-03401-9
296 pages
November 2007
Aggressive Offenders


The book focuses specifically on aggressive offenders and is divided into two parts. Part I deals with sexual abusers whilst Part II is concerned with violent offenders. Each part discusses theory, latest research and treatment related information. Emphasis is placed on discussing cognition in context i.e. identifying the factors impacting upon and related to offenders’ cognition.
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Table of Contents

About the Editors ix

List of Contributors xi

Series Editors’ Preface xv

Preface xix

Acknowledgements xxi

Introduction 1
Theresa A. Gannon, Tony Ward, Anthony R. Beech and Dawn Fisher


1 The Cognitive Distortions and Implicit Theories of Child Sexual Abusers 11
Joanne Thakker, Tony Ward and Shruti Navathe

2 The Implicit Theories of Rapists and Sexual Murderers 31
Dawn Fisher and Anthony R. Beech

3 Cognitive Distortions as Belief, Value and Action Judgments 53
Tony Ward, Kirsten Keown and Theresa A. Gannon

4 Child Sexual Abuse-Related Cognition: Current Research 71
Theresa A. Gannon and Jane Wood

5 Rape-Related Cognition: Current Research 91
Calvin M. Langton

6 Changing Child Sexual Abusers’ Cognition 117
Christopher Dean, Ruth E. Mann, Rebecca Milner and Shadd Maruna

7 Cognitive Treatment “Just for Rapists”: Recent Developments 135
Lynne Eccleston and Karen Owen


8 Theoretical Explanations of Aggression and Violence 157
Marc A. Sestir and Bruce Bartholow

9 Violence-Related Cognition: Current Research 179
Rachael M. Collie, James Vess and Sharlene Murdoch

10 Moral Cognition and Aggression 199
Emma J. Palmer

11 Treatments for Angry Aggression 215
Clive R. Hollin and Claire A. J. Bloxsom

12 Alcohol and Aggressive Cognition 231
Mary McMurran

13 The Cognition of Domestic Abusers: Explanations, Evidence and Treatment 247
Elizabeth Gilchrist

Index 267

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Author Information

Theresa A. Gannon, DPhil, CPsychol, is Lecturer in Forensic Psychology at the University of Kent, United Kingdom, and also works in a practical setting, one day a week, at the Trevor Gibbens Unit Forensic Psychiatry Services, Kent, UK. Her research interests include the examination of cognition in child sexual abusers, rapists and violent offenders using experimental techniques. She is lead investigator on two funded projects investigating the cognition of offenders. One is investigating the existence of offence-supportive schema in women sexual abusers and the other is the development of a pictorial cognitive test for adolescent offenders. Theresa is also interested in public attitudes towards offending populations and models of offender rehabilitation.

Tony Ward, PhD, DipClinPsyc, is Director of the Clinical Psychology Programme at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. His research interests include the offence process in offenders, cognitive distortions and models of rehabilitation. He has published over 200 research articles, chapters and books. These include Remaking Relapse Prevention, with D. R Laws and S. M. Hudson (Sage, 2000), Sourcebook of Treatment Programs for Sexual Offenders, with W. L. Marshall, Y. A. Fernandez, and S. M. Hudson (Plenum, 1998), and Theories of Sexual Offending, with D. L. L. Polaschek and A. R. Beech (WIley, 2005).

Anthony R. Beech, PhD, CPsychol, is a professor of criminological psychology at the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom, and a Fellow of the British Psychological Society. Over the last 10 years he has been involved in treatment evaluation and the development of systems to look at treatment need and treatment change in sex offenders. He has written widely on these topics and other related subjects.

Dawn Fisher, PhD, is Head of Psychological Services at Llanarth Court Psychiatric Hospital, Raglan, Wales and is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham. Her current research interests are risk assessment, sexual offenders’ perspectives on treatment, treatment of adult and adolescent sexual offenders and the use of equine assisted psychotherapy. She has published widely in the area of sexual offending.

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