Date of Award

Spring 6-2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department/Program

Forensic Psychology

Language

English

First Advisor

Elizabeth Jeglic

Second Reader

Cynthia Calkins

Third Advisor

Gabrielle Salfati

Abstract

Child molesters have been a key focus of public fear so much that many policies have been created that focus on reducing public panic rather than being supported by empirical evidence. Knowing the psychological motivations and patterns of this particular population is important in order to advance research that can affect future investigations, policies and laws concerning the safety of the public. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the use of crime scene characteristics can accurately predict child molester typology using the MTC:CM3 Axis I Fixation and Social Competence levels. The crime scene characteristics: control methods (use of threat or weapons), violence, and location (whether offense was in a child-dense location or not) were used in order to predict high or low levels on both the MTC Fixation and MTC Social Competence scale. It was hypothesized that those with higher levels of fixation and lower levels of social competence would be more likely to use control methods, violence, and choose a child dense location for the offense than those with lower levels of fixation and higher levels of social competence. Archival data from 439 child molesters was gathered and coded from offender files in a state prison system. Two binary logistic regressions were performed and results indicated that these did not predict MTC Fixation and MTC Social Competence levels, thus would not aide in the prediction of child molester typology. Future research should examine additional variables as well as the entirety of the MTC:CM3 scale in order to obtain more information that can aid in the use of crime scene characteristics as predictors for child molester typologies.

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