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Comparing the perceptions of professionals on overall sexual offending risk
The current study will be looking at overall sexual risk perceptions of professionals who assess and treat sexual offenders. The participants will be members of the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA), who will be asked to complete an online survey comprised of a vignette and a questionnaire. The vignette will describe a person who has offended sexually and will include one of three levels of risk (i.e., low, moderate, high). The questionnaire will also be comprised of basic questions about the participant, their role in conducting risk assessments, and their attitudes and individual characteristics. The survey will attempt to address three separate questions. First, we will be looking at how different risk categories are perceived. Second, participants will be asked about the intensity of treatment that they believe should be assigned to a given level of risk. Finally, the survey will examine the relationship between their perceptions and their political attitudes, general views on sexual offenders, and punitive attitudes of the participants. The findings from this study may provide insight into treatment providers’ perceptions of risk and how this may influence predictions of reoffending and treatment decisions, such as allocation of services. Their perceptions may also be associated with specific characteristics and traits, which will also be examined and may identify reason for these perceptions.
Discipline: Psychology Honours
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Sandy Jung