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Self-Views in Twenty Young Men Who Were Identified as Sexual Offenders in Adolescence: A Mixed-Method Study

Journal article
Authors Sara Ingevaldson
Anneli Goulding
Inga Tidefors
Published in Sexual Offender Treatment
Volume 12
Issue 1
ISSN 1862-2941
Publication year 2017
Published at Department of Psychology
Language en
Keywords Self-View; Being identified as a sexual offender; Mixed-Method; Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale
Subject categories Psychology


Background/Aim: A positive view of oneself is important for most people, whereas a negative view can have serious consequences. For those who have committed acts that hurt their view of themselves it might be difficult to develop a positive self-view. Here, self-views in 20 men identified as adolescent sexual offenders were explored in a mixed methods study using interviews and the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES). Methods: The interviews were coded by content analysis to find all utterances reflecting participants' views of themselves. These utterances were then grouped to indicate either positive or negative self-views; each group included seven sub-categories. Total scores for the RSES, and for its two sub-scales self-competence (assessment of qualities), and self-liking (personal value based on self-understanding and acceptance) were calculated. Results: Results showed that 19 participants rated themselves within or above the normative range and generally rated their self-competence higher than their self-liking. The men seemed to rate their self-esteem based on who they hoped they were now, but contradictory views of themselves arose in the interviews. Conclusions: The findings from this study support the idea that using both a questionnaire and an interview provide more information than any of these approaches on their own. For this reason we suggest that self-ratings need to be complemented by interviews, especially in clinical groups. Also, clinicians need to be aware of the discrepancy between self-rated capability and narrated self-worth when treating those who have been identified as sexual offenders.

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