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Impact of a brief education on stigma related to sexual intrusive thoughts about children.

Porter, Terri K. (2017) Impact of a brief education on stigma related to sexual intrusive thoughts about children. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey.

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Background: Individuals with OCD tend to delay help seeking due to fear of stigma, particularly individuals who experience sexual intrusive thoughts. Few studies have examined sexual intrusive thoughts about children (sometimes called pedophile-OCD). The current study assessed the effectiveness of a brief education intervention in reducing stigma towards a person experiencing such thoughts. Method: 120 participants took part in an online survey. Participants were shown a vignette describing a target individual who experienced sexual intrusive thoughts about a child. Participants completed stigma measures (perceived dangerousness, perceived unpredictability, and desired social distance), and assigned a diagnostic label before and after being shown educational information about OCD and Pedophilic Disorder. Participants also completed six open-ended questions about their decision making. Results: Ninety participants (75%) assigned an initial diagnosis of pedophilia. Following the education, more than half of these changed their diagnosis from pedophilia. A McNemar’s test demonstrated that a significant number of individuals moved away from a pedophilia diagnosis post education. Paired comparison tests demonstrated that perceived dangerousness and desired social distance from the target decreased significantly following the intervention. Repeated measures ANOVA demonstrated that the group of participants who moved away from an initial pedophilia diagnosis showed a greater decrease in stigma ratings than those who did not. Discussion: Based on the mere presence of a sexual thought about a child, most individuals assigned a label of pedophilia. However, initial judgments and level of stigma were amenable to significant change following a brief education intervention. Future research may benefit from examining the experiences of people with pedophile-OCD directly as well as ascertaining the most effective style of psycho-education materials to promote anti-stigma messages.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors :
Porter, Terri K.
Date : 29 September 2017
Funders : NA
Contributors :
Depositing User : Terri Porter
Date Deposited : 02 Oct 2017 08:28
Last Modified : 09 Nov 2018 16:39

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