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Child Abuse Negl. 2014 Feb;38(2):336-46. doi: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2013.10.002. Epub 2013 Nov 7.

Correlates of emotional congruence with children in sexual offenders against children: a test of theoretical models in an incarcerated sample.

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  • 1Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Forensic Service, 1001 Queen Street West, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M6J 1H4. Electronic address:
  • 2Carleton University, Department of Psychology, A403 Loeb, 1125 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1S 5B6.
  • 3Correctional Service of Canada, Kingston Penitentiary, 560 King Street West, Kingston, Ontario, Canada K7L 4V7.


Emotional congruence with children is a psychological construct theoretically involved in the etiology and maintenance of sexual offending against children. Research conducted to date has not examined the relationship between emotional congruence with children and other psychological meaningful risk factors for sexual offending against children. The current study derived potential correlates of emotional congruence with children from the published literature and proposed three models of emotional congruence with children that contain relatively unique sets of correlates: the blockage, sexual deviance, and psychological immaturity models. Using Area under the Curve analysis, we assessed the relationship between emotional congruence with children and offense characteristics, victim demographics, and psychologically meaningful risk factors in a sample of incarcerated sexual offenders against children (n=221). The sexual deviance model received the most support: emotional congruence with children was significantly associated with deviant sexual interests, sexual self-regulation problems, and cognition that condones and supports child molestation. The blockage model received partial support, and the immaturity model received the least support. Based on the results, we propose a set of further predictions regarding the relationships between emotional congruence with children and other psychologically meaningful risk factors to be examined in future research.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Blockage; Emotional congruence with children; Psychologically meaningful risk factors; Sexual deviance; Sexual offenders against children

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