Narrative identity among contact versus non-contact sexual offenders




Hamilton, Emma Rae

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The current study explored narrative roles among individuals convicted of a sexual offense. Narrative roles in a criminal context are defined as personal accounts utilized by offenders to justify illegal behavior. The chosen theoretical framework recognized four primary offender roles: Revengeful Mission/Romantic Quest, Professional, Victim, and Tragic Hero. Twenty-three interviews were conducted with sexual offenders (n = 11 contact, n = 12 non-contact) in order to explore and compare narrative roles between contact and non-contact offenders. Interviews were conducted using a phenomenological approach and coded via Framework Analysis, a qualitative data analytic method. Findings revealed a general pattern of narrative themes among offenders, along with a tendency for contact offenders to endorse Revengeful Mission/Romantic Quest narrative roles and non-contact offenders to endorse Tragic Hero narrative roles. Findings suggest that incorporating narrative roles into conceptualization and treatment of sexual offenders may help more effectively tailor treatments.


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