Self-regulation and violent offending
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
Recent advances in the sexual offending area have resulted in the development of a metatheoretical framework which in essence 'knits' previously unrelated theoretical work together under a new framework that accounts for aspects of the phenomenon for which individual theories could not account. Ward and Hudson's (1998) self-regulatory model of the offense process of sexual offending is an exercise in such theory knitting. While a reasonable amount is known regarding the broad variables that are thought to be relevant to the etiology of violence, little if anything is known about the actual processes involved in the execution of the violent behavior as it relates to non-sexual, non-domestic interpersonal violence. These descriptive models of the process have considerable utility in identifying treatment needs. The purpose of the present work is to ascertain the applicability of the self-regulatory model to the offense processes of violent offenders. A review of the literature regarding relapse prevention in sexual offending and self-regulation is followed by an overview of the self-regulation model as it applies to sexual offending. Thereafter is a brief review of available literature regarding violent offending. Analysis of the offense chains of 22 incarcerated men who had offended violently showed that the offense processes of such men closely matched those of men who had offended sexually. Results indicated that while there was considerable overlap between the offense processes described by the men in this study, there were also some points of departure with the self-regulatory model developed to describe these processes in sexual offenders. Further, most participants were insecurely attached and showed significant anger on the STAXI). Suggestions for research and clinical work are briefly described.