Childhood Experiences of Perpetrators of Child Sexual Abuse

Authors

  • Sandra P. Thomas PhD, RN, FAAN,

    Corresponding author
    1. Sandra P. Thomas, PhD, RN, FAAN, is Professor and Chair, PhD Program in Nursing, University of Tennessee, College of Nursing, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Kenneth Phillips, PhD, RN, is Associate Dean for Research, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Kelly Carlson, MSN, RN, is a PhD student, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Elizabeth Shieh, BS, BSN, is a PhD student, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Elizabeth Kirkwood, MSN, FNP, maintains a clinical practice at Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Linda Cabage, MSN, APN-BC, maintains a clinical practice at Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; and Julie Worley, MS, RN, FNP-BC, PMHNP, is a PhD student, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA.
      sthomas@utk.edu, with a copy to the Editor: gpearson@uchc.edu
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  • Kenneth Phillips PhD, RN,

    1. Sandra P. Thomas, PhD, RN, FAAN, is Professor and Chair, PhD Program in Nursing, University of Tennessee, College of Nursing, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Kenneth Phillips, PhD, RN, is Associate Dean for Research, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Kelly Carlson, MSN, RN, is a PhD student, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Elizabeth Shieh, BS, BSN, is a PhD student, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Elizabeth Kirkwood, MSN, FNP, maintains a clinical practice at Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Linda Cabage, MSN, APN-BC, maintains a clinical practice at Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; and Julie Worley, MS, RN, FNP-BC, PMHNP, is a PhD student, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA.
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  • Kelly Carlson MSN, RN,

    1. Sandra P. Thomas, PhD, RN, FAAN, is Professor and Chair, PhD Program in Nursing, University of Tennessee, College of Nursing, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Kenneth Phillips, PhD, RN, is Associate Dean for Research, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Kelly Carlson, MSN, RN, is a PhD student, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Elizabeth Shieh, BS, BSN, is a PhD student, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Elizabeth Kirkwood, MSN, FNP, maintains a clinical practice at Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Linda Cabage, MSN, APN-BC, maintains a clinical practice at Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; and Julie Worley, MS, RN, FNP-BC, PMHNP, is a PhD student, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA.
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  • Elizabeth Shieh BS, BSN,

    1. Sandra P. Thomas, PhD, RN, FAAN, is Professor and Chair, PhD Program in Nursing, University of Tennessee, College of Nursing, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Kenneth Phillips, PhD, RN, is Associate Dean for Research, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Kelly Carlson, MSN, RN, is a PhD student, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Elizabeth Shieh, BS, BSN, is a PhD student, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Elizabeth Kirkwood, MSN, FNP, maintains a clinical practice at Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Linda Cabage, MSN, APN-BC, maintains a clinical practice at Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; and Julie Worley, MS, RN, FNP-BC, PMHNP, is a PhD student, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA.
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  • Elizabeth Kirkwood MSN, FNP,

    1. Sandra P. Thomas, PhD, RN, FAAN, is Professor and Chair, PhD Program in Nursing, University of Tennessee, College of Nursing, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Kenneth Phillips, PhD, RN, is Associate Dean for Research, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Kelly Carlson, MSN, RN, is a PhD student, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Elizabeth Shieh, BS, BSN, is a PhD student, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Elizabeth Kirkwood, MSN, FNP, maintains a clinical practice at Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Linda Cabage, MSN, APN-BC, maintains a clinical practice at Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; and Julie Worley, MS, RN, FNP-BC, PMHNP, is a PhD student, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA.
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  • Linda Cabage MSN, APN-BC,

    1. Sandra P. Thomas, PhD, RN, FAAN, is Professor and Chair, PhD Program in Nursing, University of Tennessee, College of Nursing, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Kenneth Phillips, PhD, RN, is Associate Dean for Research, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Kelly Carlson, MSN, RN, is a PhD student, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Elizabeth Shieh, BS, BSN, is a PhD student, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Elizabeth Kirkwood, MSN, FNP, maintains a clinical practice at Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Linda Cabage, MSN, APN-BC, maintains a clinical practice at Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; and Julie Worley, MS, RN, FNP-BC, PMHNP, is a PhD student, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA.
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  • Julie Worley PhD student, MS, RN, FNP-BC, PMHNP

    1. Sandra P. Thomas, PhD, RN, FAAN, is Professor and Chair, PhD Program in Nursing, University of Tennessee, College of Nursing, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Kenneth Phillips, PhD, RN, is Associate Dean for Research, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Kelly Carlson, MSN, RN, is a PhD student, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Elizabeth Shieh, BS, BSN, is a PhD student, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Elizabeth Kirkwood, MSN, FNP, maintains a clinical practice at Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Linda Cabage, MSN, APN-BC, maintains a clinical practice at Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; and Julie Worley, MS, RN, FNP-BC, PMHNP, is a PhD student, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA.
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  • Conflict of Interest Statement

  • None of the authors has a conflict of interest or financial disclosure.

sthomas@utk.edu, with a copy to the Editor: gpearson@uchc.edu

Abstract

PURPOSE:  This study explored the childhood experiences of perpetrators of child sexual abuse.

DESIGN AND METHODS:  A blend of narrative inquiry and phenomenology was employed. Interviews were conducted with 23 community-dwelling perpetrators (21 males, 2 females). The education of participants ranged from GED to PhD.

FINDINGS:  There were four types of narratives: There Was No Love; Love Left; Love Was Conflated With Sex; and a Pretty Good Childhood. Chronic sorrow for a painful childhood was evident in most participants.

PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS:  Cognitive-behavioral treatment may not be optimal for all perpetrators because it is not designed to facilitate recovery from early trauma and loss.

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