Associations between trait anger and aggression used in the commission of sexual offenses
Archival data on 110 incarcerated adult sexual offenders were used to examine associations between trait anger and type and level of aggression used in the commission of their sexual offenses. Intrafamilial child molesters (n = 43), extrafamilial child molesters (n = 35), and rapists (n = 32) did not differ in trait anger. In the combined group, significant associations were found between trait anger and verbal aggression, but not between trait anger and physical aggression. Offenders who used threats of death had higher levels of trait anger temperament, anger reaction, and anger directed outward, and lower levels of anger control than those who had used no verbal aggression. The absence of association between trait anger and physical aggression suggests that physical aggression employed in the commission of sexual offenses may be largely instrumental. Implications for engaging sexual offenders in anger management intervention, and for victim resistance to sexual assaults, are considered.
International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology
Copyright 2000 Sage Publications. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. First published in International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology. This journal is available online: http://ijo.sagepub.com/content/vol44/issue5/