Although there has been much speculation about the relationship between cognitive distortions and denial/minimization, little research on the subject is available. The authors conducted secondary analyses on existing data sets to further examine the degree of association between various measures of cognitive distortions and denial/minimization among child molesters (Sample 1, n = 73; Sample 2, n = 42; Sample 3, n = 38) and rapists (Sample 1, n = 41; Sample 3, n = 14). Meta-analysis of the findings from Samples 1, 2, and 3 indicated that greater endorsement of cognitive distortions about sex offending in general was significantly associated with greater denial/minimization of one's own guilt and deviance (r = .24), harm to one's own victims (r = .32), one's need for treatment (r = .21), and responsibility for one's sex offenses (r = .16). Although correlated, cognitive distortions and denial/minimization, at least as typically measured, are distinct constructs.

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Keywords child molesters, cognitive distortions, denial, meta-analysis, minimization, rapists, sex offenders
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Journal Sexual Abuse: Journal of Research and Treatment
Nunes, K, & Jung, S. (Sandy). (2013). Are Cognitive Distortions Associated With Denial and Minimization Among Sex Offenders?. Sexual Abuse: Journal of Research and Treatment, 25(2), 166–188. doi:10.1177/1079063212453941