New publication in the Journal of Child Sexual Abuse. A collaboration between Dr. Alexander and her Auburn University colleagues as part of Megan Harrelson's thesis.
Abstract: The current study examined the relationship among self-disclosure of illegal sexual behaviors and two conceptually relevant constructs in psychotherapy: childhood polyvictimization (i.e., cumulative types of victimization experienced during childhood) and caregiver attachment. Participants consisted of 63 adolescent males participating in mandated treatment for illegal sexual behavior. Childhood polyvictimization and caregiver attachment were expected to predict self-disclosure of illegal sexual behaviors. Quality of caregiver attachment was also expected to mediate the relationship between polyvictimization and disclosure. Consistent with our main hypothesis, results indicate that quality of caregiver attachment mediated the relationship between childhood polyvictimization and self-disclosure of illegal sexual behaviors in psychotherapy. The current findings highlight the impact of polyvictimization on important therapeutic processes as well as the importance of assessing for multiple types of victimization in adolescents who engage in illegal sexual behavior. Further clinical implications regarding the use of trauma-informed approaches during sex offender treatment are discussed.