An investigation of child sexual abuse into addictive behaviour

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Magagula, Patricia Phumaphi
Issue Date
MA in Addiction Studies
Dublin Business School
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This study has been mainly concerned with investigating the relationship between individuals who are diagnosed to be addicted and child sexual abuse perpetrators who engage in the behaviour at the same rate addicts engage in their addictive behaviour. However, the study was not concerned with the perpetrators who meet the criteria for paedophilia but those who do not meet this criteria yet sexually abuse children more and more repeatedly. The aim of the study was to find out if it would be possible that these perpetrators may have they developed an addiction to the abusive behaviour. The hypothesis has been that child sexual abuse ("CSA") perpetrators would meet the criteria for addictive behaviour. To get to this conclusion, literature on both addictions and CSA has been consulted, compared, contrasted and evaluated. Commonalities in the personality traits between addicts and CSA perpetrators were also discussed. In addition to the library research of the topic, interviews were conducted with a sample taken from the population of professionals who would deal with the perpetrators and the victims of the CSA at some point in time. In the analysis of the results, the criteria for addictive behaviour were met) thus maintaining the hypothesis. However, since this study has been qualitative, it means that the results were not conclusive but opened a space for further research on the topic. It was also realised that the sample used did not satisfactory represent the desired population. This was mainly due to time constraints and sensitive nature of the issue which made it difficult to obtain samples from perpetrators and victims. Moreover, the use of questionnaires could have made the samples bigger but since the topic has not been researched before, it would have meant that questionnaire questions would have had to be designed and standardised and that would have taken more time. As such, in order for the topic to be better researched, future related studies may do better if they consider the main factors that limited the success of this study.