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Title: The lived experiences of professionals working with child sex offenders : a phenomenological study
Authors: Spiteri, John (2020)
Keywords: Sex offenders -- Malta
Child molesters -- Malta
Child molesters -- Rehabilitation -- Malta
Imprisonment -- Malta
Issue Date: 2020
Citation: Spiteri, J. (2020). The lived experiences of professionals working with child sex offenders: a phenomenological study (Master's dissertation).
Abstract: This study aimed at understanding the lived experiences of professionals who work with child sex offenders. To achieve this aim, the following objectives were devised: 1) to understand the phenomenon of child abuse; 2) to explore the meanings that professionals place on their experiences of working with child sex offenders and; 3) to explore the professionals’ views about the lived experiences of child sex offenders both in and out of prison. The qualitative research approach was deemed to be most appropriate to answer the research question. Data was generated using a self-designed, semi-structured interview schedule. A one-time, face-to-face in-depth interview was conducted with eight purposively selected professionals who work directly with child sex offenders. Interviews were audio-recorded for transcription purposes with the participants’ consent. All ethical considerations were duly adhered to. Vicarious traumatisation theory and the phases of impact theory were used as theoretical frameworks to guide this research. Interpretative phenomenological analysis was used during the data collection and data analysis phases. Findings from this study highlighted the lived experiences of professionals working with child sex offenders. The findings of this study elicited four super-ordinate themes which included the ‘challenge accepted’ to work with child sex offenders, ‘too much on the plate’ while highlighting the stresses involved while working with these offenders, ‘beat the game’ which presented the positive attributes of doing this work and ‘from the inside looking in’ where participants were allowed to reflect on the current situation of these offenders’ experiences in prison whilst proposing ways forward. The results of this study revealed that although professionals receive various forms of support, it is not enough as their work is generally stressful. Participants identified the need to increase their training opportunities as well as to enhance the networks between the various groups of professionals that work with child sex offenders. Therefore, it is being recommended that training increases and multi-disciplinary networks are enhanced. This study also identified the need to improve policy related to child sex offenders. Their life in prison can be improved by decreasing the fear of violence. Finally, introducing rehabilitative programs specifically tailored for child sex offenders is favourable for them and ultimately for society at large as it reduces re-offending. Given the limited number of research studies available on this topic, it is recommended that more research is conducted in this regard.
Description: M.A.CRIMINOLOGY
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacSoW - 2020
Dissertations - FacSoWCri - 2020

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