Journal of forensic psychiatry & psychology vol:16 issue:3 pages:445-458
This article studies recalled parental bonding, adult attachment style, and personality disorders in child molesters and reports on the findings of two separate studies. The first study examines differences between a group of 84 child molesters and 80 matched normal control subjects. This study found that the antisocial and the schizoid personality disorders are typical for the molester group, and that at an interpersonal level this group can be typified by recollections of an uncaring father and mother, recollections of an elevated level of autonomy emanating from the father, and insecure current attachment patterns. The second study compares a subgroup of personality-disordered child molesters to a subgroup without personality disorders. This study revealed that recollections of the role of the father in parenting are decisive. The personality-disordered group reports that the father was both more uncaring and granted more autonomy. Regarding current adult attachment style, an avoidant and anxious-ambivalent attachment style characterised the disordered subgroup. We argue that the results can be useful for treatment. Since recalled parental experiences play a role in the development of personality disorders and child molestation, psychotherapists should integrate interpersonal tools into treatment, especially in therapeutic work with child molesters who received less parental sensitivity and suffer from personality disorders.