Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Mock Jurors' Perceptions of Defendants Charged with Sexual Abuse
by Reiff, Erica C., Psy.D., The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, 2019, 82; 13903040
Abstract (Summary)

Much of our society has inaccurate information about intellectual disabilities, the different characteristics of sex offenders, the variety of crimes that constitute sex offense, and the treatment options available to sex offenders. Americans with Intellectual Disabilities (ID) are aware of the stigma they face and must overcome every day. As issues pertaining to mental health have become more publicly acknowledged, individuals with intellectual disabilities are gaining awareness of and trying to overcome this stigma on a daily basis. Another frequently stigmatized group is sex offenders as many members in our society do not consider the person behind the sex offender label. However, the age of the sex offender may allow some individuals beliefs to somewhat deviate from this stigma for a variety of reasons such as parental involvement and responsibility and their developmental level. Nonetheless, the generally negative perception of sex offenders, combined with the negative perception of those with an intellectual disability, could place defendants with an intellectual disability who are accused of a sexual offense at a disadvantage due to the negative perception of both. This study was a survey of potential jurors examine the effect of age and intellectual disability in the context of jurors’ perceptions of defendants and victims in sexual abuse cases. Participants included 292 US citizens who are jury-eligible. Each participant was assigned to one of four scenarios describing a sexual assault followed by questions based on each specific scenario. A 2 × 2 χ2 analysis was conducted but did not yield any significant findings. While no definitive conclusions could be drawn from this study, the open-ended questions did provide some ideas for future studies.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Gadzichowski, K. Marinka
Commitee: Sharpless, Brian A.
School: The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
Department: Clinical Psychology
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: DAI-A 81/4(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Clinical psychology, Disability studies, Law
Keywords: Adults, Intellectual disabilties, Juveniles, Mock jurors, Sex offenders
Publication Number: 13903040
ISBN: 9781687912114
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