Psychometric Properties of the Questionnaires for Assessing Cognitive Distortions about Sexual Relations with Children



The prevalence of cognitive distortions in sexual offenders is a significant risk factor for reoffending. Investigation of cognitive distortions can improve the quality of differential diagnosis and expert assessment of the accused. The aim of this study was the testing of the criterion and convergent validity, as well as the internal consistency of two scales for assessing cognitive distortions: the Dichotomic Scale of Cognitive Distortions and the Russian version of the MOLEST scale. The psychometric properties of the questionnaires were tested on a sample of 84 male subjects. Many of them (63 subjects) were accused of committing sexual criminal acts against minors (37 with pedophilia, 26 without disorders of sexual preference). The results of the study demonstrate good internal consistency for both the scales (Cronbach’s alpha was 0,910 and 0,956, respectively). Evidences of criterion validity for the diagnosis of pedophilia (for both methods at the significance level of p<0,01) and convergent validity (r=0,713; p=0) are given. The proposed scales are resistant to social desirability and can be used as additional diagnostic tools in clinical practice.

General Information

Keywords: cognitive distortions, pedophilia, pedophilic disorder, sexual offences, assessment scales, psychometric properties

Journal rubric: Methodological Problems of Legal Psychology

Article type: scientific article


Funding. -

Acknowledgements. -

Received: 08.09.2023


For citation: Demidova L.Y., Korchagin V.V., Vasiliev N.G. Psychometric Properties of the Questionnaires for Assessing Cognitive Distortions about Sexual Relations with Children [Elektronnyi resurs]. Psikhologiya i pravo = Psychology and Law, 2024. Vol. 14, no. 1, pp. 18–32. DOI: 10.17759/psylaw.2024140102. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Liubov Y. Demidova, PhD in Psychology, Senior Researcher of the Laboratory of Forensic Sexology, V.P. Serbsky National Medical Research Centre for Psychiatry and Narcology of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Vitaly V. Korchagin, Postgraduate Student of the Laboratory of Forensic Sexology, V.P. Serbsky National Medical Research Centre for Psychiatry and Narcology of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Nikita G. Vasiliev, Researcher of the Laboratory of Forensic Sexology, V.P. Serbsky National Medical Research Centre for Psychiatry and Narcology of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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