The Characteristics of Incestuous Fathers

A Review of Recent Studies
  • Linda Meyer Williams
  • David Finkelhor
Part of the Applied Clinical Psychology book series (NSSB)

Abstract

Until very recently there has been a dearth of empirical research on incestuous fathers. Even though the number of cases of intrafamilial sexual abuse coming to professional attention has skyrocketed, reaching close to 100,000 in the United States in 1985, studies of the perpetrators of this abuse have been scarce. Professionals have been forced to rely on several less-than-definitive resources.

Keywords

Sexual Abuse Child Sexual Abuse Sexual Arousal Marital Quality Dissertation Abstract 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Abel, G., Becker, J., Murphy, W., & Flanagan, B. (1981). Identifying dangerous child molesters. In Stuart (Ed.), Violent behavior: Social learning approaches to prediction, management and treatment (pp. 116–137 ). New York: Brunner/Mazel.Google Scholar
  2. Abel, G., Mittelman, M., Becker, J., Cunningham-Rathner, J., & Lucas, L. ( 1983, December). The characteristics of men who molest young children. Paper presented at the World Congress of Behavior Therapy, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  3. Abel, G., Becker, J. V., Cunningham-Rathner, J., Rouleau, J., Kaplan, M., & Reid, J. (1984). The treatment of child molesters. Available from SBC-TM, 722 West 168th Street, Box 17, New York, NY 10032.Google Scholar
  4. Araji, S., & Finkelhor, D. (1986). Abusers: A review of the research. In D. Finkelhor and Associates (Eds.), A sourcebook on child sexual abuse (pp. 89–118 ). Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  5. Baker, D. (1985). Father-daughter incest: A study of the father (Doctoral dissertation, California School of Professional Psychology, San Diego). Dissertation Abstracts International, 46 (03), 951B.Google Scholar
  6. Barbaree, H., E., & Marshall, W. L. (in press). Erectile responses amongst heterosexual child molesters, father-daughter incest offenders and matched non offenders: Five distinct age preference profiles. Canadian Journal of Behavioral Sciences Google Scholar
  7. Bennett, S. R. (1985). Cognitive style of incestuous fathers (Doctoral dissertation, Texas Tech University). Dissertation Abstracts International, 42 (2), 778B.Google Scholar
  8. Berkowitz, A. R. (1983). Incest as related to feelings of inadequacy, impaired empathy, and early childhood memories. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Southern California, Los Angeles.Google Scholar
  9. Brandon, C. (1985). Sex role identification in incest: An empirical analysis of the feminist theories (Doctoral dissertation, California School of Professional Psychology, Fresno). Dissertation Abstracts International, 47 (7), 3099B.Google Scholar
  10. Butler, S. (1978). Conspiracy of silence: The trauma of incest. San Francisco: New Glide.Google Scholar
  11. Cammarata, L. (1984). Dominance, power and coalition process in father-daughter incest families (Doctoral dissertation, California School of Professional Psychology, Fresno). Dissertation Ab-stracts International 46(3), 449B.Google Scholar
  12. Cavallin, H. (1966). Incestuous fathers: A clinical report. American Journal of Psychiatry, 122, 1132–1138.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Cormier, B., Kennedy, M., & Sangowicz, J. (1962). Psychodynamics of father-daughter incest. Canadian Psychiatric Association Journal, 7, 207–217.Google Scholar
  14. Feltman, R. I. (1985). A controlled, correlational study of the psychological functioning of paternal incest victims (Doctoral dissertation, University of Missouri, St. Louis). Dissertation Abstracts International, 46 (10), 359B.Google Scholar
  15. Finkelhor, D., & Baron, L. (1986). High-risk children. In D. Finkelhor and Associates (Eds.), A sourcebook on child sexual abuse (pp. 60–88 ). Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  16. Finkelhor, D., & Lewis, I. (1988). An epidemiologic approach to the study of child molestation. The Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 528, 64–77.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Fredrickson, R. M. (1981). Incest: Family sexual abuse and its relationship to pathology, sex role orientation, attitudes toward women, and authoritarianism (Doctoral dissertation, University of Minnesota). Order No. 8114994. Ann Arbor: University Microfilms.Google Scholar
  18. Gebhard, P., Gagnon, J., Pomeroy, W., & Christenson, C. (1965) Sex offenders: An analysis of types. New York: Harper & Row.Google Scholar
  19. Gordon, M. (1988). The family environment of sexual abuse: A comparison of natal and stepfather abuse. Paper presented at the American Sociological Association meetings, Atlanta, GA.Google Scholar
  20. Groff, M. G., & Hubble, L. M. (1984). A comparison of father-daughter and stepfather-daughter incest. Criminal Justice & Behavior, 11, 461–475.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Heath, R. S. (1985). Perceived parental nurturance, parent identification and sex-role orientation for female victims of sexual abuse (Doctoral dissertation, North Texas State University). Dissertation Abstracts International, 46 (11), 4015B.Google Scholar
  22. Herman, J. (1981). Father-daughter incest. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  23. Julian, V., Mohr, C., & Lapp, L. (1980). Father-daughter incest. In W. Holder (Ed.), Sexual abuse of children: Implications for treatment (pp. 17–35 ). Englewood, CO: American Humane Association.Google Scholar
  24. Kegan, K. A. (1981). Attachment and family sexual abuse: An investigation of the families of origin and social histories of mothers from present incest families (Doctoral dissertation, University of Minnesota). Order No. 8206370. Ann Arbor: University Microfilms.Google Scholar
  25. King, H. W. (1985). A study of mothers in families where father-daughter incest has occurred (Doctoral dissertation, California School of Professional Psychology). Dissertation Abstracts International, 47 (3), 1276B.Google Scholar
  26. Kirkland, K., & Bauer, C. (1982). MMPI traits of incestuous fathers. Journal of Criminal Psychology, 38, 645–649.Google Scholar
  27. Krieger, D. S. (1984). Multigenerational patterns in incest (Doctoral dissertation, University of Nevada, Reno). Dissertation Abstracts International, 45 (12), 3946B.Google Scholar
  28. Langevin, R. (1983). Sexual strands: Understanding and treating sexual anomalies in men. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  29. Langevin, R., Paitich, D., Freeman, R., Mann, K., & Handy, L. (1978). Personality characteristics and sexual anomolies in males. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science, 10, 222–238.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Langevin, R., Handy, L., Day, D., & Russon, A. (1985). Are incestuous fathers pedophillic, aggressive and alcoholic? In R. Langevin (Ed.), Erotic preference, gender identity and aggression (pp. 161–180 ). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  31. Lee, R. N. (1982). Analysis of the characteristics of incestuous fathers (Doctoral dissertation, University of Texas at Austin). Dissertation Abstracts International, 43, 23–43B.Google Scholar
  32. Leroi, D. (1984). The silent partner: An investigation of the familial background, personality structure, sexual behavior and relationships of the mothers of incestuous families (Doctoral dissertation, California School of Professional Psychology, Berkeley). Dissertation Abstracts International, 45(11), 3623B.Google Scholar
  33. Lustig, N., Dresser, J., Spellman, S., & Murray, T. (1966). Incest: A family group survival pattern. Archives of General Psychiatry, 14, 31–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Maisch, H. (1972). Incest. New York: Stein and Day.Google Scholar
  35. Mandel, M. D. (1986). An object relation study of sexually abusive fathers (Doctoral dissertation, California School of Professional Psychology, San Diego). Dissertation Abstracts International, 47 (5), 2173B.Google Scholar
  36. Marshall, W. L., Barbaree, H. E., & Christophe, D. (1986). Sexual offenders against female children: Sexual preferences for age of victims and type of behaviour. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science, 18, 424–439.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Meiselman, K. C. (1978). Incest: A psychological study of causes and effects with treatment recommendations. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  38. National Committee for the Prevention of Child Abuse. (1978). Basic facts about sexual child abuse. Chicago: Author.Google Scholar
  39. Olson, V. A. (1982). An exploratory study of incest family interaction (Doctoral dissertation, California School of Professional Psychology, Los Angeles). Dissertation Abstracts International, 43, 1995B - 1996B.Google Scholar
  40. Paitich, D., Langevin, R., Freeman, R., Mann, K., & Handy, L. (1977). The Clarke SHQ: A clinical sex history questionnaire for males. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 6, 421–435.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Panton, J. H. (1979). MMPI profile configurations associated with incestuous and non-incestuous child molesting. Psychological Reports, 45, 335–338.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Parker, H. (1984). Intrafamilial sexual child abuse: A study of the abusive father (Doctoral dissertation, University of Utah). Dissertation Abstracts International, 45(12), 3757A.Google Scholar
  43. Parker, H., & Parker, S. (1986). Father-daughter sexual abuse: An emerging perspective. ( American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 56, 531–549.Google Scholar
  44. Paveza, G. ( 1987, July). Risk factors in father-daughter child sexual abuse: Findings from a case-control study. Paper presented at the Third National Family Violence Research Conference, Family Research Laboratory, Durham, NH.Google Scholar
  45. Pelto, V. L. (1981). Male incest offenders and non offenders: A comparison of early sexual history (Doctoral dissertation, U.S. International University). Order No. 8118142. Ann Arbor: University Microfilms.Google Scholar
  46. Peters, S., Wyatt, G., & Finkelhor, D. (1986). Prevalence. In D. Finkelhor and Associates (Eds.), A sourcebook on child sexual abuse (pp. 15–59 ). Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  47. Phelan, P. (1986). The process of incest: Biologic father and stepfather families. Child Abuse and Neglect, 10, 531–539.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Quinn, T. M. (1984). Father-daughter incest: An ecological model (Doctoral dissertation, California School of Professional Psychology, Fresno). Dissertation Abstracts International, 45 (12), 3957B.Google Scholar
  49. Quinsey, V. L., Chaplin, T. C., & Carrigan, W. F. (1979). Sexual preferences among incestuous and non incestuous child molesters. Behavior Therapy, 10, 562–565.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Russell, D. E. H. (1984). The prevalence and seriousness of incestuous abuse: Stepfathers vs. biological fathers. Child Abuse & Neglect, 8, 15–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Russell, D. E. H. (1986). The secret trauma: Incest in the lives of girls and women. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  52. Saunders, B., McClure, S., & Murphy, S. (1986). Final report: Profile of incest perpetrators indicating treatability-Part I. Charleston, SC: Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center.Google Scholar
  53. Saunders, B., McClure, S., & Murphy, S. ( 1987, July). Structure, function, and symptoms in father—daughter sexual abuse families: A multilevel—multirespondent empirical assessment. Paper presented at the Third National Family Violence Research Conference, Family Research Laboratory, Durham, NH.Google Scholar
  54. Scott, R. L, & Stone, D. (1986). MMPI profile consellation in incest families. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 54, 364–368.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Stern, M. J., & Meyer, L. (1980). Family and couple interactional patterns in cases of father—daughter incest. In B. Jones, L. Jenstrom’s and K. MacFarlene (Eds.), Sexual abuse of children: Selected readings (pp. 83–86 ). Washington, DC: National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect.Google Scholar
  56. Strand, V. (1986). Parents in incest families: A study in differences (Doctoral dissertation, Columbia University). Dissertation Abstracts International, 47 (8), 3191A.Google Scholar
  57. Summit, R., & Kryso, J. (1978). Sexual abuse of children: A clinical spectrum. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 48, 237–251.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Truesdell, D. L., McNeil, J. S., & Deschner, J. (1986). The incidence of wife abuse in incestuous families. Social Work, March—April, 138–140.Google Scholar
  59. Wakefield, H., & Underwager, R. ( 1988, March). Scale 6 elevations in MMPIs of persons accused of child sexual abuse. Paper presented at the 23rd Annual Symposium on Recent Developments in the Use of the MMPI, St. Petersburg Beach, FL.Google Scholar
  60. Wickes, B. R., & Madigan, R. ( 1985, August). Paternal bonding, self-esteem and sexual abuse: A retrospective study. Paper presented at the American Psychological Association, Los Angeles, CA.Google Scholar
  61. Wieder, F. E. (1985). Mother—daughter relationships in incest families: Self/other differentiation within a family system. (Doctoral dissertation, California School of Professional Psychology, San Diego). Dissertation Abstracts International,46(6), 2083-B.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Linda Meyer Williams
    • 1
  • David Finkelhor
    • 1
  1. 1.Family Research LaboratoryUniversity of New HampshireDurhamUSA

Personalised recommendations