Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Primary Subject Area
Health Sciences, Mental Health; Sociology, Public and Social Welfare
This collective case study explored the phenomenon of Internet crimes against children from the perspectives of select Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) investigators. The research focused on three questions: (1) How do select investigators describe perpetrators of Internet crimes against children? (2) What, if any, common characteristics do participants identify among the perpetrators and (3) How do participants' descriptions compare and/or contrast? Data was obtained utilizing semistructured, conversational interviews with eight ICAC investigators. Three main themes emerged from these interviews: general demographic descriptions, motivations and behaviors. Perpetrators of Internet crimes against children were found to be predominantly non-Hispanic males. Other significant findings included the lack of selfv control, the downward spiral associated with obtaining and viewing child pornography, and the addictive behaviors observed in the perpetrators. It was recognized that treatment has been found to not always be successful and incarceration of these individuals may be necessary to protect the children. That notwithstanding, a cognitive-behavioral model of therapy integrated with Christian counseling was provided. The goal of treatment would be developing positive regard for self and others, stopping the cycle of pornography, and establishing and maintaining a relationship with God. The study also included suggestions for future research.