Because child sexual abuse continues to be covered by mainstream media, the public has become more aware of the paraphilic interest pedophilia. While there is no definitive correlation between an individual with pedophilic interests and offenses against a child, strong public stigmatization toward these individuals remain. Additionally, stigmatizing attitudes have been found toward other paraphilic interests such as fetishes. This is the first study to evaluate and compare clinicians' attitudes toward the paraphilic interest pedophilia and the fetish interest community of Adult Baby/Diaper Lovers (ABDL). Clinicians were randomly assigned to one of three survey conditions assessing their attitudes toward people with pedophilia, people with depression, or people with an interest in ABDL. Results indicated that current clinical psychology pre-doctoral interns hold stigmatizing attitudes toward people with pedophilia compared to clinicians' attitudes toward depression across multiple measures. Significant findings were found toward people with an interest in ABDL compared to pedophilic interests and depression. Furthermore, sympathy and anger were found to significantly predict clinicians' motivations to work with people with pedophilic interests. These results indicate the need to revisit ethical considerations when working with people with paraphilic interests. Further implications of these findings are discussed.


Eric Sprankle

Committee Member

Jeffrey Buchanan

Committee Member

Dennis Waskul

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)




Social and Behavioral Sciences

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License



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