Construction and preliminary validation of the cognitive and emotional congruence with children (C-ECWC) scale

Sarah Paquette*, Ian V. McPhail

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Emotional congruence with children is central in understanding why some adults pursue sexual contact with children. Although self-report scales have been developed to assess for emotional congruence with children, these scales have equivocal latent structure and less than desirable performance in validation research. Further, these scales were not developed to assess emotional congruence with children in individuals who commit Internet-facilitated offenses. In the current study, a sample of men with histories of Internet-facilitated sexual offenses, contact sexual offenses against children, and nonsexual offenses was used to examine factor structure, internal consistency, convergent and divergent validity, and known-group validity of the newly developed Cognitive and Emotional Congruence with Children (C-ECWC) scale. The scale had a three-factor latent structure, adequate internal consistency and adequately captured the nomological network of correlates and group differences anticipated for a measure of emotional congruence with children. Implications for scale validation and use in future research into emotional congruence with children are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)739-751
Number of pages13
JournalPsychological Assessment
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2020


  • classical test theory
  • emotional congruence with children
  • item response theory
  • scale development
  • sexual offending against children

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