Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Education


Counseling Psychology, Ph.D.

First Advisor

Frederick A. Kosinski, Jr.

Second Advisor

Wilfred G. A. Futcher

Third Advisor

Dennis Waite


Problem. Clergy sexual misconduct is a significant problem for the church. There are legal and financial problems, as well as damage to individuals and communities. The purpose of this study was to examine personality profiles and situational themes of ministers in treatment whose presenting problems included sexual misconduct.

Method. Inactive case files of ministers in treatment were analyzed. From the case file it was determined if the minister was involved in an intimate affair which included an emotional bond, a casual affair with no emotional bond, or was not involved in an affair. The complete MMPI-2 profile and the Personal Problem Checklist for Adults were recorded for each file. Chi square was used for each of the items on the checklist. Chi square was also used to compare likelihood of self-referral, versus referral by a superior. Analysis of variance was used to compare means for each sub-scale of the MMPI-2. Discriminant analysis was used to look for linear combinations of the scales that discriminated among the three groups.

Results. Twenty-nine items on the checklist were significant. Ministers involved in an affair of either type were much more likely to be referred by a superior. The ANOVA and discriminant analysis were significant in distinguishing among both affair groups, and the no affair group. The MMPI-2 scores of both of the affair groups were statistically the same. Ministers involved in an affair tended to score low on the L scale, and high on the 4 and 9 scales.

Conclusions. There were some self-reported problems that distinguished between ministers involved in a casual affair, an emotional affair, and ministers not involved in an affair. There were sub-scales and a combination of sub-scales which distinguished between ministers involved in an affair and ministers who were not involved in an affair.

Subject Area

Sexual misconduct by clergy, Clergy--Sexual behaviour

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