Doctorate in Clinical Psychology: Main Research Portfolio
: 1) Self-efficacy as a mediator in cognitive behavioral therapy for depression: a systematic review; 2) Transition to adulthood: evaluating a pilot implementation of multimedia person-centred plans for individuals with learning disabilities; 3) Investigating associations between exposure to pornography and harmful sexual behaviour in young people

  • Hannah Shilling

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Clinical Psychology (DClinPsy)


Children in the UK are spending increasing amounts of time online through various means, many using their own internet devices. This makes parental monitoring of online activity challenging and increases likelihood of exposure to online risks, including pornography. Previous research indicates an association between viewing pornography (particularly aggressive pornography; AP) and harmful sexual behaviour (HSB). The current study was unique in exploring the potential role of sexually relevant emotional, cognitive (sexual attitudes), behavioural (objectification, addictiveness) and physiological (sexual arousal) variables as mediators in this relationship. We found no direct relationship between overall pornography use and HSB, but a direct relationship between viewing AP and HSB. Sexual arousal, sexual attitudes, sexual objectification and pornography addictiveness were found to mediate these relationships, although emotional responses did not. We consider findings in the context of an overarching model of the impact of media use on individual outcomes, discuss the implications for clinical practice, and highlight educational needs f or young people that extend beyond exposure to pornography and online risks to encapsulate behavioural and attitudinal effects
Date of Award20 Sept 2017
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorCatherine Hamilton-Giachritsis (Supervisor), Cathy Randle-Phillips (Supervisor) & James Gregory (Supervisor)


  • Clinical psychology
  • Main Research Portfolio
  • DClinPsy

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