The ‘Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers’ (ATSA) has awarded Ross Bartels the Graduate Student Award, with which he will be presented at ATSA’s 2012 Annual Conference in Denver, Colorado, USA (October 17th - 20th). The award is a $1,000 prize, plus reasonable expenses associated with travel to and lodging at the ATSA Conference.
ATSA is an international, multi-disciplinary organisation dedicated to preventing sexual abuse through research, education, and shared learning. Each year, one graduate researcher, whose research relates to sexual abusers or sexual abuse survivors, is selected to receive the Graduate Student Award. This awards programme is designed to attract research excellence in the area of assessing and treating sexual abusers and the award winner is chosen by a panel of distinguished researchers who have produced seminal work in this field.
Ross is a third year PhD student in Psychology, supervised by Professor Anthony Beech and Dr Leigh Harkins. His research aims to understand deviant sexual fantasies from a cognitive perspective, and involves testing various hypotheses derived from a model he has developed. He recently completed a study with non-offenders, the results of which offer some preliminary insight into the processes underlying sexual fantasising. Also, in a recent reaction-time study, Ross found that highly deviant child abusers show a strong association between ‘sexual fantasy’ and ‘children’, compared to less deviant abusers and non-offenders. ATSA has awarded Ross the Graduate Student Award in recognition of this particular study, on which he will also present a poster presentation at the 2012 ATSA conference.