Name:  Chloe Pedneault

Area of Study: Forensic

In what program are you currently enrolled? PhD

What year of the program are you currently in? 5

Citation in APA format

Pedneault, C. I., Hermann, C. A., & Nunes, K. L. (in press). Disentangling cognitions about sexual aggression. Sexual Abuse.

Plain language abstract:

Various types of cognitions, like beliefs and attitudes, have been found to be associated with sexual aggression against women. However, the distinctions between these cognitions are rarely examined. In an online sample of 495 men from the community, this study explored the distinction and overlap between a measure of beliefs and a measure of attitudes regarding sexual aggression against women. Results indicated that beliefs and attitudes regarding sexual aggression against women may be distinct cognitions. Attitudes and beliefs were both associated with self-reported past sexual aggression against women and likelihood of engaging in sexual aggression in the future, and both cognitions provided unique information for understanding variation in sexual aggression. If beliefs and attitudes are found to have a causal relationship with sexual aggression in future research, it may be important to develop interventions that target both these cognitions.

How did the idea for this research come about? 

Under the supervision of Dr. Nunes, the Aggressive Cognitions and Behaviour Research lab has been working toward developing a new measure of attitudes toward sexual aggression against women. Part of this work has involved examining the distinction and overlap between attitudes and other cognitions related to sexually aggressive behaviour. In other words, are attitudes actually different from other cognitions, like beliefs, justification, and minimizations? The current study was a conceptual replication of a previous study conducted by Nunes and colleagues, but with a different sample and different measures. Together, these studies suggest that attitudes may be distinct from beliefs and, therefore, warrant further attention. I am currently revising and validating the measure of attitudes we used for this study for my PhD dissertation.

How did you collect the data for this project? 

The data for this study were collected by a colleague of mine, Dr. Hermann, for her PhD dissertation. Data were collected online using a Qualtrics Panel. Participants completed an online survey and received a token award through Qualtrics for their time.

Was the journal you published in the first journal you submitted this paper to?


Why did you choose this journal?

The Sexual Abuse journal is very receptive to research examining cognitions related to sexual aggression and has a good impact factor despite being quite specialized. Moreover, they recently expressed interest in replication studies. As the current study is a replication study, Sexual Abuse was a good fit.


How many other journals did you submit this paper to before it landed in the journal that eventually published your work?


What was your revision experience?

My review experience was surprisingly pleasant. We received a decision of “Accept with minor revisions”, along with some insightful suggestions for improving the manuscript. In part, we were asked to clarify some of the operational definitions for the constructs we were examining, which was challenging at times. The (improved) manuscript was accepted upon resubmission. I should note, however, that “Accept with minor revisions” is not the typical response I’ve gotten from journals. I have had to do extensive revisions to most of the other manuscripts I’ve submitted. It’s just more fun to talk about the process when it goes smoothly!

How many rounds of revision did you experience?


Did you need to collect new data to satisfy a reviewer?


How long did it take from first submission to acceptance? 

4 months

Was this paper conducted as part of your MA thesis?


Was this paper conducted as part of your PhD dissertation?


How did this project come about?

This is a project that my colleague, Dr. Hermann, had wanted to do with her PhD data. She asked me if I’d like to take the lead on it once she realized she’d be too busy to complete it. I agreed, ran the analyses, and drafted the manuscript.

Was this research conducted with your supervisor?

Yes, with Dr. Kevin Nunes

Was this research conducted with fellow graduate students in our program? 


Was this research conducted with researchers external to Carleton?

Yes, Dr. Chantal Hermann is a Carleton gradate, but she was no longer affiliated with Carleton when the study was completed.