Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

The utility of the MMPI and the MSI for identifying a sexual offender typology

  • 44 Accesses

  • 2 Citations

Abstract

Sexual offenders are known to be heterogeneous in their behavior and their psychologic functioning; however, studies of their heterogeneity have focused on standard measures of psychopathology rather than on measures of sexual deviance. The purpose of the current study was to determine if the Multiphasic Sex Inventory (MSI) would be more effective in developing a typology than the instrument most often used in sexual offender studies, the MMPI. Incarcerated sexual offenders in the Nebraska and Florida prison systems were chosen and multivariate cluster analyses were conducted using both their MMPI scores and their scores from the MSI. Results suggested that the MSI was more effective in determining clinically different subgroups of sexual offenders. These subgroups were independent of victim maturity and victim gender, and the results were consistent regardless of geographic location. The characteristics which differentiated the subgroups suggested the need for somewhat different treatment approaches for each subgroup.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Blader, J. C., & Marshall, W. L. (1989). Is assessment of sexual arousal in rapists worthwhile? A critique of current methods and the development of a response compatibility approach.Clinical Psychology Review, 9, 569–587.

  2. Cohen, M. L., Seghorn, T., & Calmas, W. (1969). Sociometric study of the sex offender.Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 74, 249–255.

  3. Everitt, B. S. (1979). Unresolved problems in cluster analysis.Biometrics, 35, 169–181.

  4. Frenzel, R. R., & Lang, R. A. (1989). Identifying sexual preferences in intrafamilial and extrafamilial child sexual abusers.Annals of Sex Research, 2, 255–275.

  5. Freund, K., & Blanchard, R. (1989). Phallometric diagnosis of pedophilia.Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 57, 100–105.

  6. Freund, K., & Watson, R. J. (1991). Assessment of the sensitivity and specificity of a phallometric test: An update of phallometric diagnosis of pedophilia.Psychological Assessment: A Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 3, 254–260.

  7. Gebhard, P. H., Gangon, J. H., Pomeroy, W. B., & Christenson, C. V. (1965).Sex offenders: An analysis of types. New York: Harper & Row.

  8. Groth, A. N. (1979).Men who rape: The psychology of the offender. New York: Plenum Press.

  9. Groth, A. N., & Hobson, W. F. (1983). The dynamics of sexual assault. In L. B. Schlesinger & E. Revitch (Eds.),Sexual dynamics of anti-social behavior. Springfield, IL: Charles C Thomas.

  10. Groth, A. N., Hobson, W. F., & Gary, T. S. (1982). The child molester: Clinical observations. In J. Conte & D. Shore (Eds.)Social work and child sexual abuse (pp. 129–142). New York: Haworth Press.

  11. Holcomb, W., Adams, N., & Ponder, H. (1985). The development and cross-validation of an MMPI typology of murders.Journal of Personality Assessment, 49, 240–244.

  12. Kalichman, S. C. (1988). Empirically derived MMPI subgroups of incarcerated homicide offenders.Journal of Clinical Psychology, 44, 733–738.

  13. Kalichman, S. C., Szymanowski, D., McKee, G., Taylor, J., & Craig, M. E. (1989). Cluster analytically derived MMPI profile subgroups of incarcerated adult rapists.Journal of Clinical Psychology,45, No. 1.

  14. Knight, R. (1988). A taxonomic analysis of child molesters.Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 528, 2–20.

  15. Lang, R. A., Black, E. L., Frenel, R. R., & Checkley, K. L. (1988). Aggression and erotic attraction toward children in incestuous and pedophilic men.Annals of Sex Research, 1, 417–441.

  16. Lanyon, R. I. (1986). Theory and treatment in child molestation.Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 54, 176–182.

  17. Marshall, W. L., Barbaree, H. E., & Christophe, D. (1986). Sexual offenders against female children: Sexual preferences for age of victims and type of behavior.Canadian Journal of Behavioral Science, 18, 424–439.

  18. Megargee, E. I., & Bohn, M. (1979).Classifying criminal offenders: A new system based on the MMPI. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.

  19. Murphy, W. D., Krisak, J., Stalgaitis, S., & Anderson, K. (1984). The use of penile tumescence measures with incarcerated rapists: Further validity issues.Archives of Sexual Behavior, 13, 545–554.

  20. Murphy, W. D., Haynes, M. R., Stalgaitis, S. J., & Flanagan, B. (1986). Differential sexual responding among four groups of sexual offenders against children.Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 8, 339–353.

  21. Nagayama-Hall, G. C., Graham, J. R., & Shepherd, J. B. (1991). Three methods of developing MMPI taxonomies of sex offenders.Journal of Personality Assessment, 56(10), 2–13.

  22. Nichols, H., & Molinder, I. (1984).Manual for the Multiphasic Sex Inventory. Tacoma, WA: Crime and Victim Psychology Specialists, 437 Bowes Drive.

  23. Prentky, R., Cohen, M., & Seghorn, T. (1985). Development of a rational taxonomy for the classification of sexual offenders:Bulletin of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, 13, 39–70.

  24. Quinsey, V. L., Steinman, C. M., Bergersen, S. G., & Holmes, T. F. (1975). Penile circumference, skin conductance and ranking responses of child molesters and “normals” to sexual and nonsexual visual stimuli.Behavior Therapy, 6, 213–219.

  25. Quinsey, V. L., Chaplin, T. C., & Carrigan, W. F. (1979). Sexual preferences among incestuous and nonincestuous child molesters.Behavior Therapy, 6, 213–219.

  26. Samenow, S. E. (1984)Inside the criminal mind. New York: Times Books.

  27. Ward J. (1963). Hierarchical grouping to optimize an objective function.Journal of the American Statistical Association, 58, 236–244.

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Schlank, A.M. The utility of the MMPI and the MSI for identifying a sexual offender typology. Sex Abuse 7, 185–194 (1995). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02258503

Download citation

Key Words

  • offender assessment
  • MMPI
  • MSI
  • sexual offender typology
  • incarcerated sexual offenders