Advertisement

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

Comparing Personality Characteristics of Juvenile Sex Offenders and Non-Sex Offending Delinquent Peers: A Preliminary Investigation

  • 107 Accesses

  • 1 Citations

Abstract

There exists a paucity of research on psychopathology among Juvenile Sex Offenders (JSOs) as measured by standardized instruments, particularly as compared to nonclinical and other clinical populations. The current investigation involved a comparison of scores on the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory—Adolescent Version (MMPI-A) between a group of JSOs and non-sex offending delinquent peers. Thirty-six youth from a staff-secure residential facilitate participated, 18 JSOs and 18 non-sex offending delinquent peers. Results revealed that the mean score on clinical Scale 4 (Psychopathic Deviant) was in the clinically significant range for non-sex offending peers and not for JSOs, although the difference between the mean scores was not statistically significant. Chi-square analysis indicated that a significantly greater number of non-sex offending delinquents had scores in the clinical range on this scale as compared to JSOs. Results are discussed in the context of current research on psychopathology among JSOs.

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

References

  1. Awad, G. A., & Saunders, E. B. (1989). Adolescent child molesters: Clinical observations. Child Psychiatry and Human Development, 19, 195–206.

  2. Becker, J. V., & Hunter, J. A. (1997). Understanding and treating child and adolescent sexual offenders. In T. H. Ollendick & R. J. Prinz (Eds.), Advances in clinical child psychology (Vol. 19, pp. 177–197). New York: Plenum.

  3. Becker, J. V., & Kaplan, M. S. (1993). Cognitive behavioral treatment of the juvenile sex offender. In H. E. Barbaree, W. L. Marshall, & S. M. Hudson (Eds.), The juvenile sex offender (pp. 264–277). New York: Guilford.

  4. Blaske, D. M., Borduin, C. M., Henggeler, S. W., & Mann, B. J. (1989). Individual, family, and peer characteristics of adolescent sex offenders and assaultive offenders. Developmental Psychology, 25, 846–855.

  5. Bonner, B. L., Marx, B. P., Thompson, J. M., & Michaelson, P. (1998). Assessment of adolescent sexual offenders. Child Maltreatment, 3, 374–383.

  6. Butcher, J. N., Williams, C. L., Graham, J. R., Archer, R. P., Tellegan, A., Ben-Porath, Y. S., et al. (1992). MMPI-A for administration, scoring, and interpretation. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

  7. Cellini, H. R. (1995). Assessment and treatment of adolescent sexual offenders. In B. K. Schwartz & H. R. Cellini (Eds.), The sex offender: Corrections, treatment and legal practice (pp. 6-1– 6-11). Kingston, NJ: Civic Research Institute, Inc.

  8. Cooper, C. L., Murphy, W. D., & Haynes, M. R. (1996). Characteristics of abused and nonabused adolescent sexual offenders. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 8, 105–119.

  9. Duthey, B., & McIvor, D. L. (1990). A new system for cluster-coding child molester MMPI profile types. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 17, 199–214.

  10. Erickson, W. D., Luxenberg, M. G., Walbeck, N. H., & Seely, R. K. (1987). Frequency of MMPI two-point code types among sex offenders. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 55, 566–570.

  11. Fagan, J., & Wexler, S. (1988). Explanations of sexual assault among violent delinquents. Journal of Adolescent Research, 3, 363–385.

  12. Ford, M. E., & Linney, J. A. (1995). Comparative analysis of juvenile sexual offenders, violent nonsexual offenders, and status offenders. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 10, 56–70.

  13. Hastings, T., Anderson, S. J., & Hemphill, P. (1997). Comparisons of daily stress, coping, problem behavior, and cognitive distortions in adolescent sexual offenders and conduct-disordered youth. Sexual Abuse: Journal of Research & Treatment, 9, 29–42.

  14. Herkov, M. J., Gynther, M. D., Thomas, S., & Myers, W. C. (1996). MMPI differences among adolescent inpatients, rapists, sodomists, and sexual abusers. Journal of Personality Assessment, 66, 81–90.

  15. Hunter, J. A., Figueredo, A. J., Malamuth, N. M., & Becker, J. V. (2001). Juvenile sex offenders: Toward the development of a typology. Sex Abuse: A Journal of Research & Treatment, 15, 27–48.

  16. Katz, R. C. (1990). Psychological adjustment in adolescent child molesters. Child Abuse & Neglect, 14, 567–575.

  17. Kavoussi, R. J., Kaplan, M., & Becker, J. V. (1988). Psychiatric diagnoses in adolescent sex offenders. The Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 27, 241–243.

  18. Kempton, T., & Forehand, R. (1992). Juvenile sex offenders: Similar to, or different from, other incarcerated delinquent offenders? Behaviour Research and Therapy, 30, 533–536.

  19. Oliver, L. L., & Hall, G. C. N. (1993). A comparison of the personality and background characteristics of adolescent sex offenders and other adolescent offenders. Criminal Justice & Behavior, 20, 359–371.

  20. Sciarra, D. T. (1999). Assessment and treatment of adolescent sex offenders: A review from a cross-cultural perspective. Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, 28, 103–118.

  21. Smith, W. R., Monastersky, C., & Deisher, R. M. (1987). MMPI-based personality types among juvenile offenders. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 43, 422–430.

  22. Spreen, O. & Strauss, E. (1998). A Compendium of Neuropsychological Tests: Administration, norms, and commentary (2nd ed). New York: Oxford University.

  23. Tarter, R. E., Hegedus, A. M., Alterman, A. Il., & Katz-Garris, L. (1983). Cognitive capacities of juvenile violent, nonviolent, and sexual offenders. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 171, 564–567.

  24. Truscott, D. (1993). Adolescent offenders: Comparison of sexual, violent, and property offences. Psychological Reports, 73, 657–658.

  25. Valliant, P. M., & Bergeron, T. (1997). Personality and criminal profile of adolescent sexual offenders, general offenders in comparison to nonoffenders. Psychological Reports, 81, 483–489.

  26. Veneziano, C., & Veneziano, L. (2002). Adolescent sex offenders: A review of the literature. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, 3, 247–260.

  27. Vizard, E., Monsk, E., & Misch, P. (1995). Child and adolescent sex abuse perpetrators: A review of the research literature. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 36, 731–756.

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to Kurt A. Freeman or Elizabeth T. Dexter-Mazza or Kerry C. Hoffman.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Freeman, K.A., Dexter-Mazza, E.T. & Hoffman, K.C. Comparing Personality Characteristics of Juvenile Sex Offenders and Non-Sex Offending Delinquent Peers: A Preliminary Investigation. Sex Abuse 17, 3–12 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11194-005-1206-8

Download citation

  • Juvenile Sexual Offenders
  • personality characteristics
  • psychopathology