Psychopathy, Sexual Deviance, and Recidivism Among Sex Offenders


DOI: 10.1007/s11194-006-9006-3

Cite this article as:
Olver, M.E. & Wong, S.C.P. Sex Abuse (2006) 18: 65. doi:10.1007/s11194-006-9006-3

The relationships between psychopathy, sex offender type, sexual deviance, and recidivism were examined in 156 federally incarcerated sex offenders in a 10-year follow-up study. The rapists and mixed offenders demonstrated higher psychopathy scores than did the child molesters and incest offenders (total scores and Factor 2 scores on the Psychopathy Checklist—Revised [PCL-R]; R. D. Hare, 2003). Factor 1 scores were approximately the same in all groups. The PCL-R was a weak predictor of sexual recidivism but consistently predicted nonsexual violent recidivism and general recidivism (mainly via Factor 2). Sexual deviance measured by a structured rating scheme predicted sexual recidivism. Sexual deviance, so rated, was a stronger predictor of sexual recidivism than psychopathy but the two interacted significantly suggesting that psychopathy could potentiate sexual recidivism. Although psychopathy was a strong positive predictor of general nonsexual recidivism, sexual deviance was inversely related, and no interaction was observed between psychopathy, sexual deviance, and nonsexual recidivism.


psychopathy sexual offenders sexual deviance recidivism prediction 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Mental Health and Addiction Services, Young Offender TeamSaskatoonCanada
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Saskatchewan in SaskatoonSaskatchewanCanada
  3. 3.Regional Psychiatric CentreSaskatchewanCanada
  4. 4.Mental Health and Addiction Services, Young Offender TeamSaskatoonCanada

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