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

Offense History and Recidivism in Three Victim-age-based Groups of Juvenile Sex Offenders


This study compared subgroups of juvenile sex offenders (JSOs) who victimized children (child offenders), peers (peer offenders), or both children and peers (mixed offenders) on sexual and nonsexual offense history, treatment outcomes, and recidivism to determine if these are distinct and valid subgroups. Though the group of mixed offenders was small, results showed that they exhibited a more diverse and more physically intrusive sexual offense history than the other JSOs and were less likely to successfully complete treatment. Sexual and nonsexual recidivism rates of mixed offenders did not differ from the other subgroups despite subgroup differences in juvenile sexual and nonsexual criminal records. However, differences in sexual recidivism rates of child versus peer offenders were found when the mixed offenders were either excluded from the sample or combined with child offenders. The results highlight the need to include mixed offenders in future research examining the etiology of sexual offending, treatment, and recidivism of JSOs.

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


  1. Awad, G., & Saunders, E. (1991). Male adolescent sexual assaulters: Clinical observations. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 6, 446–460.

  2. Barbaree, H., Hudson, S., & Seto, M. (1993). Sexual assault in society: The role of the juvenile offender. In H. Barbaree, W. Marshall, & S. Hudson (Eds.) The juvenile sex offender (pp. 1–24). New York, NY: Guilford.

  3. Camp, B., & Thyer, B. (1993). Treatment of adolescent sex offenders: A review of empirical research. The Journal of Applied Social Sciences, 17, 191–206.

  4. Ducro, C., & Pham, T. (2006). Evaluation of the SORAG and the Static-99 on Belgian sex offenders committed to a forensic facility. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 18, 15–26.

  5. Edwards, R., Beech, A., Bishopp, D., Erikson, M., Friendship, C., & Charlesworth, L. (2005). Predicting dropout from a residential programme for adolescent sexual abusers using pre-treatment variables and implications for recidivism. Journal of Sexual Aggression, 11, 139–155.

  6. Fehrenbach, P., Smith, W., Monastersky, C., & Deisher, R. (1986). Adolescent sexual offenders: Offender and offense characteristics. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 56, 225–233.

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

  8. Gretton, H., McBride, M., Hare, R., O’Shaughnessy, R., & Kumka, G. (2001). Psychopathy and recidivism in adolescent sex offenders. Criminal Justice and Behavior. Special Issue: Psychopathy and Risk Assessment, 28, 427–449.

  9. Hagan, M., & Cho, M. (1996). A comparison of treatment outcomes between adolescent rapists and child sexual offenders. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 40, 113–122.

  10. Hagan, M., Gust-Brey, K., Cho, M., & Dow, E. (2001). Eight-year comparative analyses of adolescent rapists, adolescent child molesters, other adolescent delinquents, and the general population. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 45, 314–324.

  11. Hanson, R., & Bussière, M. (1998). Predicting relapse: A meta-analysis of sexual offender recidivism studies. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 66, 348–362.

  12. Hanson, R. K., & Morton-Bourgon, K. E. (2005). The characteristics of persistent sexual offenders: A meta-analysis of recidivism studies. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 73, 1154–1163.

  13. Hunter, J., Figueredo, A., Malamuth, N., & Becker, J. (2003). Juvenile sex offenders: Toward the development of a typology. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 15, 27–48.

  14. Hunter, J., Hazelwood, R., & Slesinger, D. (2000). Juvenile-perpetrated sex crimes: Patterns of offending and predictors of violence. Journal of Family Violence, 15, 81–93.

  15. Kahn, T., & Chambers, H. (1991). Assessing reoffense risk with juvenile sexual offenders. Child Welfare, 70, 333–345.

  16. Kahn, T., & Lafond, M. (1988). Treatment of the adolescent sexual offender. Child & Adolescent Social Work Journal, 5, 135–148.

  17. Lambie, I., & Seymour, F. (2006). One size does not fit all: Future directions for the treatment of sexually abusive youth in New Zealand. Journal of Sexual Aggression, 12, 175–187.

  18. Lussier, P., LaBlanc, M., & Proulx, J. (2005). The generality of criminal behavior: A confirmatory factor analysis of the criminal activity of sex offenders in adulthood. Journal of Criminal Justice, 33, 177–189.

  19. Nisbet, I., Wilson, P. H., & Smallbone, S. W. (2004). A prospective longitudinal study of sexual recidivism among adolescent sex offenders. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 16, 223–234.

  20. Olver, M. E., & Wong, S. C. P. (2006). Psychopathy, recidivism, and sexual deviance among sex offenders. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 18, 65–82.

  21. Parks, G. A., & Bard, D. E. (2006). Risk factors for adolescent sex offender recidivism: Evaluation of predictive factors and comparison of three groups based upon victim type. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 18, 319–342.

  22. Porter, S., Fairweather, D., Drugge, J., Hervé, H., Birt, A., & Boer, D. P. (2000). Profiles of psychopathy in incarcerated sexual offenders. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 27, 216–233.

  23. Prentky, R., Harris, B., Frizell, K., & Righthand, S. (2000). An actuarial procedure for assessing risk with juvenile sex offenders. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 12, 71–93.

  24. Reitzel, L. R., & Carbonell, J. L. (2006). The effectiveness of sex offender treatment for juveniles as measured by recidivism: A meta-analysis. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 18, 401–421.

  25. Richardson, G., Bhate, S., & Graham, F. (1997). Cognitive-based practice with sexually abusive adolescents. In M. Hoghughi, S. Bhate, & F. Graham (Eds.) Working with sexually abusive adolescents (pp. 128–143). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

  26. Saunders, E., Awad, G., & White, G. (1986). Male adolescent sexual offenders: The offender and the offense. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 31, 542–549.

  27. Segal, Z., & Marshall, W. (1985). Heterosexual social skills in a population of rapists and child molesters. Journal of Consulting & Clinical Psychology, 53, 55–63.

  28. Seghorn, T., Prentky, R., & Boucher, R. (1987). Childhood sexual abuse in the lives of sexually aggressive offenders. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 26, 262–267.

  29. Vandiver, D. M. (2006). A prospective analysis of juvenile male sex offenders. Characteristics and recidivism rates as adults. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 21, 673–688.

  30. Veneziano, C., Veneziano, L., & LeGrand, S. (2000). The relationship between adolescent sex offender behaviors and victim characteristics with prior victimization. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 15, 363–374.

  31. Worling, J. (1995a). Adolescent sex offenders against females: Differences based on the age of their victims. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 39, 276–293.

  32. Worling, J. (1995b). Sexual abuse histories of adolescent male sex offenders: Differences on the basis of the age and gender of their victims. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 104, 610–613.

  33. Worling, J. (2001). Personality-based typology of adolescent male sexual offenders: Differences in recidivism rates, victim-selection characteristics, and personal victimization histories. Sexual Abuse: Journal of Research & Treatment, 13, 149–166.

Download references


This research was partially funded by the ATSA Falconer Grant for Graduate Student Research.

Author information

Correspondence to Therese Skubic Kemper.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Kemper, T.S., Kistner, J.A. Offense History and Recidivism in Three Victim-age-based Groups of Juvenile Sex Offenders. Sex Abuse 19, 409–424 (2007).

Download citation


  • Juvenile sex offender
  • Recidivism
  • Victim age
  • Classification