Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp 187–197 | Cite as

Psychopathology and personality characteristics of criminal sexual offenders as a function of victim age

  • Seth C. Kalichman

Abstract

The affective, personality and psychopathological characteristics of incarcerated adult sex offenders was studied. Subjects were 144 men divided into three groups based on the age of their victims: prepubescent children, postpubescent adolescents, and adults. Results indicated significant differences between groups in trait anxiety and anger, self-esteem, and 7 of 13 MMPI scales. Results suggest a linear relationship between victim age and psychopathology, with child offenders displaying the greatest affective and thought disturbance. Adolescent offenders scored between child and adult offenders on most measures. Results are discussed in the context of theoretical explanations for sexual aggression and treatment.

Key words

sex offenders rapists child molesters deviant behavior criminal personality 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Araji, S., and Finkelhor, D. (1985). Explanations of pedophilia: Review of empirical research.Bull. Am. Acad. Psychiat. Law 13: 17–37.Google Scholar
  2. Butcher, J. N., and Tellegen, A. (1978). Common methodological problems in MMPI research.J. Consult. Clin. Psychol. 46: 620–628.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Coopersmith, S. (1967).The Antecedents of Self-Esteem Freeman, San Francisco.Google Scholar
  4. Crowne, D., and Marlowe, D. (1960). A new scale of social desirability independent of psychopathology.J. Consult. Psychol. 24: 349–354.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Duckworth, J., and Anderson, W. (1987).MMPI Interpretation Manual for Counselors and Clinicians 3rd ed., Accelerated Development, Muncie, IN.Google Scholar
  6. Erickson, W., Luxenberg, M., Walbek, N., and Seely, R. (1987). Frequency of MMPI two-point code types among sex offenders.J. Consult. Clin. Psychol. 55: 566–570.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Finkelhor, D., and Araji, S. (1986). Explanations of pedophila: A four factor model.J. Sex Res. 22: 145–161.Google Scholar
  8. Graham, J. R. (1987).The MMPI: A Practical Guide 2nd ed., Oxford University Press, New York.Google Scholar
  9. Groth, N. (1979).Men Who Rape: The Psychology of the Offender Plenum Press, New York.Google Scholar
  10. Groth, N., and Birnbaum, H. (1978). Adult sexual orientation and attraction to underage persons.Arch. Sex. Behav. 7: 175–181.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Hall, G. N., Maiuro, R., Vitaliano, P., and Proctor, W. (1986). The utility of the MMPI with men who have sexually assaulted children.J. Consult. Clin. Psychol. 54: 493–496.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Kalichman, S. C. (1988).The development of a brief self esteem scale for forensic populations. (unpublished).Google Scholar
  13. Kalichman, S. C. (1990). Affective and personality characteristics of replicated MMPI profile subgroups of incarcerated adult rapists.Arch. Sex. Behav. 19 443–459.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Levin, S., and Stava, L. (1987). Personality characteristics of sex offenders: A review.Arch. Sex. Behav. 16: 57–79.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Meyer, R. G. (1983).The Clinicians Handbook: The Psychopathology of Adulthood and Late Adolescence Allyn and Bacon, Boston.Google Scholar
  16. Meyer, R. G. (1989).The Clinicians Handbook: The Psychopathology of Adulthood and Late Adolescence 2nd ed., Allyn and Bacon, Boston.Google Scholar
  17. Prentky, R., Cohen, M., and Seghorn, T. (1985). Development of a rational taxonomy for the classification of rapists: The Massachusetts treatment center system.Bull. Am. Acad. Psychiat. Law 13: 39–70.Google Scholar
  18. Shealy, L. (1989).Offender-victim relationships as a determinant of psychopathological characteristics of incarcerated sex offenders. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Southeastern Psychological Association, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  19. Spielberger, C. D., Jacobs, G., Crane, R., Russell, R., Westberry, L., Barber, L., Johnson, E., Knight, J., and Marks, E. (1979).Preliminary Manual for the State-Trait Personality Inventory (STPI) University of South Florida, Human Resources Institute, Tampa.Google Scholar
  20. Spielberger, C. D., Gorusch, R., Lushene, R., Vagg, P., and Jacobs, G. (1983).Manual for the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory Consulting Psychologists Press, Palo Alto, CA.Google Scholar
  21. Wolf, S., Freink, W., and Shaffer, J. (1964). Comparability of complete oral and booklet forms of the MMPI.J. Clin. Psychol. 20: 375–378.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Seth C. Kalichman
    • 1
  1. 1.University of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA
  2. 2.Psychology Department, Damen HallLoyola University of ChicagoChicagoUSA

Personalised recommendations