MEGA: Empirical Findings on the Preternatural: Sexually Violent and Predatory Sexually Violent Youth

Abstract

Applied are empirical findings from two major studies employing the ecologically framed MEGA risk assessment tool: MEGACombined Samples Studies (N = 3901 [1979–2017] (Miccio-Fonseca 2017a, d) and MEGACombined Cross Validation Studies (N = 2717). Samples consisted of male, female, and transgender-female sexually abusive youth, ages 4–19, including youth with low intellectual functioning of borderline or low average. Findings further support a previously presented nomenclature identifying two subsets overlooked by most contemporary risk assessment tools: sexually violent and predatory sexually violent youth (Miccio-Fonseca and Rasmussen Journal of Aggression Maltreatment & Trauma, 18, 106–128, 2009, 2014). MEGAStudies provided normative data, with cut-off scores (calibrated) according to age and gender, establishing four risk levels: Low, Moderate, High, and Very High. The fourth risk level, Very High, sets MEGA apart from other risk assessment tools for sexually abusive youth, which are limited to three risk levels. Very High risk level definitively identifies the most dangerous youth, thus empirically supporting the nomenclature of sexually violent and predatory sexually violent youth.

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

Notes

  1. 1.

    Erroneously published as 1979–2017 in the online version of Miccio-Fonseca (2018) Family Lovemap article for the Special Issueon Risk Assessment of Sexually Abusive Youth in the Journal of Child Sexual Abuse.

References

  1. American Psychiatric Association (APA). (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed. DSM-5 ed.). Washington: Author.

    Google Scholar 

  2. Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA). (2017). Practice guidelines for the assessment, treatment, and intervention with adolescents who have engaged in sexually abusive behavior. Beaverton: Author.

    Google Scholar 

  3. Barra, S., Bessler, C., Landolt, M. A., & Aebi, M. (2018). Testing the validity of criminal risk assessment tools in sexually abusive youth. Psychological Assessment. Online First Publication, May 24, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1037/pas0000590.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Blasingame, G. D. (2018). Risk assessment of adolescents with intellectual disabilities who exhibit sexual behavior problems or sexual offending behavior. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse: Special Issue on Risk Assessment of Sexually Abusive Youth. Published online 30 Mar. 2018. https://doi.org/10.1080/10538712.2018.1452324.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Caldwell, M. F. (2013). Accuracy of sexually violent person assessment of juveniles adjudicated for sexual offenses. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 25(5), 516–526. https://doi.org/10.1177/1079063213480818.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Caldwell, M. F. (2016, July 18). Quantifying the decline in juvenile sexual recidivism rates. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law. Advance online publication: https://doi.org/10.1037/law0000094.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Carpentier, J., & Proulx, J. (2011). Correlates of recidivism among adolescents who have sexually offended. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 23, 434–455. https://doi.org/10.1177/1079063211409950.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Chu, M. C., & Thomas, S. D. M. (2010). The relationship between typology and recidivism. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 22(2), 218–233. https://doi.org/10.1177/1079063210369011.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Driemeyer, W., Yoon, D., & Briken, P. (2011). Sexuality, antisocial behavior, aggressiveness, and victimization in juvenile sexual offenders: A literature review. Sexual Offender Treatment, 6(1), 1–26. Retrieved January 29, 2012 from: http://www.sexual-offender-treatment.org/.

  10. Elkovitch, N., Viljoen, J. L., Scalora, M. J., & Ullman, D. (2008). Assessing risk of reoffending in adolescents who have committed a sexual offense: The accuracy of clinical judgments after completion of risk assessment instruments. Behavioral Sciences and the Law, 26(4), 511–528. https://doi.org/10.1002/bsl.832.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  11. Epperson, D. L., & Ralston, C. A. (2015). Development and validation of the juvenile sexual offender recidivism risk assessment tool -II. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 27(6), 529–558. https://doi.org/10.1177/1079063213514452.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Fanniff, A. M., & Letourneau, E. J. (2012). Another piece of the puzzle: Psychometric properties of the J-SOAP-II. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 24(4), 378–408. https://doi.org/10.1177/1079063211431842.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Finkelhor, D., Ormrod, R., & Chaffin, M. (2009, December). Juveniles who commit sex offenses against minors. Juvenile Justice Bulletin. U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/ojjdp/227763.pdf.

  14. Gerhold, C. K., Brown, K. D., & Beckett, R. (2007). Predicting recidivism in adolescent sexual offenders. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 12(4), 427–438. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.avb.2006.10.004.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Gilby, R., Wolf, L., & Goldberg, B. (1989). Mentally-retarded adolescent sex offenders - a survey and pilot study. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 34(6), 542–548.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Griffin, H. L., & Vettor, S. (2012). Predicting sexual re-offending in a UK sample of adolescents with intellectual disabilities. Journal of Sexual Aggression, 18(1), 64–80. https://doi.org/10.1080/13552600.2011.617013.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Harris, A. J. R., & Hanson, R. K. (2010). Clinical, actuarial and dynamic risk assessment of sexual offenders: Why do things keep changing? Journal of Sexual Aggression, 16(3), 296–310. https://doi.org/10.1080/13552600.2010.494772.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Hempel, I., Buck, N., Cima, M., & van Marle, H. (2013). Review of risk assessment instruments for juvenile sex offenders: What is next? International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 57(2), 208–228. https://doi.org/10.1177/0306624X11428315.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  19. Herman, J. L., Flores, A. R., Brown, T. N., Wilson, B.D.M., & Conron, K. (2017). Age of individuals who identify as transgender in the United States. The Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law. https://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/research/transgender-issues/new-estimates-show-that-150000-youth-ages-13-to-17-identify-as-transgender-in-the-us/.

  20. Karsten, T. M., & Dempsey, R. (2018). Neuropsychological risk factors to consider when assessing sexually abusive youth. Special issue: Risk assessment of sexually abusive youth. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse. https://doi.org/10.1080/10538712.2018.1542419.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Lane, S. (1997). Special populations: Children, females, the developmentally disabled and violent youth. In G. Ryan & S. Lane (Eds.), Juvenile sexual offending: Causes, consequences, and correction (Rev. ed., pp. 322–359). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

  22. Långström, N. (2002). Long-term follow-up of criminal recidivism in young sex offenders: Temporal patterns and risk factors. Psychology, Crime & Law, 8, 41–58. https://doi.org/10.1080/10683160290000888.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Långström, N., & Grann, M. (2000). Risk for criminal recidivism among young sex offenders. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 5, 855–871. https://doi.org/10.1177/088626000015008005.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Madigan, S., Ly, A., Rash, C., Van Ouytsel, J., & Temple, J. (2018). Prevalence of multiple forms of sexting behavior among youth; a systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA Pediatrics, 172(4), 327–335. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamapediatrics.2017.5314.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  25. Martinez-Prather, K., & Vandiver, D. (2014). Sexting among teenagers in the United States: A retrospective analysis of identifying motivating factors, potential targets, and the role of the capable guardian. International Journal of Cyber Criminology, 8(1), 21–35.

    Google Scholar 

  26. McCann, K., & Lussier, P. (2008). Antisociality, sexual deviance, and sexual reoffending in juvenile sex offenders: A meta-analytical investigation. Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice, 6, 363–385. https://doi.org/10.1177/1541204008320260.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Miccio-Fonseca, L. C. (1996). Research report: On sex offenders, victims and their families. Special Edition, Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, 23(3/4), 71–83.

  28. Miccio-Fonseca, L. C. (2000). Adult and adolescent female sex offenders: Experiences compared to other females and male sex offenders. Special Edition, Journal of Psychology & Human Sexuality, 11(3), 75–88.

  29. Miccio-Fonseca, L. C. (2001). Somatic and mental symptoms of male sex offenders: A comparison among offenders, victims, and their families. Journal of Psychology & Human Sexuality, 13(3/4), 103–114.

    Google Scholar 

  30. Miccio-Fonseca, L. C. (2009). MEGA : A new paradigm in protocol assessing sexually abusive children and adolescents. Journal of Child and Adolescent Trauma, 2, 124–141. https://doi.org/10.1080/19361520902922434.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  31. Miccio-Fonseca, L. C. (2010). MEGA : An ecological risk assessment tool of risk and protective factors for assessing sexually abusive children and adolescents. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment, and Trauma, 19, 734–756. https://doi.org/10.1080/10926771.2010.515542.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  32. Miccio-Fonseca, L. C. (2013a). MEGA : A new paradigm in risk assessment tools for sexually abusive youth. Journal of Family Violence, 28(5). 10.1007/s10896-013-9527-8.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Miccio-Fonseca, L. C. (2013b, April). MEGA : An Ecological risk assessment tool for sexually abusive adolescents and children ages 4 to 19. 28th Annual Conference of the National Adolescent Perpetration Network, Portland.

  34. Miccio-Fonseca, L. C. (2014). Family Lovemap, eroticized children and a constellation of sexually related risk variables. Journal of Forensic Practice, 16(1), 3–17. https://doi.org/10.1108/JFP-03-2013-00198.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  35. Miccio-Fonseca, L. C. (2016a). MEGA cross-validation findings on sexually abusive females: Implications for risk assessment and clinical practice. Journal of Family Violence, 31, 903–911. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10896-016-9845-8.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  36. Miccio-Fonseca, L. C. (2016b, May). MEGA: Second cross-validation findings on sexually abusive youth. Presentation given at the annual conference of the California coalition on sexual offending (CCOSO), San Diego, CA. To request PowerPoint slides, go to: https://www.mega-miccio-fonseca.com/.

  37. Miccio-Fonseca, L. C. (2017a, Fall). Innovative scientific advancement in risk assessment of sexually abusive youth. Perspectives: California Coalition on Sexual Offending (CCOSO), Quarterly Newsletter, 7-10.

  38. Miccio-Fonseca, L. C. (2017b, September). Issues in assessment of sexually abusive youth: Intimacy deficits and erotically related protective factors and sexually abusive youth. 22st international conference on violence, abuse, & trauma and the National Summit on Interpersonal Violence & Abuse, San Diego, CA.

  39. Miccio-Fonseca, L. C. (2017c). The anomaly among sexually abusive youth: The juvenile sex trafficker. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma, 26(5), 558–572. https://doi.org/10.1080/10926771.2017.1304476.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  40. Miccio-Fonseca, L. C. (2017d, September). The anomalies among juvenile sex offenders: Sexually violent & predatory sexually violent. 22st international conference on violence, abuse, & trauma and the National Summit on Interpersonal Violence & Abuse, San Diego, CA.

  41. Miccio-Fonseca, L. C. (2017e). The juvenile female sex trafficker. Journal of Aggression and Violent Behavior, 35, 26–32. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.avb.2017.06.001.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  42. Miccio-Fonseca, L. C. (2018). Family Lovemap and erotically related protective factors. Special Issue: Risk assessment of sexually abusive youth. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse. Published online 31 Jul. 2018. https://doi.org/10.1080/10538712.2018.1494655.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  43. Miccio-Fonseca, L. C. (2019). Family Lovemap, protective factors: Sex, intimacy, and sexually abusive youth. In J. L., Ireland, C. A. Ireland, & Birch, P. (Eds.) Violent and sex offenders handbook (2nd ed., pp. 114–127). Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon, UK: Routledge.

  44. Miccio-Fonseca, L. C., & Rasmussen, L. A. (2009). New nomenclature for sexually abusive youth: Naming and assessing sexually violent and predatory offenders. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma, 18, 106–128. https://doi.org/10.1080/10926770802616431.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  45. Miccio-Fonseca, L. C., & Rasmussen, L. A. (2014). MEGA : Empirical support for nomenclature on the anomalies: Sexually violent and predatory youth. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 1–17. Published online 2 May 2014. https://doi.org/10.1177/030624X14533265.

  46. Miccio-Fonseca, L. C., & Rasmussen, L. A. (2018). Scientific evolution of clinical and risk assessment of sexually abusive youth: A comprehensive review of empirical tools. Special Issue on risk assessment of sexually abusive youth. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse. https://doi.org/10.1080/10538712.2018.1537337.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  47. National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. (2008). Sex and tech: Results from a survey of teens and young adults. Retrieved from http://www.thenationalcampaign.org/sextech/pdf/sextech_summary.pdf

  48. Oliver, B.E. & Holmes, L. (2015). Female juvenile sexual offenders: Understanding who they are and possible steps that may prevent some grils from offending. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 24, 698–715.

  49. Polaris Project (2015). National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) data breakdown 01/01/2015–12/31/15. Retrieved from http://polarisproject.org/human-trafficking

  50. Prentky, R., & Righthand, S. (2003). Juvenile Sex Offender Assessment Protocol-II (J-SOAP-II) Manual. NCJ 202316. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Juvenile Justice Clearinghouse. Retrieved May 14, 2010, from www.csom.org/pugs/JSOAP.pdf

  51. Prentky, R., Harris, B., Frizzell, K., & Righthand, S. (2000). An actuarial procedure for assessing risk with juvenile sex offenders. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 12(2), 71–93. https://doi.org/10.1177/107906320001200201.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  52. Przybyliski, R. (2015, July). Recidivism of adult sexual offenders. SOMAPI-Research Brief Sex Offender Managemet Assessment and Planning Initiatie. U.S. Department of Justice of Office of Justice Programs Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking, Washingston, DC.

  53. Ralston, C. A., Epperson, D. L., & Edwards, S. E. (2016). Cross-validation of the JSORRAT–II in Iowa. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 28, 534–554. https://doi.org/10.1177/1079063214548074.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  54. Rasmussen, L. A. L. (2017). Comparing predictive validity of JSORRAT-II and MEGA with sexually abusive youth in long-term residential custody. International Journal of Offender Rehabilitation and Comparative Criminology, 62, 2937–2953. https://doi.org/10.1177/0306624X17726550.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  55. Rasmussen, L. A. L. (2018, September). Examining adult recidivism of male adjudicated sexually abusive youth in secure residential care. 23rd international summit on violence, abuse, and trauma across the lifespan, San Diego, CA.

  56. Seto, M. C., & Lalumière, M. L. (2010). What is so special about male adolescent sexual offending? A review and test of explanations through meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 136, 526–575. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0019700.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  57. van Der Put, C. E., van Vugt, E. S., Stams, G. J. J. M., Devokic, M., & van der Laan, P. H. (2013). Differences in the prevalence and impact of risk factors for general recidivism between different types of juveniles who have committed sexual offenses (JSOs) and juveniles who have committed nonsexual offenses (NSOs). Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 25(1), 48–68. https://doi.org/10.1177/1079063212452615.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  58. van Wijk, A., Bullens, B. R. F., Maly, R. A. R., & Vermeiren, R. R. (2007). Criminal profiles of violent juvenile sex and violent juvenile non–sex offenders: An explorative longitudinal study. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 22, 1341–1355. https://doi.org/10.1177/0886260507304802.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  59. Viljoen, J. L., Scalora, M., Cuadra, L., Bader, S., Chavez, V., Ullman, D., & Lawrence, L. (2008). Assessing risk for violence in adolescents who have sexually offended: A comparison of the J-SOAP-II, JSORRAT-II, and SAVRY. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 35(1), 5–33. https://doi.org/10.1177/0093854807307521.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  60. Viljoen, J. L., Mordell, S., & Beneteau, J. L. (2012). Prediction of adolescent sexual re-offending: A meta-analysis of the J-SOAP-II, ERASOR, J-SORRAT-II, and Static-99. Law and Human Behavior, 36, 423–438. https://doi.org/10.1037/h0093938.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to L. C. Miccio-Fonseca.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of Interest

Author states there is no conflict of interest.

Additional information

Publisher’s Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

California Coalition on Sexual Offending provided a $2000 research award, which was used for the final statistical analysis of the cross-validation study.

Name of the tool is MEGA; copyrighted and registered by the author includes the musical note.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Miccio-Fonseca, L.C. MEGA: Empirical Findings on the Preternatural: Sexually Violent and Predatory Sexually Violent Youth. Journ Child Adol Trauma 12, 457–467 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40653-018-0242-8

Download citation

Keywords

  • Adolescent sex offender
  • Sexually abusive youth
  • Violent sex offender
  • Sexually violent predator
  • MEGA risk assessment tool