Document Type

Article

Publication details

Nisbet, IA, Smallbone, SW & Wortley, R 2010, 'Developmental, individual and family characteristics of specialist, versatile, and short-duration adolescent sex offenders', Sexual Abuse in Australia and New Zealand, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 85-96.

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Peer Reviewed

Peer-Reviewed

Abstract

This article reports on developmental, individual and family characteristics of 108 adjudicated adolescent sexual offenders who had been referred to a specialised assessment and treatment service. A Principal Components Analysis of measures of developmental characteristics (abuse histories, conduct problems), individual characteristics (callous unemotional traits; externalising and internalising behaviours), and family functioning (parental involvement; parental supervision; positive parenting practices; inconsistent discipline and corporal punishment) yielded three main components. These components were designated Negative Environment, Positive Environment and Transgression. Three subgroups were identified on the basis of their criminal histories: specialist offenders (n = 47); versatile offenders (n = 33), and short-duration offenders (n = 28). MANCOVA revealed a significant multivariate main effect for offender subtype. A significant univariate effect was found for Transgression. Results suggest that offence specialisation and versatility among adolescent sexual offenders may arise from somewhat different developmental pathways.

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