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Impulsivity in the Lifestyle and Criminal Behavior of Sexual Offenders

NCJ Number
Criminal Justice and Behavior Volume: 13 Issue: 2 Dated: (June 1986) Pages: 141-164
Date Published
24 pages
The present study examined three measures of impulsivity in samples of incarcerated rapists and child molesters.
The focus of the investigation was the interrelation among these measures and the relation of these measures to juvenile and adult criminal behavior. The three measures correlated with different aspects of antisocial behavior, supporting the hypothesis that they tap different behavioral domains. The relative amount of planning and forethought manifested in the criminal act (the first measure) was unrelated to the other measures of impulsivity and covaried with sexual and aggressive motivational components of the offender. A general lifestyle of impulsive behavior as assessed by the MTC classification system (the second measure) was related to a general failure in the development of controls as reflected in preadolescent problems in mastery of life's tasks. Transiency, as reflected in ratings of aimlessness and unstable employment history (the third measure), defined most clearly a subgroup of child molesters characterized by a schizoid lack of cathexis, withdrawal, and a seclusive, eccentric style. The results of this study have clear substantive implications both about the nature of impulsivity and its measurements, and about the specific MTC taxonomic distinctions that focus on impulsivity. (Publisher abstract)

Date Published: January 1, 1986