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Predictive Validity of Lifestyle Impulsivity for Rapists

NCJ Number
Criminal Justice and Behavior Volume: 22 Issue: 2 Dated: (June 1995) Pages: 106-128
Date Published
23 pages
This study examined the utility of lifestyle impulsivity as a typological discriminator for recidivism among rapists; impulsivity was investigated with respect to four criminal offense domains using a sample of 109 offenders discharged from a maximum-security treatment facility in Massachusetts over a 25- year period.
Data were obtained from clinical files and criminal records of the 109 offenders. Lifestyle impulsivity was assessed as part of the Massachusetts Treatment Center's taxonomic system for classifying rapists. The ability of lifestyle impulsivity to predict different crime categories was tested using survival analysis. Recidivism was operationalized as a hazard rate, or the conditional probability of failure at a certain point in time. Findings revealed that the hazard rate for the high-impulsivity group was at least twice as great as the hazard rate for the low- impulsivity group. For nonsexual victimless charges, the hazard rate was almost four times as high. Lifestyle impulsivity was a relatively robust typological discriminator for reoffense risk across several criminal behavior domains. Group differences in survival rates after 10 years ranged from 25 to 40 percent. The authors conclude that psychopathy in general and lifestyle impulsivity in particular may be critically important risk markers for sexual recidivism. 57 references, 2 tables, and 4 figures

Date Published: January 1, 1995