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Path Analytic Approach to the Validation of a Taxonomic System for Classifying Child Molesters

NCJ Number
Journal of Quantitative Criminology Volume: 5 Issue: 3 Dated: (September 1989) Pages: 231-257
R A Prentky; R A Knight; R Rosenberg; A Lee
Date Published
27 pages
The taxonomy for child molesters developed at the Massachusetts Treatment Center (MTC:CM3) is validated by a study of 177 child molesters.
This version of the classification system MTC:CM3 has three major changes: (1) partitioning of the "regressed/fixated" dichotomy into separate factors -- level of social competence and degree of fixation on children; (2) filling of the empirically determined gap between the object-oriented offender and the antisocial, exploitative offender with a new type -- the "narcissistic" type; and (3) differentiation of the violence in the sexual offense into nonsadistic and sadistic components. For the study, child molesters committed to the Treatment Center were classified by MTC:CM3 and variables from the clinical files were coded and rationally grouped by developmental period and subjected to principal-components analysis (PCA). Regression analyses yielded three path models indicating that the new subtypes created had distinct developmental courses and adult adaptations. 1 table, 4 figures, 67 references. (Author abstract modified)


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