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Psychometric Assessment of Dynamic Risk Factors for Child Molesters

NCJ Number
Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment Volume: 19 Issue: 4 Dated: December 2007 Pages: 347-367
Michael Allan; Randolph C. Grace; Bronwyn Rutherford; Stephen M. Hudson
Date Published
December 2007
21 pages
This New Zealand study assessed the association between the following risk factors and sexual reoffending for a sample of 495 male child molesters: sexual attitudes and beliefs, emotional functioning, and interpersonal functioning.
The factors that correlated with sexual reoffending were social inadequacy, sexual interests, hostility/anger, and pro-offending attitudes. Of these factors, sexual interests and pro-offending attitudes were the most strongly related to reoffending. These results indicate that psychometric self-reports can provide valid measures of dynamic risk factors for sexual reoffending. All study participants were inmates involved in the Kia Marama Special Treatment Unit at Rolleston Prison in Christchurch, New Zealand. This unit was established in late 1989 as a specialized cognitive-behavioral treatment program for adult men who had received a custodial sentence for sexual offenses against children. The unit houses up to 60 men; admission to the program is voluntary. All men who had entered Kia Marama from its beginning in 1989 were released from prison prior to February 1, 2001. A total of 495 of these men were included in this study. They were assessed on a psychometric test battery before starting the program and after its completion. Only data from the pretreatment assessment were examined for this study. Sexual attitudes and beliefs were measured with the Abel-Becker Cognitions Scale, the Hostility Towards Women Scale, the Rape Myth Acceptance Scale, and the Wilson Sexual Fantasy Questionnaire. Emotional functioning was measured with the Beck Depression Inventory, the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, and the State Trait Anger Expression Inventory. Interpersonal competency was assessed with the Social Self-Esteem Inventory, the Assertion Inventory, the Revised UCLA Loneliness Scale, the Fear of Intimacy Scale, the Adult Nowicki-Strickland Internal-External Control Scale, and the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale. 4 tables, 1 figure, and 74 references