Examining the developmental trajectories of adolescent sexual offenders

  • Pullman L
  • Leroux E
  • Motayne G
 et al. 
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The aim of the current study was to assess the validity of the sex-plus versus sex-only categorization method for distinguishing between different types of adolescent sex offenders (ASOs; Butler & Seto, 2002). It is hypothesized that this categorization method has utility when attempting to distinguish between generalist and specialist ASOs (Seto & Pullman, 2014). Additionally, further classification of ASOs was attempted using a well known juvenile delinquency classification scheme, early-onset versus late-onset offenders (Moffitt, 1993). The current study was an archival analysis of clinical files from a sample of 158 male ASOs seen for clinical assessment at a Metropolitan Family Court Clinic. Results indicate that sex-plus offenders are more antisocial, exhibit more psychiatric issues, and have greater deficits in general social skills compared to sex-only offenders. Conversely, sex-only offenders were found to have more atypical sexual interests, and were more likely to have greater deficits in romantic relationships compared to sex-plus offenders. Due to a power related limitation, little support was found for the use of the early-onset versus late-onset classification scheme with ASOs. Overall, these results provide further support to the validity of a sex-only versus sex-plus distinction. Given these results mirror those found in the generalist/specialist literature regarding the etiology of ASOs, sex-only and sex-plus offenders may indeed have different etiological pathways: sex-plus offenders are more driven by general antisociality factors, as the generalist perspective suggests, and sex-only offenders are more driven by special factors, as the specialist explanations suggest. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

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  • L.E. Pullman

  • E.J. Leroux

  • G. Motayne

  • M.C. Seto

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