Offense pathways in sexual offenders

  • Hudson S
  • Ward T
  • McCormack J
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In recent years, the development of models of the offense process, relapse prevention in particular, have provided frameworks for the implementation of treatment. However, relapse prevention suffers from some conceptual problems, and therefore we have developed a descriptive model that attempts to provide a more satisfactory account of the offense process. This model contains a number of distinct points of individual differences, which create the possibility of different pathways. The current study examines these pathways, evident in offense transcripts from 86 sexual offenders. The majority of offense profiles were classifiable as belonging to three major pathways. Approximately one third reflected an appetitive, positive affect pathway. One quarter of the sample reflected the traditional covert planning, negative affect, restraint pathway. The third major pathway reflected a negative restraining process but with explicit planning. The clinical significance of these pathways is described and some suggestions for future research are made.

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