Psychopathy, intelligence, and recidivism in child molesters: Evidence of an interaction effect

  • Beggs S
  • Grace R
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Abstract

The authors studied the relationships between psychopathy, intelligence, and offending in a sample of treated child molesters (N = 216). Regression analyses showed that psychopathy (as measured by the Psychopathy Checklist–Revised) was strongly related to both offense history and recidivism during follow-up. Intelligence (assessed using four-subtest short forms of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale–Revised and Third Versions) was not related to offending. However, there was a signifi- cant interaction between intelligence and psychopathy on recidivism: Offenders with relatively low intelligence and high psy- chopathy scores were more than 4 times as likely to have received a sexual reconviction as other offenders. Results are discussed in terms of implications for risk assessment. Keywords:

Author-supplied keywords

  • Child sexual offenders
  • Intelligence
  • Pedophilia
  • Psychopathy
  • Recidivism

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