Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Discriminant Factors for Adolescent Sexual Offending: On the Usefulness of Considering Both Victim Age & Sibling Incest

Understanding the pathways and circumstances of juvenile sexual offending is of utmost importance. However, juvenile sexual offenders (JSO) represent an especially diverse group of individuals, and several categorizations have been proposed to obtain more homogeneous subgroups. Victim age-based and family relation-based categorizations are particularly promising because they seem theoretically and clinically relevant. Empirical results however are still inconsistent, and most studies have not considered these two dimensions jointly. 

The first goal of this study was to further examine the value of subgrouping JSO according to the age of their victim. A second goal was to determine the supplementary value, if any, of considering sibling incest. Based on a sample of 351 male JSO, it was first confirmed that sexual abuse of children was more strongly related to asociality (social skill deficits) than sexual abuse of peers, the latter being more closely associated with antisociality (general delinquency). 

The relevance of considering mixed-type JSO (with both child and peer victims) separately was also confirmed. More importantly, multivariate statistical analyses demonstrated that adding sibling incest to the equation was useful. JSO of intra-familial child were significantly more likely to have been victimized during their own childhood compared to JSO with extra-familial victims. Nevertheless, adolescents who had committed sibling incest obtained middle ground results on most variables (except for crime severity), suggesting that they constitute a distinct but not extreme, subgroup. 

This study confirmed the utility of using both the age and the family relation with the victim in characterizing juvenile sexual offending.

Purchase full article at:   http://goo.gl/rSU1wu

  • 1Psychology Department, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, C.P. 500, Trois-Rivières, Quebec, Canada, G9A 5H7; Research Center, Institut Philippe-Pinel de Montréal, Quebec, Canada; International Center for Comparative Criminology, Université de Montréal, Quebec, Canada. 
  •  2016 Feb 19;54:10-22. doi: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2016.01.006.

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