To explore the relationship between dynamic risk factors and recidivism in child molesters, we studied a sample of men (N = 495) who completed an intensive, prison-based treatment program in New Zealand. During the follow-up period (M = 5.8 years), 9.9% were reconvicted for a sexual offense. A self-report psychometric battery was administered at pre-treatment that assessed a range of variables related to sexual attitudes and beliefs, emotional functioning, and interpersonal competency. Factor analysis showed that individual differences in the battery could be described by four dimensions—Social Inadequacy, Sexual Interests, Anger/Hostility, and Pro-Offending Attitudes. Factor scores for each dimension were significantly correlated with sexual recidivism. Logistic regression analyses confirmed that the Sexual Interests and Pro-Offending Attitudes factor scores, as well as an Overall Deviance score which combined the dimensions, provided significant additional validity for predicting recidivism beyond the Static-99 (Hanson and Thornton Law and Human Behavior 24:119–136, 2000). When added to the Static-99, the Overall Deviance score increased the area under the Receiver-Operating Characteristic curve (AUC) from 0.72 to 0.81. These results show that psychometric self-reports can provide valid measures of dynamic risk factors, and that inclusion of such measures can improve risk prediction beyond that achievable by static factors alone.
Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 14, 2007
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