Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, Vol. 17, No. 1, January 2005 (
Comparing Personality Characteristics of Juvenile
Sex Offenders and Non-Sex Offending Delinquent
Peers: A Preliminary Investigation
Kurt A. Freeman,
Elizabeth T. Dexter-Mazza,
and Kerry C. Hoffman
There exists a paucity of research on psychopathology among Juvenile Sex Offend-
ers (JSOs) as measured by standardized instruments, particularly as compared
to nonclinical and other clinical populations. The current investigation involved
a comparison of scores on the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory—
Adolescent Version (MMPI-A) between a group of JSOs and non-sex offending
delinquent peers. Thirty-six youth from a staff-secure residential facilitate par-
ticipated, 18 JSOs and 18 non-sex offending delinquent peers. Results revealed
that the mean score on clinical Scale 4 (Psychopathic Deviant) was in the clini-
cally signiﬁcant range for non-sex offending peers and not for JSOs, although the
difference between the mean scores was not statistically signiﬁcant. Chi-square
analysis indicated that a signiﬁcantly greater number of non-sex offending delin-
quents had scores in the clinical range on this scale as compared to JSOs. Results
are discussed in the context of current research on psychopathology among JSOs.
KEY WORDS: Juvenile Sexual Offenders; personality characteristics; psychopathology.
In an effort to better understand the unique characteristics of youth who
commit sexual crimes, researchers have increasingly focused on the psychologi-
cal and behavioral characteristics of juvenile sex offenders (JSOs; e.g., Awad &
Saunders, 1989; Cooper, Murphy, & Haynes, 1996; Kavoussi, Kaplan, & Becker,
Counseling Psychology Program, Paciﬁc University, Portland, Oregon.
St. Mary’s Home for Boys, Beaverton, Oregon.
School of Professional Psychology, Paciﬁc University, Forest Grove, Oregon.
Present address: Department of Pediatrics, Child Development and Rehabilitation Center, Oregon
Health & Science University, Portland Oregon.
To whom correspondence should be addressed at 707 SW Gainrs, Child Development and
Rehabilitation Center, Oregon Health & Science University Portland, Oregon 97207; e-mail:
2005 Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.