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A Preliminary Analysis of Psychological Characteristics, Abuse History, and Family Functioning in Male Juvenile Sex Offenders

Stephanie Baumgratz, Eric D. Johnson
This research examined the variables that separate adolescent sex offenders fromother high-risk adolescents. The variables analyzed were psychological characteristics(repression and antisocial behavior), family functioning (traditional versus nontraditionaland extreme versus balanced) and abuse history (sexual abuse overt, sexual abuse covertand physical abuse). The research was a quantitative, cross-sectional, correlation fieldstudy. Archival data from 105 high-risk adolescent males ranging in
more » ... nt males ranging in age from 12 to 18,who have had foster care placements through IMPACT, was used. This data wasanalyzed using several empirically tested scales including The Jesness Inventory(Jesness, 1988), The Carlson Psychological Survey (Carlson, 1982) and The FamilyAdaptability and Cohesion Scale II (David Olson and Associates, 1991). The EarlySexual Experience Scale was an additional instrument used in this study (Baumgratz,2004). This instrument does not have researched psychometric properties, however thisresearcher was unable to find another appropriate measure of covert sexual abuse.Therefore, the validity and reliability of this measurement were tested as part of thisresearch.The study found that juvenile male sex offenders were more likely to haveexperiences of covert sexual abuse (p = .000), measured by The Early Sexual ExperienceScale, than other juvenile in the same foster care setting. In addition, juvenile sexoffenders who did not have a history of overt sexual abuse were also found to experiencemore covert sexual abuse than other juvenile males (p < .01). Rigidity in the familyenvironment was found to be a characteristic that was significant in relationship tojuvenile sexual offending (p = .01). Physical abuse, psychological characteristics, andfamily structure were not significantly related to juvenile males sexually offending.The statistically significance finding of covert sexual abuse being positivelycorrelated with juvenile sex offending demonstrated the importance of broadening thedefinition of sexual abuse to inc [...]
doi:10.17918/etd-2885 fatcat:uffvvndyobb75o7lx3t27xobem