Predictors of recidivism in Australian juvenile sex offenders: Implications for treatment

Dianna T. Kenny*, Timothy Keogh, Katie Seidler

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    51 Citations (Scopus)


    Juvenile sex offenders charged with their first sexual offence were compared with recidivist juvenile sex offenders who had been charged with more than one sexual offence on a number of factors related to sexual offending. Participants were 70 male juvenile sex offenders, aged 13-21 years who were awaiting court disposition. Negative family history, negative family characteristics, school and learning problems, social skill deficits, deviant sexual experiences, deviant sexual fantasies, and cognitive distortions were assessed for their direct and mediating roles in recidivism. Path analysis indicated that poor social skills, learning problems, and deviant sexual experiences were causally related to recidivism of sexual offending. Poor social skills were directly related to recidivism, whereas cognitive distortions and deviant sexual fantasies mediated the role of learning problems and deviant sexual experiences. There was a significant association between deviant sexual experience and learning problems. The findings support the role of cognitive distortions and deviant sexual fantasies in recidivist sexual offending for this sample. The causal role identified for poor social skills and learning problems in recidivism for sexual offending has implications for treatment and therefore deserves further attention.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)131-148
    Number of pages18
    JournalSexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2001


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