EFFECTS OF REINFORCEMENT, IN-DEPTH KNOWLEDGE OF SEXUAL ABUSE
CYCLE, AND RELAPSE PREVENTION TRAINING ON COPING STYLE AND
RECIDIVISM OF MALE JUVENILE SEX OFFENDERS
The proposed study is designed to examine whether a comprehensive treatment intervention involving teaching adolescent sex offenders about the sexual abuse cycle operates to increase coping skills and decrease recidivism. So that the proposed study may be placed within the context of existing knowledge in the field, this section of the report offers a description and discussion of the nature of juvenile sexual offense in the United States and of the sexual abuse cycle itself.
Nature of Juvenile Sexual Offenders in America
What are the general characteristics of juvenile sex offenders? In this regard, Digiorgio-Miller (1993) has noted that:
Much of the literature on juvenile sex offenders has come from clinical opinion rather than empirical research. Relatively few studies have used comparison groups to ascertain the characteristics which separate juvenile sex offenders from other adolescents. (p. 1191)
In an effort to provide more empirical data on the characteristics of juvenile sex offenders and how they differ from non-offenders, Digiorgio-Miller (1993) examined the family conflict, self-esteem, sexual knowledge and peer relationships of 95 male adolescents from three groups of juvenile sex offenders, juvenile nonsex offenders and juvenile non-offenders. Each subject completed measures regarding these four variables.
Results of a discriminant function analysis performed on collected data yielded maximum group separation of the juvenile nonsex offenders and the juvenile non-offenders, with sexual knowledge loading highest on this significant discriminant function. Family conflict, self-esteem and peer relationships did not serve to separate the three groups.
Additional insight into the characteristics associated with juvenile sexua...