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Journal Article


Skubic Kemper T, Kistner JA. Sex. Abuse 2010; 22(2): 172-190.


(Copyright © 2010, SAGE Publishing)






Victim age is commonly used in the classification of juvenile sexual offenders (JSOs). However, the results of studies comparing JSOs who offend peers (peer offenders) with those who offend children (child molesters) are variable and inconclusive. Reasons for this variability include the lack of attention to JSOs who offend both children and peers (mixed offenders) and the variability across studies in the classification criteria used to assign JSOs to subgroups. Some studies use victim age, others use offender-victim age discrepancies, and still others use a combination of victim age and age discrepancies to classify JSOs. These variations may result in samples of JSOs that are not comparable across studies. The primary purpose of the present research was to examine the strength of the relationship between JSO subgroup membership (child, peer, and mixed offenders) and personal, criminal history, and offense history variables using several different classification methods commonly used in JSO research. Patterns of relationships between subgroup membership and the dependent variables were then compared across the classification methods to determine whether changes in classification criteria changed the pattern of results. The results indicated that the pattern of relationships between subgroups and the dependent variables changed little when classification criteria varied. Consequently, variation in classification criteria is unlikely to be contributing to the inconsistencies of the findings when comparing victim age based subgroups of JSOs.

Language: en


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