We compile citations and summaries of about 400 new articles every week.
RSS Feed

HELP: Tutorials | FAQ
CONTACT US: Contact info

Search Results

Journal Article


Quinsey VL, Harris GT, Rice ME, Lalumière ML. J. Interpers. Violence 1993; 8(4): 512-523.


(Copyright © 1993, SAGE Publishing)






VioLit summary:

The purpose of this paper by Quinsey et al. was to argue that the effectiveness of treatment in reducing sex offender recidivism had not yet been scientifically demonstrated, and in order to prove the effectiveness of such treatment, there was a requirement for more well-controlled outcome research that could be evaluated with meta-analytic techniques.

The authors' goal was to show that conclusions drawn by Marshall et al. from their own respective 1991 review of previous treatment outcome studies among sex offenders was unsupported and did not provide satisfactory scientific answers to questions about treatment efficacy. The methodological weaknesses of Marshall et al were reviewed and criticized in terms of being based on narrative reviews which were not interpreted in an objective context, nor did they account for faulty scientific designs inherent in most of the reviews reported.

The authors concluded that their point by point refutation of Marshall et al's review on the efficacy of assessing treatment in outcome studies of sex offenders showed that the effectiveness of treatment in reducing sexual recidivism remains moot. It was also specified that narrative reviews, regardless of how well conducted, were ill equipped to provide satisfactory answers to questions concerning treatment efficacy. Quinsey et al further concluded that after having conducted their own narrative literature reviews and after writing the present critique, narrative reviews should play a very small, albeit sometimes important, role in drawing substantive conclusions from any literature. Meta-analysis was seen as the procedure which could provide quantitative answers to resolve the efficacy of sex treatment programs. Meta-analysis was defined as a strategy which organized and combined quantitative data about a group of studies where each study was considered as a single element.

Quinsey et al. agreed with Marshall et al. and others that the "nothing works" doctrine in offender treatment should not be countenanced, but only because there had been sufficient controlled research in the overall field of delinquent and adult offender treatment to enable a clinically sophisticated meta-analysis to unequivocally demonstrate strong treatment effects.
The authors noted that use of meta-analyses should encourage more evaluative research in the field of sex offenders because every experimental or quasi-experimental study would help the field to reach definitive scientific conclusions. The authors looked forward to a time when there would be enough controlled studies of sex offender treatment to permit a convincing meta-analysis. (CSPV Abstract - Copyright © 1992-2007 by the Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence, Institute of Behavioral Science, Regents of the University of Colorado)


All SafetyLit records are available for automatic download to Zotero & Mendeley