Juvenile sex offenders: a complex population

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Psychiatry

Publication Date


Document Type



Adolescent; *Criminal Psychology; Forensic Psychiatry; Humans; Juvenile Delinquency; Mental Disorders; Risk Factors; Sex Offenses


Health Services Research | Mental and Social Health | Psychiatric and Mental Health | Psychiatry | Psychiatry and Psychology


Individuals who engage in sexual offending behavior represent a heterogeneous population. Recent research has found some success in categorizing sexual offenders based on a number of variables, particularly the type of victim. For example, differences have been found between those offenders who victimize adults when compared with those who victimize children. However, the research in this area has been conducted predominantly with adult samples. As the adult sex offender literature has progressed, it has become evident that risk assessment, treatment effectiveness, and risk management are dependent on such offender characteristics. Unfortunately, the relevance to juveniles of characteristics deemed to be important with adult sex offenders is limited due to the complexity of developmental processes, particularly with respect to mental disorders and personality formation. As such, the formulation and implementation of treatment and risk management strategies that will be effective with juvenile sex offenders are challenging. The goal of this paper is to review some of the complexities inherent in the juvenile sex offender population by focusing on specific areas of complication, including: classification systems, comorbid paraphilias and other mental illnesses, and maladaptive personality traits.

DOI of Published Version



J Forensic Sci. 2006 Jan;51(1):163-7. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of forensic sciences

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID