Correlates of recidivism among adolescents who have sexually offended.

Research paper by Julie J Carpentier, Jean J Proulx

Indexed on: 01 Oct '11Published on: 01 Oct '11Published in: Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment


The present study investigates the recidivism rates of a sample of 351 male adolescents who sexually offended, and were assessed at an outpatient psychiatric clinic in Montreal, Canada, between 1992 and 2002. The mean age of the participants was 15.8 years (SD=1.8). Data on adolescent and adult recidivism were collected in Summer 2005 from official criminality sources in Canada. Over an 8-year follow-up period, 45% (n=158) of the participants were charged with a new criminal offense, 30% (n=104) were charged with a violent offense, and 10% (n=36) were charged with a sexual offense. Cox regression results suggest that overall, violent, and sexual recidivism can be predicted by a variety of developmental, social, and criminological factors. Paternal abandonment, childhood sexual victimization, association with significantly younger children, and having victimized a stranger were associated with a higher risk of sexual recidivism. Previous delinquency, attention deficit disorder, and childhood sexual victimization were found to increase the risk for both violent and overall recidivism. Also, the use of violence during a sex crime and victimizing a stranger were associated with violent recidivism, and school delay and association with delinquent peers were predictive of overall recidivism. The results confirm that a significant proportion of adolescents who have sexually offended pursue a criminal activity beyond adolescence, although few specialize in sexual offending.