Prospective validity of the Estimate of Risk of Adolescent Sexual Offense Recidivism (ERASOR).

Research paper by James R JR Worling, David D Bookalam, Ariel A Litteljohn

Indexed on: 05 Oct '11Published on: 05 Oct '11Published in: Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment


Data from the Estimate of Risk of Adolescent Sexual Offense Recidivism (ERASOR; Worling & Curwen) were collected for a sample of 191 adolescent males who had offended sexually. Adolescents were aged 12 to 19 years (M = 15.34; SD = 1.53) at the time of their participation in a comprehensive assessment. The ERASOR was completed by 1 of 22 clinicians immediately following each assessment. Forty-five adolescents were independently rated by pairs of clinicians, and significant interrater agreement was found for the ERASOR risk factors, the clinical judgment ratings (low, moderate, or high), and a total score. Recidivism data (criminal charges) were subsequently collected from three sources that spanned a follow-up period between 0.1 and 7.9 years (M = 3.66; SD = 2.08). Overall, 9.4% (18 of 191) of the adolescents were charged with a subsequent sexual offense over this time period. A shorter follow-up interval of up to 2.5 years (M = 1.4; SD = 0.71) was also examined. Recidivism data for the shorter follow-up interval were available for a subgroup of 70 adolescents, with a comparable recidivism rate of 8.6% (6 of 70). Clinical judgment ratings, the total score, and the sum of risk factors rated as present were significantly predictive of sexual reoffending for the short follow-up period. The total score and the sum of risk factors were predictive of sexual reoffending over the entire follow-up interval. These results add to the emerging research supporting the reliability and validity of structured risk assessment tools for adolescent sexual recidivism.