A psychometric typology of child abusers

Anthony Beech

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

135 Citations (Scopus)


A psychometric battery of measures, assessing a range of problem areas, was completed by 140 convicted untreated child abusers. Measures were adjusted for social desirability. Cluster analysis of the data identified men on the basis of deviancy (levels of pro-offending attitudes and social inadequacy) and denial (self-reported levels of offending behaviors). Examination of offense histories found that high-deviancy men, compared to low-deviancy men, were more likely to have been convicted of a previous sexual offense; to have committed offenses against boys, or both boys and girls; to have committed extrafamilial, or both extra-and intrafamilial, offenses; and to have had many victims. A method of identifying deviancy, which showed good cross-validation, also was derived. Although low-deviancy men were much more likely to be incest offenders than were high-deviancy men, nearly 40% of high-deviancy men were found to be intrafamilial offenders, suggesting that identifying deviancy level may be a useful adjunct to any risk assessment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-38
JournalInternational Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology
Publication statusPublished - 1998


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