Towards a psychometric typology for assessing pretreatment level of problems in child abusers

Anthony Beech

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13 Citations (Scopus)


Fifty-nine child abusers were given a battery of psychometric measures before the commencement of treatment for their sex offending. The scores on these measures assessed levels of social adequacy, sex deviance and denial. Statistical analysis found that these measures formed clusters of deviancy in comparison with a sample of 81 non-offending men. Five deviancy groups were clearly identified, ranging from a Very Low deviancy group where there was little difference in scores on most of the questionnaires from non-offending men, to a High+ deviancy group where the scores on the questionnaires were extremely deviant on most of the measures.

Investigation of the offence demographics found that, compared to the lower deviancy men, higher deviancy men were at greater risk of reconviction for a sexual offence, to have had a large number of victims, to have committed offences both inside and outside of the family, and to have committed offences against both boys and girls. Even though research is at an early stage, these results suggest that the use of psychometric tests may be a useful adjunct to any risk assessment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-100
JournalJournal of Sexual Aggression
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1997


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