Developmental Trajectories to Delinquency, Socioemotional Disturbance, and the Characteristics of Family Environments Among Male Adolescent Sexual Offenders
Symposium theme: In this symposium, we investigate the association among variables that were hypothesized to contribute to sexual and nonsexual crimes committed by residentially-based male sexually abusive youth (N= 536, total sample). Self-report measures used in juvenile justice settings were administered to the youth in a group format. Advanced statistical models were used: hierarchical multiple linear regression, path analysis and Structural Equation Modeling (SEM), and latent class analysis to test theoretical models that attempt to explain causal relationships among constructs related to sexual offending.
In the first paper, hierarchical multiple linear regression and path analysis examining models of relevant predictors showed that psychopathic traits were associated both with more offenses and with more serious offenses. In the second paper, controlling for race, age, grade in school and sexual victimization and perpetration histories, linear regressions showed that each aggression subscale and the total score are separately associated with delinquency with high significance (p < .001). In the third paper, latent class analysis (LCA) identified three subtypes based on five indicators (e.g., family criminality) of family social environment: 1) negative family social conditions (23.3%); 2) moderate number of illegal acts, alcohol/drug problems and physical abuse within the family (44.2%) but no children placed outside of home; 3) low problems. Regression analyses suggested that juvenile sexual abusers from the subtype of extremely negative family social conditions are most predictive of delinquency