Juvenile sex offenders and institutional misconduct: the role of thought psychopathology.

Matt DeLisi, Michael G. Vaughn, Kevin M. Beaver, John Paul Wright, Andy Hochstetler, Anna E. Kosloski, Alan J. Drury

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Little is known about the institutional behaviour of incarcerated sex offenders. AIM: To study the relationships between juvenile sex offending, thought psychopathology and institutional misconduct. METHOD: We applied negative binomial regression and Area Under Curve Receiver Operating Characteristic (AUC-ROC) analyses to self-report and records data from institutionalised delinquents (N = 813) committed to the California Youth Authority to explore the links between sex offending and institutional misconduct, controlling for offender demographics, institution, index offence, and self-reported and official criminal history. RESULTS: Juvenile sex offending was associated with six forms of institutional misconduct (sexual, general and total misconduct as reviewed by parole board) over 12 and 24 months prior to rating. Two measures of thought psychopathology, which were related to psychosis-like thought, were significantly associated with juvenile sex offender status. These constructs did not, however, mediate the independent predictive effects of adolescent sex offending on institutional misconduct. CONCLUSION: Interventions to help incarcerated young offenders are likely to be particularly important for those with a sex offending history as they are otherwise likely to persist with antisocial behaviours of all kinds within and beyond the institution. Attention to their thought processes may be particularly useful. Copyright (c) 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)292-305
Number of pages14
JournalCriminal behaviour and mental health : CBMH
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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