Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Master of Education

Program

Psychology

Supervisor

Dr. Alan Leschied

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to evaluate a specialized assessment program with a sample of children/youth (n = 80) who were seeking intervention for inappropriate sexual behaviour (ISB) at a tertiary mental health facility in London, Ontario. The primary goal was to identify predictive factors in participants with offending behaviour—both sexual and non-sexual—in order to prioritize treatment needs and to address strategies for reducing the risk of sexual offending against others. As participant ages increased by 1 year, their odds of sexually offending someone increased by approximately 27%. Also, males were found six times more likely to sexually offend and 15 times more likely to offend both sexually and non-sexually than females. However, findings suggest that trauma may play a mediator role to sexually offending patterns as those who experienced greater levels of abuse were less likely to sexually offend against others. Future assessments with clients exhibiting ISB should consider the aggregated burden of risk presented with an older male, displaying high externalizing scores, with a history of fewer traumatic experiences in regards to future victimization. Treatment for these particular cases may require more intensive and/or holistic interventions to ensure that recidivism is reduced and appropriate resources are available to support these youth as they continue to develop. Future directions should be considered to advance understanding in this area.