Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


School of Criminal Justice

Content Description

1 online resource (viii, 183 pages) : illustrations (some color)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Dana Peterson

Committee Members

Megan Kurlychek, David McDowall, David Wallace


cluster analysis, juveniles, sex offending, treatment, typologies, Child sex offenders, Teenage sex offenders, Typology (Psychology)

Subject Categories

Criminology | Psychology


Understanding juvenile sex offenders is of the utmost importance in order to ensure effective treatment and reduce recidivism. A more thorough recognition of this population is the best option in preventing future offending, because most adult sex offenders began their criminal careers in adolescence. Extant typologies of this population have been limited to be only descriptive or not empirically verified and thus of limited use. Hierarchical cluster analysis is used to develop a taxonomy based upon the content of case files from two juvenile treatment programs, based upon demographic information, offense details, psychological and behavioral issues, and participation in treatment. Four distinct types were found: sexually aggressive (those who were otherwise non-delinquent) revenge (those who were mostly non-delinquent but specifically targeted step and half siblings), disturbed revenge (those who offended against half and step siblings, but demonstrated more significant behavioral and psychological disturbances) and disturbed aggressive (overall antisocial individuals who displayed problems with psychological issues and violent behaviors). To verify, this classification system is then used to determine if it is an effective predictor of successful completion of treatment, and if it can predict program performance in terms of incident reports for behavioral, procedural, and sexual behaviors within treatment using logistic and negative binomial regression, respectively. It did not show predictive validity in determining discharge from the program, but did delineate which students were more likely to commit aggressive, sexual, and procedural violations. Finally, the implications for this typology in a treatment setting are discussed, as are future directions for research.