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Cynthia Najdowski:

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The need to protect children from dangerous sex offenders has led to policies that require juvenile sex offenders to register on public online registries. It is important to determine the implications of these laws for the wellbeing of child victims and also for juvenile offenders on these registries. Is the application of these laws—designed for adult offenders—to juveniles appropriate, necessary, and supported by public sentiment? The chapter reviews current sex offender registration policies and psychological research addressing whether the assumptions underlying these laws are supported by research, public sentiment toward these laws, factors that might drive biases against stigmatized youth (e.g., gay youth, African Americans) in public support for these laws, and underlying psychological motivation for supporting these laws (i.e., punitive versus utilitarian management of threat goals). Finally, the chapter draws from the reviewed research to discuss implications for juvenile sex offender policy and child wellbeing


Publisher Acknowledgement:

This is the Author’s Original Manuscript. The version of the record appears here: Salerno, J. M., Stevenson, M. C., Najdowski, C. J., Wiley, T. R. A., Bottoms, B. L., & Peter-Hagene, C. L. (2014). The application of sex offender registry laws to juvenile offenders: Biases against stigmatized adolescents. Invited chapter in M. K. Miller, J. Chamberlain, & T. Wingrove (Eds.), Psychology, law, and the wellbeing of children (pp. 66-82). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.



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