Author ORCID Identifier

Document Type


Publication Date





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


This article has been accepted for publication in Psychology, Law and the Wellbeing of Children Published by Oxford University Press.



Terms of Use

This article is made available under the Scholars Archive Terms of Use.