Date of Award

Fall 12-2011

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Applied Developmental Psychology



Major Professor

Frick, Paul

Second Advisor

Marsee, Monica

Third Advisor

Laird, Robert

Fourth Advisor

Martel, Michelle

Fifth Advisor

Vincent, Gina


Adolescent offenders commit a significant number of physical and sexual assaults every year. A critical task for researchers and clinicians is to understand the distinct pathways that lead to these serious types of offending. The current study attempts to test the importance of these different pathways by comparing violent, violent sex, non-violent sex, and non-violent offenders based on SAVRY risk items, reoffending, and effects of treatment. A sample of 517 adolescents on probation was assessed for several risk factors (i.e., anger management, ADHD, low empathy/remorse) by probation officers. Recidivism over 12 months was assessed from official records. Results indicated that after controlling for race, groups differed on several risk factors, with significant differences noted between violent and non-violent sex offenders for anger management and attention deficit/hyperactivity problems, as well as violent sex offenders and all other offenders for low empathy/remorse. In comparison to non-violent offenders, violent offenders had more any re-offense and violent re-offense. While risk factors partially predicted the relationship between offender and recidivism, treatment did not moderate this relationship.


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