Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Frick, Paul J.

Second Advisor

Marsee, Monica

Third Advisor

Cruse, Keith R.


Adolescents commit nearly one-fifth of the sex crimes each year. Among those offenders exists a group of adolescent sex offenders with callous and unemotional (CU) traits who seem to show a more severe pattern of sexual offending. The current study attempts to test the importance of these traits by comparing adolescent sex offenders high or low on CU traits based on victim and offense characteristics, and offending history. A sample of 150 detained adolescents with a current sexual offense conviction were assessed through self-report, clinical interview, and file review. Results indicated that after controlling for a history of antisocial behaviors, the high CU group was more likely to have a greater number of victims, use more violence with victims, and engage in more offense planning than the low CU group. The high CU group was also more likely to offend against both strangers and family.


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