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Sex Abuse. 2016 Jun;28(4):340-59. doi: 10.1177/1079063214535819. Epub 2014 May 28.

Adverse Childhood Experiences in the Lives of Male Sex Offenders: Implications for Trauma-Informed Care.

Author information

1
Lynn University, Boca Raton, FL, USA levenson.jill@bellsouth.net.
2
The University of Auckland, New Zealand.
3
Becket Family of Services, Falmouth, ME, USA.

Abstract

This study explored the prevalence of childhood trauma in a sample of male sexual offenders (N = 679) using the Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) scale. Compared with males in the general population, sex offenders had more than 3 times the odds of child sexual abuse (CSA), nearly twice the odds of physical abuse, 13 times the odds of verbal abuse, and more than 4 times the odds of emotional neglect and coming from a broken home. Less than 16% endorsed zero ACEs and nearly half endorsed four or more. Multiple maltreatments often co-occurred with other types of household dysfunction, suggesting that many sex offenders were raised within a disordered social environment. Higher ACE scores were associated with higher risk scores. By enhancing our understanding of the frequency and correlates of early adverse experiences, we can better devise trauma-informed interventions that respond to the clinical needs of sex offender clients.

KEYWORDS:

adverse childhood experiences; sexual offender treatment; trauma-informed care

PMID:
24872347
DOI:
10.1177/1079063214535819
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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