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Sex Abuse. 2018 Sep;30(6):676-704. doi: 10.1177/1079063217691965. Epub 2017 Feb 9.

Three Central Dimensions of Sexual Recidivism Risk: Understanding the Latent Constructs of Static-99R and Static-2002R.

Author information

1
1 Université de Montréal, Quebec, Canada.
2
2 Public Safety Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Abstract

The most commonly used risk assessment tools for predicting sexual violence focus almost exclusively on static, historical factors. Consequently, they are assumed to be unable to directly inform the selection of treatment targets, or evaluate change. However, researchers using latent variable models have identified three dimensions in static actuarial scales for sexual offenders: Sexual Criminality, General Criminality, and a third dimension centered on young age and aggression to strangers. In the current study, we examined the convergent and predictive validity of these dimensions, using psychological features of the offender (e.g., antisocial traits, hypersexuality) and recidivism outcomes. Results indicated that (a) Sexual Criminality was related to dysregulation of sexuality toward atypical objects, without intent to harm; (b) General Criminality was related to antisocial traits; and (c) Youthful Stranger Aggression was related to a clear intent to harm the victim. All three dimensions predicted sexual recidivism, although only General Criminality and Youthful Stranger Aggression predicted nonsexual recidivism. These results indicate that risk tools for sexual violence are multidimensional, and support a shift from an exclusive focus on total scores to consideration of subscales measuring psychologically meaningful constructs.

KEYWORDS:

Static-2002R; Static-99R; construct validity; psychological characteristics; risk assessment; sexual offenders

PMID:
28183223
DOI:
10.1177/1079063217691965

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