Adolescent sex offenders

Ja Nelle M. Ricks, Ralph J. DiClemente

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In the United States, law enforcement and judicial systems and mental health professionals continue to struggle to deal with the rise in the number of juvenile sex offenders. The consequences of sex offending are substantial for victims, society, perpetrators, and their families, involving significant human (emotional and physical suffering) and financial costs. Adolescent sexual offending is a complex phenomenon that cannot be easily explained. Many theories have been proposed to explain why some children and teens sexually abuse others. However, to date there is no empirically derived and tested model to explain what motivates adolescents to perpetrate sexual crimes. This chapter provides an overview of biological, individual, familial, social, and behavioral characteristics of adolescents who have sexually offended. This chapter also reviews common approaches to treating and preventing recurrent sexually aggressive behavior in juveniles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of Adolescent Behavioral Problems
Subtitle of host publicationEvidence-Based Approaches to Prevention and Treatment
PublisherSpringer US
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781489974976
ISBN (Print)9781489974969
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology
  • General Medicine
  • General Social Sciences


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