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Forensic psychiatric outpatients with sexual offences: Personality characteristics, aggression and social competence

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For greater insight into the personality characteristics and problem behaviours of Dutch sexually violent forensic psychiatric outpatients, a group of 105 sexually violent and a group of 69 non-sexually violent outpatients were studied. All had been required by the court to undergo treatment. It was found that together all outpatients scored higher than normal subjects on the neuroticism personality domain and lower on the agreeableness and conscientiousness domains. They also had a greater propensity to become angry. When sexually violent outpatients were compared with non-sexually violent outpatients, the scores of sexually violent patients were found to be higher than those of non-sexually violent patients on the neuroticism and agreeableness personality domains. Sexually violent outpatients reported less hostile and aggressive behaviour and more social anxiety. The scores of sexually violent outpatients on the Static-99 showed that most ran a low average risk of recidivism. Treatment programmes for sexually violent forensic psychiatric outpatients with a relatively low risk of recidivism need not primarily focus on anger management. As sexually violent outpatients are still less “agreeable” than the general Dutch population, it is recommended that moral reasoning training with problem sexual situations be part of the treatment programme for these patients.

Keywords: Forensic psychiatry; personality characteristics; sexual offences; violence

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Het Dok Forensic Psychiatric Outpatient Department, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Publication date: December 1, 2005

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