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Predictors of sex offender treatment dropout: psychopathy, sex offender risk, and responsivity implications

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We examined sex offender treatment dropout predictors, in particular, the relationship of psychopathy and sex offender risk to treatment dropout in a sample of 154 federally incarcerated sex offenders treated in a high intensity sex offender treatment program. Demographic, criminal history, mental health and treatment-related data as well as data on risk assessment measures including the Static 99, Violence Risk Scale - Sexual Offender version (VRS-SO), and Psychopathy Checklist - Revised (PCL-R) were collected. Logistic regression and discriminant function analyses were used to identify predictors that made significant and unique contributions to dropout among all the variables under study. The Emotional facet of Factor 1 of the PCL-R and never being married were found to be the most salient predictors of treatment dropout and correctly identified about 70% of the cases. The implications of the findings for managing treatment dropout and for the treatment of psychopathic offenders are discussed.

Keywords: dropout; psychopathy; sex offender risk; treatment

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: University of Saskatchewan, Psychology, Saskatchewan, Canada 2: University of Nottingham, Personality Disorder Institute, Nottingham, UK

Publication date: June 1, 2011


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