Keith L. Kaufman

Date of Award

Winter 3-21-2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Applied Psychology



Physical Description

1 online resource (x, 266 pages)


Teenage sex offenders -- Family relationships -- Oregon -- Psychological aspects, Juvenile delinquents -- Family relationships -- Oregon -- Psychological aspects, Attachment behavior, Teenagers -- Sexual behavior -- Oregon




Child sexual abuse (CSA) is recognized as a public health problem with consequences affecting all levels of the ecological model. In recent years it has been recognized that up to 40% of reported sexual offenses occur at the hands of adolescent offenders (Burton, 2000), who are defined as children aged 12-18 years. In recent years, research has suggested that attachment deficits contribute to sexual offending behavior in adolescence. The current study augments the sparse research with adolescent offenders and by exploring of the participant's perceived attachment to important others (mother/mother figures, father/father figures, and peers/friends). Participants included 101 Juvenile sex offenders (JSO) and 97 Juvenile Delinquents (JD) detained in Oregon Youth Authority (OYA) facilities during the summer of 2010. Significant differences were found in adolescents' attachment to father/father figures in both overall attachment and a perceived degree of trust. Additionally JSO also showed a higher level of alienation from father/father figures and lower in overall perceived degree of trust with all important others. These findings may provide an opportunity for early intervention strategies, as well as support programs designed to strengthen or develop connections between adolescent offenders and positive male role models to enhance the effectiveness of juvenile sex offender treatment.

Persistent Identifier