The predictive value of the triad for sex offenders

Authors

  • Robert A. Prentky Ph.D.,

    Corresponding author
    1. Director of Research at the Massachusetts Treatment Center, Bridgewater, Massachusetts
    • Director of Research, Massachusetts Treatment Center, Box 554, Bridgewater, MA 02324
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  • Daniel L. Carter B.S.

    1. Research Coordinator at the Massachusetts Treatment Center, Bridgewater, Massachusetts
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Abstract

This study examined the predictive value of the triad (enuresis, firesetting, cruelty to animals) in a group of incarcerated sex offenders. The most salient positive finding in this investigation was the association between one or more components of the triad and a highly abusive home environment. There was no compelling evidence to support the prognostic value of the triad of behaviors for predicting adult criminal outcome. The triad appeared to be primarily a maladaptive response to the turmoil and abuse in the home prior to and during adolescence. Finally, it is noteworthy that this study revealed a much lower frequency of triad behaviors than has been reported in the literature.

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