Special Issue Paper
Assessing risk of sexually abusive behavior among youth in a child welfare sample†
Article first published online: 25 JAN 2010
Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Behavioral Sciences & the Law
Special Issue: Adolescent Sexual Offending II
Volume 28, Issue 1, pages 24–45, January/February 2010
How to Cite
Prentky, R. A., Li, N.-C., Righthand, S., Schuler, A., Cavanaugh, D. and Lee, A. F. (2010), Assessing risk of sexually abusive behavior among youth in a child welfare sample. Behav. Sci. Law, 28: 24–45. doi: 10.1002/bsl.920
Support for this research was provided by grants from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the Department of Social Services, and the National Institute of Justice (2002-IJ-CX-0029). In particular we wish to thank the Massachusetts Department of Social Services for their strong support, without which this research project would not have been possible.
- Issue published online: 25 JAN 2010
- Article first published online: 25 JAN 2010
- Commonwealth of Massachusetts
- Department of Social Services
- National Institute of Justice. Grant Number: 2002-IJ-CX-0029
Statutory management of juvenile sexual offenders demands reliable, valid methods for assessing the risk posed by these youth. This study examined the predictive validity of the J-SOAP-II using samples of adolescent and pre-adolescent boys who were wards of the Massachusetts Department of Social Services. The base rate for sexual recidivism among the adolescents (14–16%) is generally in line with what has been reported. The equivalent base rate for the pre-adolescents (25–28%), however, was notably higher. Although the J-SOAP-II was developed for adolescents, the scale also worked with the pre-adolescents in predicting sexual recidivism over 7 years, with AUC values of 0.77, 0.74, 0.77, and 0.80 for Scales 1, 3, 4, and Total among the pre-adolescents and AUC values of 0.80, 0.82, and 0.83 for Scales 1, 4, and Total among the adolescents. Discussion focuses on extant J-SOAP research and sample dependent variability, as well as social policy implications. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.