Youthful Sex Offenders, Violent Offenders, and Status Offenders

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This study was designed to compare samples of youthful males (between ages of 16-18) who have either never been arrested; have been convicted of sex offenses; violent, nonsexual offenses; or status offenses. The comparison variables included self-concept, sexual history, cognitive distortions, alexithymia, and substance use. The design and function of the study was to identify potential treatment and prevention targets, as well as explore risk factors associated with various forms of delinquent behavior. The premise behind the four hypotheses of the study is that delinquent behavior is as much a product of poor coping and social learning, as it is a manifestation of deviant, antisocial characteristics. Criminal behavior, although certainly not always, can be described as a symptom of specific psychological deficits and environmental factors blended together. Therefore, delinquency is a treatable condition from an individual perspective as well as a preventable condition from a social perspective.


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