Comparing Juvenile Sex Offenders and Juvenile Non-sex Offenders in an Adjudicated Group

Christen Alice Fanelli, Fordham University


The purpose of this study was to determine if juvenile sex offenders (JSOs) and juvenile non-sex offenders (JNSOs) differed on a variety of demographic, background, behavioral, and personality characteristics. Juveniles are treated differently from adults in the justice system, but many courts do not separate the needs of JSOs from JNSOs when determining treatment and consequences. Previous research has identified demographic and background differences in JSOs in the United States and abroad and behavioral and personality differences in the international community. Much of this research is conducted on a remanded population, and little has been conducted on a non-remanded population. A population set of over 300 juvenile delinquents was pared down to a sample set of 105 juvenile delinquents, consisting of 69 JNSOs and 36 JSOs who were evaluated by a team of forensic psychologists and psychiatrist to provide more in-depth information for the courts. Results indicated that there were a multitude of difference between JSOs and JNSOs, including school performance and adjustment, substance use, history of prior arrests, diagnosis of Conduct Disorder, age, intelligence, rule breaking behavior, aggression, depression, neuroticism, and social problems. A deeper understanding of the differences between the JSO and JNSO population may better guide the court system to provide more appropriate interventions and treatments to these juveniles in order to rehabilitate them and assure they become productive, successful adults.

Subject Area

Behavioral psychology|Psychology|Criminology

Recommended Citation

Fanelli, Christen Alice, "Comparing Juvenile Sex Offenders and Juvenile Non-sex Offenders in an Adjudicated Group" (2018). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI10809790.