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Abstract: Criminogenic needs in sex offenders: What have years of actuarial assessment research taught us about the critical targets of effective correctional treatment?

Over the last 25 years, the development of actuarial instruments to assess sex offender risk for recidivism has been accomplished through empirical studies of the relation between actuarial items and recidivism outcome. While this important development has been accomplished without any process of theoretically driven hypothesis testing, principal components analysis of actuarial items reveals putative latent risk factors. In the present study, the effects of aging were partialled from the data set using semi-partial correlation. Then, principal components analysis (PCA) was conducted on the residuals. The analysis revealed 13 factors that reflect easily recognizable and commonly understood risk factors. In this presentation, these factors will be grouped into super-ordinate factors that reflect Antisocial Behavior, Sexual Deviance, and Sexual Impulsivity. Implications for risk assessment methodology, the relationship between static and dynamic risk assessment, and the treatment of criminogenic needs in sex offenders will be discussed.


Dr. Barbaree is a Forensic Psychologist and Professor in the Law and Mental Health Program in the Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, and Vice President (Interim), Research and Academics, Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care. From 1993 to 2009, Dr. Barbaree served as the Head of the Law and Mental Health Program in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto, and Clinical Director of the Law and Mental Health Program at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto. From 1980 to 1993, Dr. Barbaree taught in the Department of Psychology at Queen’s University, and was promoted to the rank of Full Professor in 1990. He has devoted much of his professional career to research, teaching and clinical practice related to sexual aggression and sexual deviance. Dr. Barbaree has published numerous journal articles and book chapters on the topic and he recently co-edited The Juvenile Sex Offender 2nd Edition (Guildford). In 2000, Dr. Barbaree received the Significant Achievement Award from the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers. In 2011, Dr. Barbaree was awarded the Don Andrews Career Contribution Award from the Criminal Justice Section of the Canadian Psychological Association. From 2004 to 2010, Dr. Barbaree has served as the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment.