Similarities and Differences In Adolescence-Onset Versus Adulthood-Onset Sexual Abuse Incidents

N. McKillop, Sarah J. Brown, S. Smallbone, K. Pritchard

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    Abstract

    A sample of males who had first committed sexual offences against children in either adolescence (n = 230; M = 14.0 years, SD = 1.5) or adulthood (n = 280; M = 34.4 years, SD = 11.7) were compared on measures relating to the circumstances of their first known sexual abuse incident. Considerable diversity in the circumstances of these first incidents was observed for both groups. However, adulthood-onset sexual abuse most often occurred following a long-standing familial relationship with a female victim, and in a home setting. The first incident for adolescence-onset offenders also tended to occur in the context of a long-term relationship and against a female child in a home setting, but more commonly against a nonfamilial victim. Adulthood-onset offenders abused older children, were more likely to engage in penetrative sexual behaviors, and went on to abuse over a longer duration than adolescence-onset offenders. Adolescence-onset offences were more likely to be witnessed by a third party. Findings and their implications for prevention are considered from a situational crime prevention perspective.Publisher statement: NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Child Abuse & Neglect. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Child Abuse & Neglect [in press (2015)] DOI: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2015.02.014.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)37-46
    JournalChild Abuse & Neglect
    Volume46
    Early online date13 Mar 2015
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2015

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    Bibliographical note

    Article in press, full citation details will be updated once available.
    NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Child Abuse & Neglect. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Child Abuse & Neglect [in press (2015)] DOI: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2015.02.014.

    Keywords

    • adolescence-onset
    • adulthood-onset
    • sexual offenders
    • child sexual abuse
    • situational theories

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