Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Robert A DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP

First Advisor

David Festinger, PhD

Second Advisor

Robert DiTomasso, PhD

Third Advisor

Jonathan Roberds, PsyD


In 2006, youth 17 years of age and younger accounted for almost 20% of arrests for sexual offenses (Becker, 2007). Critical challenges exist to improve treatment for juvenile sex offenders, including identifying additional risk factors and developing treatment that is specifically tailored to the individual. Research has indicated the majority of juvenile sex offenders have difficulties in their executive-functioning abilities (Blanchard, Cantor, Robichaud, & Christensen, 2005). These deficits may contribute to higher risk potential and recidivism among juvenile sex offenders. Whether low levels of executive functioning influence risk of sexual or criminal offending/re-offending is unknown. The present study sought to further explore executive functioning among juvenile sex offenders and examined the relationship between verbal IQ, working memory, processing speed, impulse control among male juvenile sex offenders and the impact it had on treatment completion and recidivism. The study used a non-experimental, archival research design in which logistic regression analyses were conducted to determine if one or more of the independent variables impacted or predicted the two dependent variables. Results indicated no significant association between the independent variables and treatment completion or recidivism. However, results from the correlation analyses showed verbal IQ and impulse control to be positively correlated with treatment completion. Therefore, higher verbal IQ and greater impulse control may be positively associated with successfully completing treatment. While the results overall were insignificant, the present research provides a foundational basis for future research studies on juvenile sex offenders and can further inform residential treatment programs on possible risk factors for re-offending.

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