Date of Submission
Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)
Robert A DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP
This correlational archival dissertation focuses on the relationship between exposure to domestic violence and criminal recidivism among juvenile sexual offenders. The study examined archival criminal arrest records and self-reported data gathered from a sample of 67 male juvenile sexual offenders in a residential treatment facility. Given the somewhat limited explanations for and research into the causes of juvenile sexual re-offending and the importance of identifying its determinants, this topic may be viewed as having substantial importance to future research and criminal justice policy. Findings did not support the primary hypothesis that prior exposure to domestic violence would be positively correlated with rates of 1-year posttreatment recidivism, or the exploratory hypothesis that prior exposure to domestic violence would be positively correlated with rates of disruptive behavior during treatment. The low rate of 1-year recidivism (n = 4) precluded analysis of the secondary hypothesis that certain factors including being raised in a physically or emotionally neglectful environment, having criminally involved parents, or having parents who use or abuse alcohol or other psychoactive drugs would moderate the relationship between exposure to domestic violence and criminal recidivism. Significant associations were found for the relationship between physical neglect and emotional neglect, domestic violence and emotional neglect, family incarceration and family addiction, and recidivism and physical neglect. There was also a statistical trend for the correlation between recidivism and domestic violence.
Shaw, Shamyra Marie, "The Relationship Between Witnessing Domestic Violence and Criminal Recidivism among Juvenile Sex Offenders" (2019). PCOM Psychology Dissertations. 511.