Treatment outcome and criminal offending by youth with sexual behavior problems

Elizabeth J. Letourneau, Jason E. Chapman, Sonja K. Schoenwald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Children and adolescents treated for general delinquency problems and rated by caregivers as having sexual behavior problems (SBP; N = 696) were compared with youth from the same sample with no sexual behavior problems (NSBP; N = 1,185). Treatment outcome through 12-months posttreatment and criminal offending through an average 48-month posttreatment were compared for both groups. It was hypothesized that both groups would improve over time; however, the SBP group would evidence greater psychopathology at follow-up, and these hypotheses were supported. It was further hypothesized that youth with SBP would not differ from youth with NSBP in rates of future sexual or nonsexual offenses. These hypotheses were also supported. SBP group membership was not a significant predictive factor in analyses modeling future offending (any) or future person offenses. Few youth in either group had sexual offenses. The importance of these findings for clinical and policy decision making is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-144
Number of pages12
JournalChild maltreatment
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Recidivism
  • Sexual behavior problems
  • Treatment outcome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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