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Exploring the relationships between dissociation, victimization, and juvenile sexual offending

George S Leibowitz, Julie A Laser, David L Burton
Journal of Trauma & Dissociation 2011, 12 (1): 38-52
An etiological model of sexually abusive behavior including dissociation could have utility for researchers and treatment providers working with sexually abusive youth with trauma histories. This article explores relationships between dissociation, victimization, and juvenile sexual offending. Self-reported data on dissociation and 5 types of abuse were collected from 2 racially/ethnically diverse groups of sexually abusive and general delinquent male adolescents (n = 502). Bivariate analysis showed significant correlations between all types of child abuse and dissociation with the exception of emotional neglect. Hierarchical logistic regression analysis indicated that dissociation was significant in predicting sexual offender status. Moreover, dissociation, sexual victimization, and physical abuse showed significant effects in predicting membership in the sexual offender group. The results confirm the need for additional research in the areas of assessment and treatment of dissociation among sexually abusive youth.


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