Psychopathy, treatment behavior, and recidivism: an extended follow-up of Seto and Barbaree

J Interpers Violence. 2005 Sep;20(9):1115-31. doi: 10.1177/0886260505278262.


Seto and Barbaree reported the unexpected finding that adult male sex offenders who scored higher on psychopathy and exhibited better behavior in treatment were almost four times more likely to commit a new serious offence than other offenders once released. The present study reexamined this sample after a longer follow-up time using more complete recidivism data from a national police database. Although psychopathy continued to be a significant predictor of general and serious recidivism, treatment behavior was no longer related to either general or serious recidivism, and there was no statistically significant interaction between psychopathy and treatment behavior. Additional analyses ruled out the possibility that the differences between studies could be accounted for by the different average length of follow-up. A direct comparison of the two sources of recidivism data showed that differences in recidivism between subgroups were reduced by using the more complete recidivism data.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antisocial Personality Disorder / complications
  • Antisocial Personality Disorder / psychology*
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / standards*
  • Forensic Psychiatry / methods
  • Humans
  • Incest / prevention & control
  • Incest / psychology*
  • Male
  • Needs Assessment / standards
  • Ontario
  • Rape / psychology*
  • Rape / rehabilitation
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Secondary Prevention
  • Sex Offenses / psychology
  • Time Factors