Long-term recidivism of child molesters

J Consult Clin Psychol. 1993 Aug;61(4):646-52. doi: 10.1037//0022-006x.61.4.646.


We examined the long-term recidivism rates of 197 child molesters released from prison between 1958 and 1974. Overall, 42% of the total sample were reconvicted for sexual crimes, violent crimes, or both, with 10% of the total sample reconvicted 10-31 years after being released. Incest offenders were reconvicted at a slower rate than were offenders who selected only boys, with offenders against girls showing a rate intermediate between these two groups. Other factors associated with increased recidivism were (a) never being married and (b) previous sexual offenses. None of the mental health and personality tests used in this study (e.g., the Eysenck Personality Inventory and the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory) was significantly associated with recidivism.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child Abuse, Sexual* / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Milieu Therapy
  • Personality Inventory / statistics & numerical data
  • Prisons
  • Probability
  • Recurrence
  • Sex Offenses* / prevention & control
  • Social Control, Formal