Trends in a national sample of sexually abusive youths

J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 1996 Jan;35(1):17-25. doi: 10.1097/00004583-199601000-00008.


Objective: To describe sociodemographic factors pertinent to sexually abusive youths, to define common characteristics of the offending behaviors and victims, and to identify issues relevant to treatment recommendations.

Method: The Uniform Data Collection system (UDCS), developed by the National Adolescent Perpetrator Network, provided data from 90 contributors in 30 states on more than 1,600 juveniles referred to them for specialized evaluation and/or treatment following a sexual offense. The UDCS comprises four separate structured questionnaires that collect both factual information and clinical impressions.

Results: Physical and sexual abuse, neglect, and loss of a parental figure were common in these youths' histories. Twenty-two percent of the youths, who had been victims of sexual abuse, reported that the perpetrator of their own sexual abuse was female. The youths committed a wide range of sexual offenses, with twice as many of the referring offenses involving female victims than male victims.

Conclusion: The discovery of sexually abusive youths across both urban and rural areas supports the need for comprehensive service delivery and a continuum of treatment services to be available in all communities.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child Abuse, Sexual / psychology
  • Child Abuse, Sexual / trends
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Juvenile Delinquency / psychology
  • Juvenile Delinquency / trends*
  • Male
  • Patient Admission / trends
  • Personality Development
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Offenses / psychology
  • Sex Offenses / trends*
  • United States / epidemiology