Date of Award

Spring 6-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Forensic Psychology



First Advisor or Mentor

Thomas Kucharski

Second Reader

Cynthia Calkins

Third Advisor

Diana Falkenbach


Although, previous research has shown that treatment programs for individuals convicted of a sex offense have the potential to lower sexual recidivism rates (Hanson & Bussiere, 1998; Hanson et al., 2002; Losel & Schmucker, 2005), there is some pause as to the methodological strength of these studies (Furby, Weinrott, & Blackshaw, 1989; Rice & Harris, 2003). Additionally, the literature is mixed regarding which elements of supervision for individuals convicted of a sex offense contribute to lower sexual recidivism (Aos, Miller, & Drake, 2006; Aytes, Olsen, Zakrajsek, Murry, & Ireson, 2001; Buttars, Huss, & Brack, 2016; McGrath, Cumming, Hoke, & Bonn-Miller, 2007; Stalans, Seng, & Yarnold, 2002). The proposed study aimed to examine the relation between sexual recidivism and several elements of treatment and supervision for individuals convicted of a sex offense while they are incarcerated, as well as while they are being supervised in the community. Recidivism data included information found in empirical studies, as well as state data provided by participants. Sixteen states across the United States were analyzed as a part of this study. Using independent sample t-tests, no significant differences were found to indicate a relation between any specific component of treatment or supervision and lower sexual recidivism. However, the relation between sexual recidivism and some elements of treatment while incarcerated (i.e. relapse prevention, mandated/optional participation in individual treatment) approached significance. The results of this study are discussed in reference to the ways in more research is needed to decipher which specific elements of treatment and supervision programming can assist in assuaging sexual recidivism, thus keeping communities safe.



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