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date: 01 July 2022

Abstract and Keywords

Juvenile sexual offending is often regarded as a precursor of serious and continued sexual offending in adulthood, but there has been little empirical evidence supporting this assumption. Could juvenile sexual offending be just a ‘passing phase’? The study discussed in this essay follows the criminal career about 1,600 juvenile sex offenders from early adolescence into adulthood. A comprehensive view of the entire criminal career is presented to establish whether juvenile sexual offending is a precursor of continued (sexual) offending in adulthood or if (sexual) offending is non-chronic for most. The sexual recidivists in the sample are identified, and this group is used to establish the risk factors associated with continued sexual offending. These risk factors are compared to the ones used in risk assessment instruments for (juvenile) sex offenders. This study holds crucial information for policy and theory regarding juvenile sex offenders.

Keywords: empirical evidence, juvenile sex offenders, risk factors, sexual recidivists, theory

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