Understanding and Improving Therapeutic Engagement with Adolescent Sexual offenders

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Smallbone, Stephen

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2010
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Abstract

Since the 1980s there has been an increasing recognition and concern that adolescents comprise more than one-quarter of all sex offenders (Finkelhor, Ormrod & Chaffin, 2010). As part of a broader community response to this problem, substantial clinical and research attention has been dedicated to developing specialised treatment programs for adolescent sexual offenders (ASOs). As with many clinical and clinical-forensic populations, clinicians have been inconsistent in their ability to effectively engage ASOs in therapy, with high non-completion rates associated with many specialised programs. Poor therapeutic engagement (TE) of ASOs may not only result in inefficient commitment of clinical resources, but may also lead to breaches of statutory orders, increased costs associated with further court and youth justice services, and to detention that may otherwise have been avoidable. Perhaps of greatest concern is the consistent observation in both adolescent and adult samples that sexual offenders who begin but do not complete treatment may be at higher risk of recidivism.

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Thesis (PhD Doctorate)

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Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

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School of Psychology

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The author owns the copyright in this thesis, unless stated otherwise.

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Public

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Subject

Adolescent sexual offenders

Recidivism

Therapeutic engagement

Collaborative multisystem treatment model

Collaborative treatment partners

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