Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


This study examined whether having a strong ethnic identity plays a protective role against juvenile delinquency and sexual offending behavior; the link between having witnessed domestic violence, having been physically abused, and having experienced both types of maltreatment and subsequent juvenile delinquent and sexual offending behavior; and, the link between parental support and attachment versus alienation, inconsistency in parenting, and communication patterns and subsequent juvenile delinquent and juvenile sexually aggressive behaviors. Paper and pencil surveys were collected from 332 sexual abusers and 170 non-sexually offending youth at 6 residential facilities in a Midwestern state. Participants responded to questions regarding traumatic experiences in their childhood, delinquent acts committed, sexually offending behavior, importance of ethnic identity, violence witnessed, perceived attachment to mother and father, parental inconsistency and warmth, and communication patterns with parents. Results indicated that race was associated with group, with a majority of the sexual offenders reporting as White (72%) versus a minority of the non-sex offenders reporting as White (27.8%) and that for the sexual abusers, feeling close to other members of one's race is associated with less severe sexual crimes and fewer reported victims. Sexual abusers reported witnessing more violence and experiencing more forms of maltreatment. Both exposure to domestic violence and having been physically abused were related to various delinquent behaviors for non-sex offenders and to delinquent and sexually abusive behaviors for sexual abusers. There was no difference between reported communication patterns with parents, but juvenile sexual offenders reported less attachment and warmth, more feelings of alienation, and more inconsistency in parenting than did non-sexually offending youth.


iv, 85 p. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2007. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 20-25, 49-54, 79-83) Contents: Ethnic identity as a protective factor against juvenile delinquency and juvenile sexual offending behavior -- Effects of witnessing domestic violence and suffering various forms of maltreatment among and its connection to subsequent juvenile delinquency and juvenile sexual offending behavior -- Connection of parenting practices and attachment to subsequent juvenile delinquency and juvenile sexual offending behavior