Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


The purpose of this study was to investigate whether juvenile sexual offenders use substances and engage in substance related criminality or if other forms of criminality (e.g. sexual or nonsexual crime) are associated with substance use. Three related quantitative articles were written to execute this project. The first article explored the prevalence of substance use and related crime among sexual offenders. The findings of this study suggested that juvenile sexual offenders have high rates of substance use, including, but not limited to cigarette use, alcohol, and high percentages of drug selling among this population. The second article investigated the prevalence of substance use and related criminality among a population of juvenile sexual and nonsexual offenders. This study also began to investigate whether sexual and nonsexual offenders specialize in a "cluster" of criminal behaviors and as their needs evolve, their crimes are more diverse in nature. The findings suggested that sexual offenders have significantly higher frequencies on salient items, although not limited to alcohol use, the use of inhalants, and "other drug" use compared to nonsexual offenders. The third article explored the prevalence of substance use and related criminality among juvenile sexual offenders only. More specifically, the relationship between substance use and sexual and nonsexual criminality was examined. Results suggested that sexual offenders who used alcohol and drugs when committing criminal acts had significantly higher perpetration scores. Findings also suggested that a significant portion of the number of sexual abuse victims reported by sexual offenders can be predicted by drug use. Research and treatment implications are discussed


iii, 63 p. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2007. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 15-17, 39-42,60-63) Contents: Examining substance use and abuse among juvenile sexual offenders: an investigation of the prevalence and related crime associated with mood altering substances -- Specialization and versatility of criminal behavior: comparing juvenile sexual and nonsexual offenders' substance use and related criminality -- Substance use and criminal behavior among juvenile sexual offenders : an exploratory study examining the relationship between criminality and the use of mood altering substances.