School for Social Work
Family violence-Psychological aspects, Children and violence, Teenage sex offenders-Psychology, Attachment disorder in adolescence, Attachment, Violence exposure
The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between exposure to violence in the home and attachment characteristics in youth with sexually harmful behaviors. In this study the following was investigated: whether maternal/paternal attachment plays a mediating role in the relationship between exposure to violence in the home (both experienced and witnessed) and adolescent sexual/non-sexual offending. The sample size was 296 male youth with sexually harmful behaviors placed in six residential treatment facilities. Four mediation models were used to examine attachment and exposure to violence in the home in youth with sexually harmful behaviors. Results showed no support for attachment as a mediator in the relationship between exposure to violence in the home and sexual or non-sexual offending in sexually abusive youth. The findings showed a high prevalence of exposure to multiple form of violence in the home in youth with sexually harmful behaviors. Significant correlations were found between attachment characteristics and non-sexual crimes. Sexual offending was only significantly correlated with maternal alienation. Clinical implications include early intervention for children and adolescents living in violent homes, and interventions that focus on trauma in the treatment of youth with sexual harmful behaviors. Future research on youth with sexually harmful behaviors should examine the effect of exposure to violence in the home and attachment on the development of non-sexual offending.
Jackson, Talia J., "An examination of the relationship between exposure to violence in the home and attachment characteristics among youth with sexually harmful bahaviors" (2013). Masters Thesis, Smith College, Northampton, MA.