Juvenile sexual delinquents: contrasting child abusers with peer abusers

J. Hendriks, C.C.J.H. Bijleveld

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: There is growing concern regarding juvenile sex offenders, and concomitant interest in a more scientific database which could help direct management and treatment resources. Aims: To investigate whether juveniles who sexually offend against children (or those at least five years younger than themselves) differ from those who sexually assault their peers or older victims. Method: The study is based on data from psychological screenings conducted for the juvenile courts in the Netherlands. Results: As hypothesized, juvenile child molesters scored higher on neuroticism, had experienced more social problems, and had been bullied more often at school than their peers who sexually assaulted same-age or older victims. Child molesters also reported a more negative self-image. When referred for screening, they were younger but had committed more sex offences, more often against males than females. Conclusions: The results were suggestive of greater need for psychological interventions in the child molester group, although in both groups substantial minorities had had experience of early childhood deprivation or abuse.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)238-250
JournalCriminal Behaviour and Mental Health
Publication statusPublished - 2004


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