The Juvenile Sex Offender: Criminal Careers and Life Events

Chantal van Den Berg, Catrien Bijleveld, Jan Hendriks

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In this article, we investigate whether the life events of marriage, parenthood, and employment were associated with general offending for a Dutch sample of 498 juvenile sex offenders (JSOs). In previous empirical studies, these life events were found to limit adult general offending in the population as well as high-risk samples. A hybrid random effects model is used to investigate within-individual changes of these life events in association with general offending. We also investigated whether the findings differed for child abusers, peer abusers, and group offenders, as they have distinct background profiles. We found that JSOs make limited transitions into the state of marriage, parenthood, and employment, showing overall stagnating participation rates. For the entire sample of JSOs, employment was found to be associated with a decrease in offending. Group offenders benefited most from employment. Marriage and parenthood were not associated with the general offending patterns, whereas for child abusers, parenthood was associated with an increase in offending. We conclude that policies aimed at guidance toward employment, or inclusion into conventional society, may be effective for JSOs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-101
Number of pages21
JournalSexual Abuse: Journal of Research and Treatment
Issue number1
Early online date10 Apr 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017


  • juvenile sex offender
  • life-course criminology
  • sex offender policies
  • sex offender typology
  • transitions


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