Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Micro-level social learning correlates of sex offender recidivism: Expeditious sexual history disclosure via polygraph testing
by Konopasek, James E., Ph.D., Capella University, 2011, 252; 3481939
Abstract (Summary)

Sex offender recidivism is a serious problem for society and the criminal justice system. In an effort to reduce sexual recidivism, treatment providers, parole officers, and polygraph examiners engage in risk management and treatment practices that include utilization of sexual history polygraph testing to assist offenders with achieving full disclosure of sexually deviant behavior. Utilization of such testing has dramatically increased over the last few years with little empirical support. This correlational study examines relationships among the independent variables of full disclosure of sexual history (supported by a fully truthful sexual history polygraph examination), expeditious disclosure of sexual history (within 12 months of program intake) and completion of cognitive behavioral treatment, with the dependent variable of sexual recidivism. All adult sex offenders who participated in sexual history polygraph testing at a community-based treatment program between 1994 and year-end 2004 (N = 192) were examined over a minimum 5-year recidivism follow-up period. Criminal history record checks in 2011 determined that 40 individuals (20.8%) had sexually reoffended within 5 years of program discharge; however when failure to register recidivists were excluded, the sexual recidivism rate was 6.3%. Bivariate and full model logistic regression analyses showed statistically non-significant correlations among the independent subject variables and sexual recidivism. The most parsimonious and predictive incomplete logistic regression (LR) model of 6 variables revealed a weak relationship between the variable of expeditious disclosure of sexual history via polygraph testing and 5-year sexual recidivism (B = -1.379, Exp[B] = .252, p = .050). The partial LR model, which included expeditious disclosure, treatment non-completion, age of full disclosure under age 35, sexual deviance, psychopathy and Static-99R risk score, predicted sexual recidivism with 58% accuracy and non-recidivism with 87% accuracy-better than any other model tested. Conducted within the framework of Akers's criminological social learning theory (Akers, Deviant Behavior: A Social Learning Approach, 1973; Burgess & Akers, A Differential Association-Reinforcement Theory of Criminal Behavior, 1966) this research provides insights into polygraph-facilitated sexual history disclosure processes as micro-level indicators of social learning in sex offenders.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Verrill, Stephen
Commitee: Conis, Peter, Rice, Stephen
School: Capella University
Department: School of Public Service Leadership
School Location: United States -- Minnesota
Source: DAI-A 73/03, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Counseling Psychology, Criminology
Keywords: Akers, Ronald, Polygraph, Recidivism, Sex offender, Sexual history disclosure, Social learning, Social learning theory
Publication Number: 3481939
ISBN: 9781267019486
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