To distinguish between adolescent sex offenders according to nonsexual offense history.
Thirty-two sex offenders, 48 criminally versatile offenders, and 34 nonaggressive offenders referred by youth courts for mental health assessments in Toronto, Canada between 1994 and 1997 were compared on measures of childhood conduct problems, current behavioral adjustment, antisocial attitudes and beliefs, and risk for future delinquency. Sex offenders were further divided into those without (sex-only) and those with (sex-plus) nonsexual offenses in their criminal histories.
Sex offenders were similar to non-sex offenders in their childhood conduct problems, current behavioral adjustment, and antisocial attitudes and beliefs, but they had a lower risk for future delinquency. Sex-only offenders had significantly fewer childhood conduct problems, better current adjustment, more prosocial attitudes, and a lower risk for future delinquency than did the non-sex offender groups, whereas sex-plus offenders resembled criminally versatile offenders.
Differences between sex-only and sex-plus offenders reflect a valid typological distinction. Discrimination between these two groups is important when assigning sex offenders to appropriate interventions.