Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Committee Chair

Genevieve L.Y. Arnaut, Psy.D., Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Keith L. Kaufman, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Michel Hersen, Ph.D., ABPP


Although interest in sexual fantasy as a treatment target for sexual offenders has flourished in recent years, a paucity of empilicalliterature is available to guide its implementation (D. Howitt, 2004). The purpose of this investigation was to examine the relationship between sex offenders' self-reported sexual fantasies and their modus operandi (i.e., offense strategies including gaining victim trust and obtaining time alone with the victim). Similarities and differences between adult and juvenile offenders on these dimensions were also examined in this national sample. Juvenile sex offenders were found to engage in all types of sexual fantasy (except Traditional/Romantic) more frequently than adult sex offenders. Juvenile sex offenders were also found to engage in specific types of modus operandi more frequently than adult sex offenders. Discriminant . function analysis resulted in one significant predictor of modus operandi from sexual fantasy for adult sex offenders. Adult sex offenders who engaged in coercive sexual fantasies preferred the use of drugs/alcohol to offend. There was no significant predictor for juvenile sex offenders.