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Assessing resilience in juvenile sexual offenders and non-offending peers

25 July 2003


In this study, internal and external factors of resilience in 28 male juvenile sexual offenders (JSOs) and 29 non-offending male peers (NOPs) were examined by comparing scores on the Behavioral and Emotional Rating Scale (BERS), a measure created from resilience literature and known to measure strengths of youth. The overall goal was to add to the literature on JSOs by examining resiliency, rather than 11Sk factors, and involved two specific purposes. The first purpose of this study was to evaluate resilience among JSOs as compared to other youth with emotional and/or behavioral disorders (EBD). Analysis revealed that sample populations were significantly different from the BERS' EBD normative population. The second purpose of this study was to evaluate whether differences in resilience exist between JSOs and NOPs. Results indicate that JSOs have lower resilience measure in the domains of overall resilience, interpersonal strength, family involvement, intrapersonal strength, and affective strength. No differences were found with regards to school functioning. Future directions for improving the utility of the BERS, assessing resilience among JSOs, and improving the quality of JSO treatment outcomes are discussed. ii


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