Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Wesley G. Jennings


Current sex offending legislation and public opinion present an image of sexual offenders as specialized predators who are likely to exhibit continued sexually deviant behavior over the life-course. Although sex offending continuity and post-release recidivism has been independently assessed in prior research, the potential link between sex offending continuity and post-release recidivism has yet to be investigated. Using data collected on random samples of sex offenders from a Northeastern state, the present study examines the predictability of sex offender continuity and its potential linkages with general and sex recidivism, as well as identifying distinguishable risk factors related to these outcomes.

Logistic regressions provided support for all but one of the four key hypotheses proposed. Specifically, results indicate a low rate of sex offending continuity among the sample, and the presence of identifiable risk factors that distinguish sex offenders who demonstrate continuity from those adult sex offenders who do not display sex offending continuity. Specifically, non-juvenile sex offending is the most notable of the numerous risk factors found to be associated with those displaying sex offending continuity from adolescence into adulthood. Analyses also reveal a significant association between sex offending continuity and sexual recidivism, but not general recidivism. Evidence of identifiable risks factors for both sex and general recidivism are reported. Policy implications, study limitations, and directions for future research are also presented.