Detecting the Unidentified Victims: Recognized Versus ...
Convicted Child Molesters: A Look at Two Non-Nested Models
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University of Nebraska - Lincoln
The focus of the current study was to look at the correlation between nested and non-nested models of convicted child molester,
to see if previous history and demographics are better predictors of the psychopathic deviate subscale of the MMPI or other subscales of
the MMPI: depression, masculinity and femininity, and social introversion. The full model focused on personal history and demographic
variables as well as sub-scales taken from the MMPI, and the reduced models focused on the variables separated into personal and
demographic variables and the sub-scales of the MMPI. The interest was to look at which measures are better at predicting psychopathic
deviate from these non-nested models. Current research has looked at various aspects of the MMPI measures and their relationship to
sexual abuse and abusers.
Herkov, Gynther, Thomas and Myers (1996), examined the differences between adolescent rapist, sodomists and sexual
abusers and their MMPI scores. The main finding of this study revealed that increased psychopathology was correlated with an increase
in sexual deviancy, indicating more psychological disturbance. Overall findings indicating that there are quantitative and qualitative
distinctions among adolescent sex offenders. Major limitations of this study were the small population size that could be looked at, and
the participants only coming from one faculty.
Kalichman (1990), ran a study looking at adult men convicted of committing sexual assault against adult women. This study used
the MMPI as well as the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, as well as anger-expression, self-esteem and social desirability. The subgroups
that were looked at showed different levels among sexual, affective and personality measures independent from the MMPI; as well as a
difference in psychological functioning influenced by sexual ideations and behavioral histories. Overall results were shown to remain in
line with the psychodynamic theories of rape, emphasizing the upbringing of the person being problematic and a causal variable in their
Kalichman, Shealy and Craig (1990), looked at treatment participation among incarcerated adults. They found a significant result
between MMPI subgroups and the level of participation that the individual was rated by the clinician for participation; as well as predicting
their attendance and their participation rating by the clinician. Overall finding was that those who have elevated sub-scale scores on the
MMPI are less likely to participate and attend their treatment.
Langevin, Wright and Handy (1989), ran a study looking at the characteristics of male sex offenders who were sexually victimized
as a child. They compared both offenders who had been sexually abused with offenders who had not been sexually abused. Those
participants who were sexually abused as children were found to have more frequent sexual experiences with males and females in their
adulthood. These participants were also found to have committed rape more often and more emotional instability. The general finding of
the study supported the ideas that those who have been sexual victimized are more likely to sexually victimize others as well.
Armentrout and Hauer (1978), investigated the differences between rapists of adult, children and non-rapist sex offenders using
the MMPI sub-scales. Findings showed that all three populations were impulsive, self-centered and had poor social intelligence levels.
Findings also revealed that those who rape adults are more hostile and resentful than those who rape children, but both of these
categories show more hostile and resentful behavior than non-rapist sex offenders. A general finding was that rapist are more hostile
than those who do not commit sex-offenses, possibly indicating an underlying motive of power for sexual offenses.
These articles show the need for more research to be done on this topic to help to identify exactly which measures of the MMPI
are best correlated with predicting psychopathic deviance to possible help to identify which of these sub-scales may predict this behavior
at a younger age.
The primary purpose of this study was to examine which is a better predictor of the psychopathic deviate sub-scale of the MMPI
between personal and demographic measurements and measured MMPI scales. It was hypothesized that the full model including both
reduced models would be a better predictor of this score than would be each model individually. It was also hypothesized that the
measurement model would be a better predictor of the score than would be the personal demographic model. These ideas are based on
the previous research that the MMPI sub-scale scores have been significant predictors of sexual deviance in past research, and have
been better predictors when compared with other measures that have been used like demographic variables .
Table 1. Summary statistics and correlations from bivariate analyses.
level of denial
Table 2. Regression weights and significance from multiple regression analyses.
level of denial
Correlation and multiple regression analyses were used to analyze the relationship between the MMPI psychopathic deviate subscale
and various predictor variables. Table 1 summarizes the descriptive statistics and correlation analyses. Multiple paraphilic behavior, MMPI
measure of depression, masculinity and femininity, and social introversion are significantly positively correlated with the criterion variable. Age
and level of denial are significantly negatively correlated with the criterion variable.
The multiple regression model with four predictors produced R^2= .357, F (6,234) = 21.661, p< .001. As can be seen in Table 2, the
MMPI of depression, masculinity and femininity, and social introversion (opposite sign of the correlation with the criteria) are positively related
with the criterion variable. Age is negatively correlated with the criterion variable and level of denial and multiple paraphilic behavior is not
significantly contributing to the multiple regression model, although both of these variables had a significant correlation with the criterion
The reduced multiple regression model with three predictors involving personal history and demographic variables produced
R^2= .083, F(3,246)= 7.394, p<.001. As can be seen in Table 3 multiple paraphilic behavior is positively significantly related with MMPI
psychopathic deviate score (which did not contribute to the full model significantly). Age is significantly negatively related with MMPI
psychopathic deviate. Level of denial does not significantly contribute to the reduced model.
The reduced multiple regression model with three predictors using subscales of theMMPI: depression, masculinity and famininity, and social
introversion produced R^=.339, F(3,259)= 44.231, p< .001. As can be seen in Table 4 MMPI scores on depression, masculinity and
femininity, and social introversion (switches sign direction from full model) are significantly positively contributing to the reduced regression
A Steiger's Z test was run and the measurement model accounted for significantly higher variance with the criterion variable than the
personal model did. The measurement model is a significantly better predictor of MMPI psychopathic deviate measure than the personal
model. Supporting the research hypothesis that the measurement model would be a significantly better predictor than the personal model of
the sub-scale psychopathic deviate for the MMPI.
Table 3. Reduced model of emotion regression weighs and significance for multiple regression
Level of Denial
Table 4. Reduced model of scales regression weights and significance for multiple regression
Data was collected from 226 convicted child molesters with victims 18 and under, and they were released from either a
correctional facility or an inpatient treatment facility from a Midwestern state between 1991 and 1997. Those who were receiving
treatment were housed in a unit providing intensive cognitive-behavioral services; these patients had either volunteered for
treatment or were required by law to obtain treatment, there were 105 participants in this category. On average the patients were
in this treatment program for 28.3 months. The untreated group used for comparison was randomly selected incarcerated
individuals who had committed similar crimes. Placed in state correctional facilities, these individuals refused treatment; there
were 102 participants in this condition. The average follow-up period for both groups was 96.02 months (SD = 15.06).
Demographic characteristics were based on the offenders condition at the time of arrest, resulting in incarceration. These
variables included age, level of education etc. Multiple paraphilia history was coded from the presentence investigation, and
possibly if available prior mental health evaluations and treatment intake reports. Presence of multiple paraphilia history (binary
coded variable, no/yes) was noted if the offender described multiple incidences unrelated to their offenses. These incidences
included engaging voyeurism, exhibitionism, procurement, and use of child pornography, zoophilia or fetish related behaviors. The
Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, was also as an assesment of psychopathology (McKinley & Hathaway, 1943)
Armentrout, J. A., & Hauer, A. L. (1978). MMPIs of rapists of adults, rapists of children, and non-rapist sex offenders. Journal
of Clinical Psycholgy, 34, 320-332.Herkov, M. J., Gynther, M. D., & Thomas, S. (1996). MMPI differences among
adolescent inpatients, rapists, sodomists, and sexual abusers. Journal of Personality Assessment, 66, 81-90.
Kalichman, S. C. (1990). Affective and personality characteristics of MMPI profile subgroups of incarcerated rapists. Archives
of Sexual Behavior, 19, 443-459.
Kalichman, S.C., Shealy, L., & Craig, M. E. (1991). The use of the MMPI in predicting treatment incarceration among
incarcerated adult rapists. Journal of Psychology and Human Sexuality, 3, 105-119.
Langevin, R., Wright, P., & Handy, L. (1989). Characteristics of sex offenders who were sexually victimized as children.
Annals of Sex Research, 2, 227-253.
McKinley, J. C. & Hathaway, S. R. (1943). The identification and measurement of the psychoneuroses in medical practice.
Journal of American Medical Association, 122, 161-167.
Correlation analyses that were run on the data showed that all predictor variables were significantly correlated with the criterion sub-scale
of the MMPI for psychopathic deviate. Age and level of denial were negatively correlated with the criterion. Multiple paraphilic behavior and the
various subscales of the MMPI: depression, masculinity and femininity, and social introversion were positively related with the criterion.
Multiple regression analyses run on the various predictors and the criterion sub-scale of the MMPI for psychopathic deviate revealed that
four predictors have a significant unique contribution to the model. Level of denial and multiple paraphilic behavior did not have a significantly
unique contribute to the full regression model. Age remained to be negatively related with the criterion but the sub-scale of the MMPI for social
introversion also has a negative correlation with the criterion variable, which was originally a positive correlation, showing a suppressor effect. The
sub-scales of the MMPI for depression and masculinity and femininity remained to be positively correlated with the criterion variable.
The first reduced model, personal variables, analyzed age, level of denial and multiple paraphilic behavior and their prediction of the
criterion the sub-scale psychopathic deviate of the MMPI. Only two of the variables significantly contributed to the model including age and multiple
paraphilic behavior, which did not contribute to the full model possibly indicating colinearity with the other sub-scales of the MMPI used for
predictors. Level of denial did not have a significant contribution to the reduced model or the full model. Supporting the research hypothesis that
the reduced model would significantly predict the criterion.
The second reduced model, measurement variables, analyzed the sub-scales of the MMPI: depression, masculinity and femininity, and
social introversion and their prediction of the criterion sub-scale of the MMPI for psychopathic deviate. The sub-scales for depression and
masculinity and femininity were positively correlated with the criterion. The sub-scale for social introversion was negatively correlated with the
criterion variable, as well as in the full model but is opposite of the original correlation model indicating a suppressor effect. Supporting for the
research hypothesis that the reduced model would have a significant correlation with the criterion.
These results support previous research that behavior and mental history have an influence on sexual behavior and deviance (Kalichman,
1990). As well as showing that increased disturbance in psychopathology is a significant predictor of sexual deviancy (Herkov, Gynther, Thomas
and Myers, 1996; Armentrout and Hauer, 1978). Showing the same relationship with previous research between the MMPI and its predictability of
sexual deviance with the use of its sub-scales. These results show support for a significant predictor of sexual deviancy which is significantly linked
to sexual convictions. Presenting society with a tool to help predict those who are at higher risk to commit sexual assault, and possibly providing a
means for prevention.
Although current research is limited to the manner of looking at individuals who have committed sexual crimes showing the possible
confounds of previous existing variables that may not be controlled for. Limitations still remain to be the same in their aspects, especially in the
inability to manipulate the measures or the individual for moral and ethical reasons and an inability to mentally or physically manipulate the
variables. Therefore we are still left running analyses on convicted individuals and unable to control for external factors that may create confounds.
Limitations to this particular study are involved in the lack of ability for more demographic measures and past behavior information to be used to
fully run the personal reduced model.
Future research that needs to be done should include looking at the relationship between adolescent scores on the MMPI as well as their
correlation with adult scores on the MMPI, hopefully creating a possibility for intervention at a younger age. Overall, future research needs to entail
continually looking at the measure of the MMPI and its correlation with sexual deviance. Another aspect that should be looked at is the
demographic variables and personal measures of past behavior and its correlation with the MMPI as well as the relationship between these
variables and sexual deviance. These investigations should be done with the intention of creating a possible for of prevention. Limitations will
remain to be present even though we know that they exist because of our inability to manipulate the variables in a moral or ethical way if it were
physically or mentally possible to manipulate.
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