PAI & Sex Offenders

October 23, 2011
Psychopathology and maladaptive personality functioning play a significant role in sexual offending (Laulik, Allam, & Sheridan, 2007). Edens et al. (2001) stressed that personality disorders are relevant in forensic and correctional settings because of the inclusion of personality disorder diagnoses into various legal statutes and case law, specifically noting the Civil Commitment of Sexually Violent Predators Act, 1999. Based on the current state of legal affairs, it has become increasingly more important to obtain a better understanding of sex offenders and the risk that they present.


Edens and Johnson (2004) assessed the utility of the PAI to identify prison inmates in a mandatory sex offender treatment program prone to engage in institutional misconduct.  They used archival PAI and institutional disciplinary data for 137 male inmates in the Texas Department of Criminal Justices who were participating in the Sex Offender Treatment Program for at least one year. These authors found that the ANT and AGG scales were significantly associated with the likelihood of having at least one infraction while in the program.


Laulik et al. (2007) investigated the maladaptive personality functioning in Internet sex offenders. The sample was comprised of 30 male convicted Internet child sex offenders attending a 3 year community based sex offender group work program in England. The PAI was administered by probation officers. These authors revealed that, as a group, this sample did not demonstrate high levels of psychopathology, although, the results suggests at least a moderate level of psychopathology amongst a proportion of this sample. A high proportion of this sample obtained results in the clinically significant range (70T) on the scales measuring Depression (29.9%), Schizophrenia (13.2%), and Borderline Features (16.5%). A significant proportion of the sample obtained elevated scores on the treatment scales, specifically, Suicidal Ideation (23.1%) and 16.5% reported clinical levels of stress. Upon further examination of the personality traits, Laulik et al. found that 39.9% of internet offenders scored above average on the Borderline Features Clinical scale and presented as withdrawn, unconventional, isolated, and felt misunderstood by others.

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