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Measuring Offence-Related Sexual Interests in Convicted Sexual Offenders: An Initial Test of the Reliability and Validity of a Self-Report Scale

NCJ Number
Lisa Farren; Georgia Barnett
Date Published
3 pages
This study measured offense-related sexual interests in convicted sexual offenders through the use of a self-report scale.
This study by the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) in the United Kingdom measured offense-related sexual interests in convicted sexual offenders through the use of a self-report scale. The self-report scale evaluated in the study was the "My Private Interests" measure, a short, self-report questionnaire that is part of the assessment battery for sex offenders participating in the NOMS sex offender treatment program. Key findings from the study include the following: the items on the MPI measure four factors an obsession with sex, a sexual interest in children, a sexual interest in violence, and the presence of multiple unusual sexual interests (paraphilia); the scale could be improved by removing some of the items, creating a shorter, revised MPI scale; those who offended against children had higher scores on the sexual interest in children subscale, compared to those who offended against adults; scores on the other subscales were not able to discriminate higher- from lower-risk sexual offenders; scores on the MPI subscales converged with the scores on the relevant subscales of the Multiphasic Sex Inventory; the MPI and its subscales demonstrated excellent internal reliability; and further research is required to cross-validate the measure, as are tests of the MPI's predictive validity and test-retest reliability. The reliability and validity of the scale were evaluated using a sample of 1,013 men who received treatment for sexual offending either while in custody or following release back into the community. The results of the study suggest that the MPI is a promising self-report measure for use in determining the sexual interests of convicted sex offenders. 3 references