Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Rodger K. Bufford, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Jane Ward, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Dr. Kenneth Logan, Psy.D.


Sex offenders in the United States invoke a negative reaction in a majority of people. Often, there is a stigma about the character and personality of an individual who would commit such acts. These perceptions have largely kept the development of treatment modalities limited when compared to other psychological problems. One area that continues to need research is in the factors that contribute to the outcomes of treatment for sex offenders. The present study investigated the relationships between perceived historical trauma, personality, and treatment completion in an outpatient group of sexual offenders. We hypothesized that (1) sexual offenders who completed treatment would have reported fewer historical traumatic experiences, as measured by the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) questionnaire; (2) individuals who completed treatment would exhibit different personality characteristics, as measured by the Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI) Aggression, Antisocial, Borderline and Dominance scales; and (3) ACEs and PAI scores would predict treatment completion in a combined model. A preliminary analysis consisting of several independent samples t-tests was conducted to identify variables for the final prediction model. Statistically significant differences between individuals who completed and did not complete treatment were observed on the ACEs, PAI Aggression, PAI Borderline, and PAI Antisocial indices. When modeled together, both ACEs and PAI scales were predictive of treatment completion, χ2 = 19.02, p < .001, Nagelkerke R2 = .30. The PAI Antisocial index was the only statistically significant PAI scale that contributed to predicting treatment outcomes. Overall, our results facilitate distinguishing among individuals who will benefit and individuals who are unlikely to be amenable for treatment. Further research is necessary to establish generalizability to other populations and modalities. Given the present results, treating clinicians should ponder the use of the ACEs and the PAI as instruments administered to all patients during intake. These tools will assist in the identification for patients amenable to treatment.

Included in

Psychology Commons