Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


32nd Annual Convention; Atlanta, GA; 2006

Event Details

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Symposium #310
CE Offered: BACB
Evaluation of Deviant Sexual Behavior in Sex Offenders with Developmental Disabilities
Monday, May 29, 2006
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
Centennial Ballroom IV
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Jorge Rafael Reyes (University of Florida)
CE Instructor: Timothy R. Vollmer, Ph.D.

This symposium will include four papers describing various methods for the assessment and treatment sex offenders with developmental disabilities. The first presentation, given by Robert Reed, is a discussion of some of the cultural issues related to sexual deviance including the historical development of assessing and treating deviant sexual behavior. The second presentation, given by Jorge Reyes, shows outcome data from the assessment and treatment of deviant sexual arousal. The third presentation given by Cristina Whitehouse, describes two novel assessment procedures. One of the procedures involves assessing responding in high-risk situations, and the other involves assessing preference for deviant stimuli (e.g., pictures of children) through the use of a computerized program. The final presentation, given by David Pyles, involves a discussion of assessments and services needed for sex offenders with developmental disabilities that may differ from needs posed by non-developmentally delayed offenders.

Deviant Sexual Behavior in our Culture.
ROBERT H. REED (The Seguin Unit), Astrid Hall (The Seguin Unit), Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida), Jorge Rafael Reyes (University of Florida), Kimberly Sloman (University of Florida)
Abstract: The focus of the current presentation is on the historical issues related to identifying, assessing, and treating deviant sexual arousal. Cultural and legal factors related to sexual deviance will be discussed with a special emphasis on the feasibility or lack thereof for community reintegration with sex offenders with developmental disabilities. Three general themes will be elaborated upon. One, “deviant” sexual behavior is a relative and culturally defined phenomenon. Two, existing research is inadequate to determine whether sexual behavior deemed deviant in our culture can be modified to safe levels. Three, the issue of reintegration is especially complex for offenders with developmental disabilities, due to the tenuous balance between public safety and active, personalized, treatment.
Replications and Extensions in Plethysmograph Based Arousal Assessments.
JORGE RAFAEL REYES (University of Florida), Astrid Hall (The Seguin Unit)
Abstract: Previous research by our group has shown that the use of the penile plethysmograph, designed to measure penile tumescence in the presence of various stimuli, can identify differential patterns of arousal for sex offenders with developmental disabilities. For example, Reyes et al. (in press), identified three general outcomes: a) deviant arousal to a specific age category and gender, b) deviant arousal across a range of child age groups, and c) no deviant arousal. The current clinical evaluation consisted of two separate components. The first component was a replication of Reyes et al., and involved conducting additional arousal assessments with 4 participants. Results from the arousal assessments showed similar patterns of responding as in the previous study. The second component involved an evaluation of pre-session masturbation on arousal. For this investigation, the participants were instructed to masturbate immediately (i.e., within 5-min) before the session was conducted. Results showed decreased levels of arousal during the pre-session masturbation sessions. Treatment implications for these types of manipulations as well as other potential manipulations will be discussed.
A Description of Two Novel Assessment Components.
CRISTINA M. WHITEHOUSE (University of Florida), Jorge Rafael Reyes (University of Florida), Andrew Samaha (University of Florida), Kimberly Sloman (University of Florida), Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida), G. Wade Brodkorb (The Seguin Unit)
Abstract: Two assessment components for sex offenders with developmental disabilities will be described. Ultimately, these assessment components will be part of a more comprehensive assessment protocol. The first procedure involves assessing responding in high-risk situations. The procedures were based on other studies that involved covertly observing people placed in high-risk situations (e.g., Himle et al., 2005). Participants, who believed they were alone, were observed in a waiting room (via a one-way mirror) that contained both appropriate materials (e.g., sports and car magazines) and high-risk materials (e.g., magazines with pictures of children). Data were collected on their responses to the high-risk and appropriate materials. The second procedure involves a visual preference assessment in which participants select one of three different pictures that vary in terms of gender, age, and more specific characteristics within categories such as hair and eye color. By determining specific victim characteristics this information could be included as one component of a larger evaluation of risk of re-offense. Although the primary purpose of this presentation is to describe methodology, some preliminary data from each procedure will be presented.
Risk Assessment and Supervision Needs for Sexual and Criminal Offenders with Developmental Disabilities.
DAVID A. PYLES (Illinois DHS Division of Developmental Disabilities)
Abstract: A number of standardized assessment instruments have been developed to assess risk of sexual offenders reoffending in the future. At this time, the instruments have not been developed or normed for people with developmental disabilities, and in fact may skew the results. Because sexual offenders with developmental disabilities do not reflect a homogeneous population, the assessment of risk and programming/supervision needs become particularly important. This presentation discusses risk factors and supervisory needs of non-charged and charged sex offenders.



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