Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to navigation Skip directly to page options Skip directly to site content

Awarded Research Grant to Prevent Violence and Violence-Related Injury

Risk for Sexual Abuse: A Study of Adolescent Offenders

FOA Number: CE04-045 - Grants for Violence-Related Injury Prevention Research
Project Period: 8/1/04–7/31/07
Application/Grant Number: 1-R49-CE000265-01
Principal Investigator: Michael Miner, PhD
Regents of the University of Minnesota
Program in Human Sexuality
1300 South Second Street, Suite 180
Minneapolis, MN 55455
Phone: 612-625-1500
Fax: 612-626-8311


Healthy People 2010 prioritized sexual violence and child maltreatment (including sexual abuse) as important targets for prevention and intervention. In its Injury Agenda for 2004, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that a major barrier to prevention efforts is the lack of information about the causes and correlates of child sexual abuse, especially in young perpetrators. This project addresses this gap by applying attachment theory to identify the unique and shared risk factors for child sexual abuse, sexual assault, and youth violence. This objective will be accomplished through a multi-method, cross-sectional study of 300 adolescent males: those who have sexually abused children, those who have sexually assaulted peers or adults, and those who have committed other, non-sexual types of delinquent behavior. Data will be collected through a review of available records, semi-structured and structured interviews, and a computer-administered questionnaire.

The project will identify the unique and shared risk factors for perpetrating child sexual abuse, sexual assault, and delinquent behavior by investigating perpetrator group differences in the following constructs:

  • Aim 1 will examine attitudes toward intimate relationships (attachment style) and their involvement with peers, including consensual sexual experiences.
  • Aim 2 will examine attitudes toward masculinity, including beliefs about the importance of competition, violence, and face-saving as an indication of masculinity and confidence in their own masculinity, and beliefs about sexuality, self-reported sexual behavior (including paraphilias), and sexual interest and fantasies (including various paraphilias).
  • Aim 3, a collaboration between the Program in Human Sexuality, treatment programs for juvenile sex offenders, and juvenile probation departments, will promote primary and secondary prevention through dissemination of project results in collaboration with Stop It Now, Minnesota, which is a primary prevention program.