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Computerization and Validation of an Inventory to Assess Adult and Juvenile Sex Offenders, Final Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
281 pages
This report focuses on the reliability and validity of an instrument for assessing sex offenders.
The Multidimensional Assessment of Sex and Aggression (MASA) was initially created to supplement the often poorly represented information in the archival records of sex offenders and to provide sufficient data to classify adult sex offenders. The MASA's construction involved the specification of multiple domains that research had revealed to be important in the assessment of sexual aggression. Its development also involved the creation of an extensive item pool covering all these domains, the rating by experienced clinicians of the appropriateness of items for each domain, the selection of the most suitable items for each domain, the rewriting of the chosen items to give them maximum relevance, and further steps through testing and re-testing. The MASA has now undergone four revisions to expand the breadth of its assessment, simplify its language to make it appropriate for juveniles, and computerize its administration. Recent reliability and validity analyses of the MASA used a wide variety of samples. These samples included college students, community noncriminals, criminals not convicted of sex offenses, and adult and juvenile sex offenders. Results revealed that the continued reliability and cross-sample stability of factor structures and the intercorrelations across the scales suggested that this inventory had promise as a useful assessment for sex offenders. Findings suggested that the MASA could be developed into a useful clinical assessment tool, especially for identifying treatment needs and for offender classification. Such a development would be the first step to addressing a significant gap in the assessment of sexual aggression. Figures, tables, appended instrument and background information, and 81 references (Author abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 2001