Emotional intelligence includes one's ability to perceive others' emotions and express one's own emotion. This includes one's ability to process emotional information and respond appropriately to different cues in one's social environment. These characteristics are associated with mental health, leadership skills, and employment performance. Existing studies have shown that emotional intelligence is often low for juvenile sex offenders (Bischof, Stith, & Whitney, 1995). Adolescent sex offenders scored higher than non-offending adolescents on an aggression scale and lower on attention to feelings. Furthermore, they were less able to prolong positive moods and less likely to be able to repair negative moods (Moriarty, et al. 2001).
Behaviors and Victim Characteristics
Juvenile sex offenders commit a wide range of sex crimes. Approximately two-thirds of the sample in one study engaged in either penetration or oral-genital contact, or both (Ryan, Miyoshi, Metzner, Krugman, & Fryer, 1996). Approximately 70% of the victims were female in another study (Righthand & Welch, 2001).
When the victim is male, he is typically very young (Davis & Leitenberg, 1987). Victims of juvenile sexual offenders are often young—more than 60% were younger than 12; 63% were younger than nine; and 40% were younger than six (Ryan et al., 1996). Also, younger victims were more likely than older victims to be related to their offenders (Worling, 1995). The majority of victims are known to their offenders (i.e., acquaintance or relative) (Johnson, 1988). One study found that 39% of juvenile sex offenders were related to their victims (Ryan et al., 1996), while another study found that 46% of the victims were related to their offenders (Johnson, 1988).
Prior sexual victimization also occurs at high rates among juvenile sex offenders (Veneziano et al., 2000); however, this association is not well understood (Ven- eziano, 2012).1 Adolescent sex offenders with a history of sexual abuse are more likely than adolescent sex offenders who do not have a history of sexual abuse to have an earlier onset of sex offending, have more victims, abuse both male and female victims, and exhibit more interpersonal problems (Cooper, Murphy, & Haynes, 1996).