Criminogenic Needs as Intervening Factors in the Relation Between Insecure Attachments and Youth Sexual Violence

Jamie Yoder, Melissa D. Grady, Adam Brown, Rebecca Dillard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


There is a strong theoretical and research base demonstrating the link between attachment styles and adolescent sexual offending. However, this relationship may be best explained by deficit-based mediational pathways including criminogenic needs such as emotional or affect regulation and callousness. Grady, Levenson, and Bolder propose a framework that details criminogenic needs as intermediary variables in the attachment–sexual offending relationship. Using data on adolescents adjudicated of sexual and nonsexual crimes in a Western state (N = 200), two structural equation models (SEM) tested direct and indirect relationships between ambivalent and avoidant attachment styles (in separate models), dysregulation including cognitive and behavioral transitions, emotional control, and inhibited/impulsive behaviors, callousness, delinquency, and offending type (sexual or nonsexual offending). Results revealed statistically significant direct pathways between variables of interest and a multimediational effect of dysregulation and callousness in the relationship between insecure attachments and sexual offending. Treatment, policy, and research implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-272
Number of pages26
JournalSexual Abuse: Journal of Research and Treatment
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2019.


  • antisocial behavior
  • delinquency
  • juvenile sex offenders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology (all)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Medicine (all)


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