Two clusters of child molesters based on impulsiveness

Danilo Antonio Baltieri, Douglas BOER

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
47 Downloads (Pure)


Objective: High impulsiveness is a general problem that affects most criminal offenders and is associated with greater recidivism risk. A cluster analysis of impulsiveness measured by the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale-Version 11 (BIS-11) was performed on a sample of hands-on child molesters. Methods: The sample consisted of 208 child molesters enrolled in two different sectional studies carried out in São Paulo, Brazil. Using three factors from the BIS-11, a k-means cluster analysis was performed using the average silhouette width to determine cluster number. Direct logistic regression was performed to analyze the association of criminological and clinical features with the resulting clusters. Results: Two clusters were delineated. The cluster characterized by higher impulsiveness showed higher scores on the Sexual Screening for Pedophilic Interests (SSPI), Static-99, and Sexual Addiction Screening Test. Conclusions: Given that child molesters are an extremely heterogeneous population, the ‘‘number of victims’’ item of the SSPI should call attention to those offenders with the highest motor, attentional, and non-planning impulsiveness. Our findings could have implications in terms of differences in therapeutic management for these two groups, with the most impulsive cluster benefitting from psychosocial strategies combined with pharmacological interventions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-145
Number of pages7
JournalRevista Brasileira de Psiquiatria
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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