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Our Research Catalogue contains grants and outputs data up to the end of April 2014. Records will no longer be updated after this date.

Recidivism, desistance and life course trajectories of young sexual abusers. An in-depth follow-up study, 10 years on.

  • Start date: 03 November 2008
  • End date: 11 September 2011

Since the early 1990s, there has been a growing recognition in the UK that children and young people are responsible for a significant proportion of reported and unreported instances of sexual abuse against children and, on occasion, adults. There has been, however, very little evaluative research or follow-up of ex-service users to discover and analyse their subsequent adolescent development and their life circumstances as young adults. This study will describe and analyse the experiences and lifecourse trajectories of young adults who, in their childhood, were subject to professional interventions because of sexually abusive behaviour. 100 former service users known to welfare or criminal justice agencies will be traced 10 years following the emergence of their initial sexual behaviour problems. In-depth qualitative, narrative interviews with respondents will cast light on their current circumstances and personal functioning. Interview data will be complemented with data collected from historical case files, criminal statistics and interviews with professionals. The study will assist in the identification of factors which promote resilience, desistance and positive outcomes as well as risk and recidivism. Findings will inform policy and practice and will give a voice to a user group previously neglected in social research.