Prior to any intervention with juvenile sex offenders it is vital that a comprehensive assessment of the youth and his family be completed. To aid the clinician in conducting such an assessment the literature on the characteristics of male juvenile sex offenders, female offenders, and parents of young offenders is briefly reviewed. Guidelines for conducting a comprehensive clinical assessment of a sexually assaultive youth and his parents covering a number of key areas are outlined. These include obtaining reports from outside sources, taking a developmental, sexual, family, medical, and psychiatric history, and assessing the family's current attitude towards the sexual offence. In particular, specific questions and areas of inquiry for completing a comprehensive sexual development/ sexual offending history are suggested. This article concludes by highlighting the need for future studies to compare sexually abusive youth to other types of juvenile offenders and their non-offending peers, and the need for the development of forensically sound assessment instruments for use with this population.
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