Master's Theses

Document Type


Date of Award

Spring 2014

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Dr. Leo Herrman


To be eligible for civil commitment under the Kansas Sexually Violent Predator Act (K.S.A 59-29a02,1994), three criteria must be satisfied; being the person must have past sex offenses, a mental abnormality, and be likely to sexually recidivate within the community. The Hare Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R) (Hare, 2003) is a tool often used by clinicians completing sexual predator evaluations as a means to assess for psychopathy, a mental disorder capable of satisfying criteria two. However, due to the amount of literature linking psychopathy to recidivism, the PCL-R has been presented and/or interpreted to also satisfy criteria three within the law, likely to recidivate. The current study examined whether this secondary application of the PCL-R in sexual predator evaluations is appropriate by correlating scores from the PCL-R (Hare, 2003), Static-99 (Hanson & Thornton, 1999), and Minnesota Sex Offender Screening Tool-Revised (MnSOST-R) (Epperson et al., 1998), two tools created for the purpose of measuring recidivism in sex offender populations. Results revealed no significant relationship between the PCL-R, Static-99, or MnSOST-R. An additional literature review suggests the way in which the term recidivism is defined in research may contribute to the conflicting findings between this study and previous studies supporting the PCL-R as capable of predicting recidivism in sex offenders. Research linking psychopathy to recidivism typically uses the term recidivism in a sweeping manner incorporating several different types of recidivism underneath it. However, studies that have broken recidivism down into subcategories such as any, serious, and sexual recidivism have not been able to find a significant relationship between psychopathy and sexual recidivism.


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© 2014 Courtney McCue

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