Raymond A Knight

Raymond A Knight
Brandeis University · Department of Psychology

Ph.D., Clinical Psychology

About

189
Publications
66,318
Reads
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7,864
Citations
Citations since 2017
35 Research Items
2107 Citations
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20172018201920202021202220230100200300
Additional affiliations
September 1971 - present
Brandeis University
Position
  • Mortimer Gryzmish Professor of Human Relations

Publications

Publications (189)
Article
Public and clinician attitudes are important to consider when studying the reentry of individuals who sexually offend. Uninformed public attitudes drive the continued use of ineffective policies like registries and residential restrictions in the United States, and experts must assess risk to decide what level of supervision and control to recommen...
Article
Full-text available
The Screening Scale of Pedophilic Crime Scene Behavior (SSPC) is a seven-item structured rating scale assessing pedophilic sexual arousal. In the current study, we cross-validated the scale’s convergent validity using multiple measures of sexual interest in children (clinical diagnosis of pedophilia, the high fixation/low social competence type of...
Article
This study examined whether pedophilia is best understood as a dimension or a discrete class (taxon). We considered pedophilia to include both physical sexual attraction to children as well as emotional attraction to children and childhood. Archival data from 901 adult males from a U.S. civil commitment treatment center for sexually dangerous perso...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose of Review A substantial increase in research on the structure, covariates, and etiology of hypersexuality has emerged during the last decade. It is the goal of this review to summarize and integrate this research and to indicate some practical implications for clinical and forensic practice, especially as applied to those who have sexually...
Article
The current study explored the association between psychopathic traits and release suitability decisions and examined the role of Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R) and Static-99 in predicting general and sexual recidivism. The sample included 207 adult male sex offenders involved in the long-term follow-up at the Massachusetts Treatment Center...
Thesis
Full-text available
The attitudes of both the public and of clinicians are important to consider when studying the reentry of sexual offenders into society. Punitive public attitudes drive the continued use of ineffective policies like registries and residential restrictions, and experts must assess risk to decide what level of supervision and control, from none to ci...
Article
Purpose: It has been hypothesized that paraphilic coercive disorder (PCD) constitutes a distinct preference for coercion that can be discriminated from a preference for sadism. Despite the repeated rejections of PCD as an acceptable diagnosis, it continues to be used. In 2013 Knight and colleagues reviewed the evidence that had been proffered to su...
Article
Sexual sadism has been included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) since the mid‐20th century. The DSM‐5 committee distinguished between sadistic behaviors on consenting partners and nonconsenting persons. The lack of consensus on the diagnostic criteria for sexual sadism is in part responsible for the poor inter‐rat...
Article
Positive and warm parental attitudes are associated with better social and emotional child functioning, whereas negative or rejecting parental attitudes are associated with poor outcomes, such as aggression, impaired self-esteem, and emotional instability. The current study investigated the reliability and validity of scores on an interview adaptat...
Preprint
Full-text available
Comprehensive reply to DeMatteo et al. 2020 in Psychology, Public Policy & Law provides evidence for the reliability and validity of the PCL-R in the assessment of risk for institutional violence.
Article
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This study examined the association of sexually appetitive fantasies and sexually coercive behaviors among adult men convicted of nonsexual crimes ( n = 159) and adult men with no criminal histories ( n = 219). Individuals completed the Multidimensional Assessment of Sex and Aggression (MASA) and, on the basis of these reports, were classified whet...
Article
Full-text available
Psychological abuse and sexual abuse, either alone or in combination, have been implicated as developmental antecedents of problematic sexual thoughts and behaviors in studies of sexually aggressive males (Jesperson, Lalumière, & Seto, 2009; Knight & Sims-Knight, 2011; Levenson & Grady, 2016; Seto & Lalumière, 2010). Recently, psychological abuse p...
Article
Background: Although research on the developmental antecedents of sexual offending has tended to focus on sexual abuse, recent research in juveniles and adults who have sexually offended suggests that psychological abuse perpetrated by a male caregiver may be a particularly important factor in the development of problematic sexual interests and be...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
It has been hypothesized that paraphilic coercive disorder (PC+) constitutes a distinct preference for coercive sexual intercourse that can be discriminated from a preference for sadism (Thornton, 2010). Recent data have indicated that sadism is an endpoint on an Agonistic Continuum that range from noncoercive sexual fantasies and behaviours, throu...
Article
Full-text available
Whereas risk assessment literature on sexual offending has primarily focused on prediction of subsequent sexual crimes, and not the severity of those crimes, the first aim of the present study was to identify variables that predict the amount of damage to victims in sexual crimes compared with those that predict general aggressiveness. The second a...
Chapter
This book provides the first systematic overview of the theoretical, empirical, clinical, and police issues related to sexual murderers and murder. Bringing together leading researchers, theoreticians, and practitioners from across eight different countries, this is a truly international collaboration and an essential reference text for students, r...
Article
Although adults who have sexually offended against both child and adult victims (i.e., adults with mixed aged sexual offense victims [MASOVs]) have been found at increased risk to reoffend, they have been a neglected and rarely studied group of individuals who have sexually offended. The present study explored their differentiating characteristics...
Article
Full-text available
Severe sexual sadism is a disorder of sexualpreferences that focuses on humiliation and domination of thevictim, sometimes causing grievous injury or death. Becauseoffenders with high levels of sadism represent a risk to bothreoffend and cause considerable harm should they reoffend, adiagnosis of sexual sadism has serious implications. Theactualdia...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Sexual sadism can be described as the experience of sexual pleasure produced by acts of cruelty and bodily punishment (Krafft-Ebing, 1886). Sadists are usually described as a discrete class of people that commit serious crimes and present a high risk of recidivism. Although various explanations of the etiology of sexual sadism have been proposed, v...
Article
Sadism was initially described as the experience of sexual pleasure produced by acts of cruelty and bodily punishment. Sadism was conceptualized as if sadists were fundamentally different from nonsadists. Recent studies have suggested that sadism is distributed as a dimension rather than as a category. The aim of the current study was to assess the...
Article
Purpose According to the rational choice approach, offenders consider costs and benefits when making decisions. This study applies this framework to sexual offenses and examines how various decisions made by perpetrators of sexual crimes influenced the desired and undesired crime outcomes that resulted. Methods The study examines 2296 crimes of a...
Article
The current study employed both latent variable- and person-centered approaches to examine psychopathic traits in a large sample of sex offenders (N = 958). The offenders, who had committed a range of sexual crimes, had been assessed with the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R; Hare, 2003). Structural equation modeling results indicated that the...
Poster
Full-text available
Explorations of the factor structure of common actuarials used for risk assessment for adults who sexually offend have led to the identification of consistent, core underlying dynamic constructs. The present study generalizes this research strategy to juveniles, examining the factor structure of the Juvenile Sexual Offense Recidivism Risk Assessmen...
Article
Full-text available
Hypersexuality, or extreme normophilic sexual urges and behaviors, is a controversial construct that was recently considered as a candidate disorder for the DSM-5 and was rejected. It was also rejected for inclusion in Section III (Conditions for Further Study). Nonetheless, it has been found to be an important predictor of recidivism among sex off...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Recent studies concerned with latent structure suggest that sexual sadism represents a dimensional construct rather than a categorical entity. The goal of the present study was to investigate the latent structure of sadism with taxometric procedures on a sample of 474 sexual offenders. Taxometric analyses yielded unambiguously dimensional results.
Poster
Full-text available
Sexual sadism can be described as the experience of sexual pleasure produced by acts of cruelty and bodily punishment (Krafft-Ebing, 1886). Sadists are usually described as a discrete class of people that commit serious crimes and present a high risk of recidivism. Depending on the study, between 5% and 50% of sexual offenders are considered sadist...
Article
Alors que le vieillissement entraînerait une diminution du risque de récidive chez les agresseurs sexuels, le niveau de risque mesuré par les instruments actuariels vi dans le sens inverse. La présente étude vise à évaluer l’impact de l’âge lors de la libération sur les taux de récidive sexuelle et la validité prédictive de six instruments (VRAG, S...
Article
Full-text available
Prior taxometric research on child molesters and general sex offenders has produced inconsistent and contradictory results. There are theoretical, practical, and policy reasons, however, to assume that a psychopathy taxon may exist in sex offenders and that a taxometric study might shed light on this issue. The mean above minus below a cut (MAMBAC)...
Poster
Full-text available
This study looked at PPI self centered impulsivity and callousness and whether they added variance to Knight and Sims-Knight (2003, 2004)’s model of predictors of sexual coercion among male and female college students. Hierarchal regressions were conducted and revealed significant difference in predictors among college males and females. The result...
Article
While aging is supposed to reduce the risk of recidivism among sex offenders, the risk level measured by an instrument should rather increase with age. This study aims to evaluate the impact of age at release on sexual recidivism rates and the predictive validity of six instruments (VRAG, SORAG, RRASOR, Static-99, Static -2002 and MnSOST-R) for 372...
Article
Full-text available
The present study explored the effects of child sexual abuse (CSA) on the adaptation of male juveniles who subsequently sexually offended (JSOs; n = 178; age, M = 16.05 years, SD = 0.27, range = 12-22). It examined multiple levels of interpersonal closeness between the perpetrators of sexual abuse and their JSO victims. JSOs who were sexually abuse...
Article
Full-text available
The etiology of psychopathy remains poorly understood, despite the wealth of studies focused on examining this serious and complex personality disorder. The present study explored the contribution of psychological, physical, and sexual abuse in predicting PCL-R facet and total scores. The study was conducted on a sample of 397 adult male sexual off...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Sexual sadism can be described as the experience of sexual pleasure produced by acts of cruelty and bodily punishment (Krafft-Ebing, 1886). This can also be an innate desire to humiliate, hurt, hit, or even destroy others to experience sexual pleasure.
Article
The recent attempt to introduce hypersexual disorder into the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), has increased empirical scrutiny of the construct. Consensus on its definition and underlying structure remains elusive. Whereas some conceptualizations favor a categorical latent structure, others speculate th...
Article
Full-text available
This study was designed to compare the Adam Walsh Act (AWA) classification tiers with actuarial risk assessment instruments and existing state classification schemes in their respective abilities to identify sex offenders at high risk to re-offend. Data from 1,789 adult sex offenders released from prison in four states were collected (Minnesota, Ne...
Chapter
Full-text available
Using the overarching framework of the risk/needs/responsivity principles of Andrews and Bonta (2006), this chapter identifies the criminogenic needs that have been emerged most consistently as treatment targets for juveniles who have sexually offended (JSOs). Empirical studies supporting the selection of each domain are presented and the assessmen...
Article
Full-text available
Although psychopathy has consistently been shown to distribute as a dimension, all prior studies have examined behavioral indicators that may be phenotypically distant from core biological correlates of the syndrome. The current studies attempted to determine whether biomarkers from a high-resolution structural MRI scan of selected limbic and paral...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
sadism can be described as the experience of sexual pleasure produced by acts of cruelty and bodily punishment (Krafft-Ebing, 1886). This can also be an innate desire to humiliate, hurt, hit, or even destroy others to experience sexual pleasure. Perceived as a disease, sadism has been conceptualized as if sadists were fundamentally different from n...
Article
Full-text available
It has been suggested that child sexual abuse is related to poor attachment to parents, which is associated with an inability to form intimate relationships. Seto and Lalumière indicated that there were too few studies of adolescent males to determine whether poor attachment was associated with perpetration. This study was designed to follow up on...
Article
One of the most important clinical features of psychopaths is their differential emotional response style. The present study examined the modulating effect of negative mood induction on the processing of emotional information and its relation to psychopathy. The sample of 105 participants were randomly assigned to two types of mood induction condit...
Article
Full-text available
Research in the field of sexual aggression often assumes escalation in the criminal careers of sexual offenders. Sexual offenders are thought to begin their criminal careers with non-contact sexual offenses or non-sexual offenses and then escalate to more serious crimes, specifically sexual violence. The commission of one crime in particular-burgla...
Article
The present study investigated rationality in sexually motivated burglaries. Specifically, we analyzed the situational cues identified by sexual burglars in their target selection. The research project investigated 224 individual incidents of residential burglary with apparent sexual motivations. Situational characteristics of the incidents were re...
Article
Full-text available
Sexual sadism and psychopathy have been theoretically, clinically, and empirically linked to violence. Although both constructs are linked to predatory violence, few studies have sought to explore the covariation of the two constructs, and even fewer have sought to conceptualize the similarities of violence prediction in each. The current study con...
Article
Full-text available
This article describes the construction and testing of a newly designed instrument to assess psychological factors associated with increased rates of sexual recidivism. The new instrument (Structured Risk Assessment-Forensic Version or SRA-FV) was based on previous research using the SRA framework. This article describes the results of testing SRA-...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Sexual sadism can be described as the experience of sexual pleasure produced by acts of cruelty and bodily punishment (Krafft-Ebing, 1886). Sadists are usually described as a discrete class of people, committing serious crimes and presenting a high risk of recidivism. Perceived as a disease which one can or cannot have, sadism was conceptualized an...
Article
Full-text available
Policies aimed at managing high-risk offenders, which include sex offenders, often assume they are a homogeneous population. These policies also tend to assume the pattern of offending is the same for all sex offenders, and is stable. This study challenges these assumptions by examining the life course offending trajectories of 780 convicted adult...
Article
Purpose: It has been hypothesized that paraphilic coercive disorder (PCD) constitutes a distinct sexual preference for the coercive elements of sexual interactions and that this preference can be discriminated from a sexual pref- erence for violence, harm, and injury. This article critically reviews the evidence that has been marshaled to sup- port...
Article
Full-text available
Clinicians have at their disposal a variety of instruments with which to evaluate the risk presented by sex offenders. These measures yield similar predictive potency, and combining them does not appear to enhance prediction. The present study examined whether classification and regression tree analysis could identify new combinations of predictors...
Article
Purpose: To understand fully the nature of residential burglary one must examine the situational context, and offender's behavior during the burglary. Although several behaviors appear to be distinctly related to sexual burglaries, including voyeurism, fetishism, sexual violence, and sexual murder, a systematic typology of the characteristics of re...
Article
Full-text available
Commission of nonsexual crimes generally antedates officially recorded sexual offenses. In particular, burglary has been hypothesized to be a potential ‘stepping stone’ in the development of one's sexual criminal career in the same way that marijuana has often been considered a ‘gateway drug’ to more serious drug-related offenses. The present study...
Article
Full-text available
This study investigated substance use in rape and child molestation. We hypothesized that perpetrator substance use would be associated with a greater increase in rapists' aggression in sexual crimes compared with that of child molesters. We also predicted that victim substance use would be negatively related to both rapists and child molesters' ag...
Article
Full-text available
Numerous instruments are available to clinicians for evaluating sex offenders' reoffense risk. Although they have demon-strated effectiveness in predicting recidivism significantly better than unstructured clinical evaluation, little is known about their predictive accuracy in subgroups of sexual offenders or in the long term. This study was undert...
Article
Full-text available
The perceptual bias for sexual material has been explored mainly in normal men, and to date little attention has been paid to sexually aggressive men. The current study compared performance of sexually aggressive and nonaggressive men on experimental tasks involving sexual stimuli. Participants viewed the visual images (neutral or sexual), and, dep...
Article
Full-text available
Hypersexual Disorder is currently being considered for inclusion in the DSM-5. To inform this process, we investigated the latent structure of the hypersexuality construct using Meehl's (1995) taxometric method. Data on sexual interests and behaviors were obtained from 2,101 general population males and females in Sweden and 716 male sex offenders...
Article
Recent research has suggested that a qualitatively distinct subtype of psychopathic sex offender can be identified via taxometric analyses (Harris et al., 2007). In this study we attempted to replicate the hypothesized psychopathic sexuality taxon in a group of 503 male sexual offenders using data from the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R:Hare,...
Article
Full-text available
Offense specialization and versatility has been explored previously in the prior criminal records of sexual offenders. The present study expanded these findings by examining offense specialization and versatility in the postrelease offending of a sample of sexual offenders referred for civil commitment and released. Criminal versatility (not limiti...
Article
Although it has been hypothesised that schizophrenia patients have a perceptual organisation deficit, recent work indicates that their ability to process highly configural stimuli with continuous or near continuous contour is intact. To clarify further the range of the perceptual organisation dysfunction in schizophrenia, we assessed, using Kahnema...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this study was to test whether prior conduct disorder increased deviance in persons diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder. One hundred and three male inmates satisfying adult antisocial and conduct disorder criteria for antisocial personality disorder achieved significantly higher scores on self-report measures of criminal t...
Article
Full-text available
The taxometric method effectively distinguishes between dimensional (1-class) and taxonic (2-class) latent structure, but there is virtually no information on how it responds to polytomous (3-class) latent structure. A Monte Carlo analysis showed that the mean comparison curve fit index (CCFI; Ruscio, Haslam, & Ruscio, 2006) obtained with 3 taxomet...
Article
Full-text available
Résumé Un large éventail d’instruments s’offre aux cliniciens pour évaluer le risque que posent les délinquants sexuels. La présente étude vise à comparer la validité prédictive de huit instruments (VRAG, SORAG, RRASOR, Statique-99, Statique-2002, RM2000, MnSOST–R et SVR-20) et un outil de référence (PCL-R) selon quatre types de récidive (nuisance...
Article
Full-text available
There is a proposal to establish a paraphilic coercive disorder as a new paraphilia in the DSM-V. The empirical data do not, however, support the hypothesis that a distinct syndrome exists that comprises males who are sexually aroused by the coercive elements of rape per se. Purported evidence for this syndrome has centered on the results of phallo...
Article
Full-text available
This study explores in an adolescent sample hypotheses about child sexual abuse perpetration drawn from contemporary theories that implicate insecure attachment and adolescent social development. Specifically, three 13- to 18-year-old adolescent male samples (sex offenders with child victims, sex offenders with peer/adult victims, and nonsex delinq...
Article
This research was supported by research grants MH54263-01 from the National Institute of Mental Health and 94-IJ-CX-0049 from the National Institute of Justice. The authors wish to express their deep appreciation to the staff in the numerous institutions at which we have tested for their considerable commitment of time and energy to our research pr...
Article
Clinicians have access to several risk assessment instruments to evaluate the risk or recidivism in sexual offenders. Nevertheless, we seem to have attained a ceiling in the predictive validity of these instruments with the traditional techniques of items agglomeration. In this study, we offer a different combination of predictors with the classifi...
Article
Previous research has explored whether criminological theories can account for the apparently specialized behaviors of sexual offenders. One perspective proposes that criminals are versatile, engaging in an array of antisocial behaviors. The alternative perspective, more common in sexual offendi ng research, is that sexual offenders (especially chi...