Date of Award

Winter 1994

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Committee Director

Michael L. Stutts

Committee Member

Glynn D. Coates

Committee Member

Gail Furman

Committee Member

Robin Hulbert

Committee Member

Michael Ito


Violent sex offenders, nonviolent sex offenders, violent non-sex offenders, and nonviolent non-sex offenders were compared on neuropsychological testing and on personality testing. A neuropsychological test battery and the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory - 2 (MMPI-2) were administered to 93 and 50 male felons respectively. Subjects were drawn from a data base provided by the state Department of Corrections. Potential indicators of neuropsychological impairment were controlled during the selection process. Analyses of Variance (alpha =.05) found that violent sex offenders scored significantly lower than the other three groups on two measures that are sensitive to left hemisphere impairment and one that assesses right hemisphere impairment suggesting a more diffuse, rather than a lateralized mode of functioning. Non-violent sex offenders scored higher than the other groups on four of the fifteen neuropsychological measures and higher on three additional measures than two of the other three groups. Results also indicated that violent non-sex offenders may better process information with the left hemisphere. On the MMPI-2, violent sex offenders scored higher on Scale F and nonviolent sex offenders scored lower on Scales F and 9 It would appear that information regarding neuropsychological functioning may be useful in identifying more appropriate approaches to intervention for different groups of offenders. Implications for treatment are presented.


A Dissertation Submitted to the Faculties of The College of William and Mary, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk State University, and Old Dominion University in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology through the Virginia Consortium Program in Clinical Psychology.


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