3 must-read books on HSB assessment…

Occasionally I get asked what books I recommend on the assessment of harmful sexual behaviour in young people.

Sketch - Best HSB assessment books

The answer is easy…

  1. Risk Assessment of Youth Who Have sexually Abused: Theory, Controversy and Emerging strategies.

Book - Prescott on HSB assessmentDavid Prescott (Editor) 2006, Wood & Barnes Publishing, Oklahoma City, OK  ISBN #1-885473-83-4

Jonny’s view: This is a must read work on assessment. Belying it’s name, it is a persuasive polemic on why “risk” is only one of things we need to examine before we embark on treatment. There is a refreshing emphasis on strengths and resilience, as well as discussion about actuarial assessment and dynamic risk. There is also a useful example of an assessment report. This is a North American book, so Brits and others will need to allow for this, for example there’s a chapter on civil commitment and some differences in terminology, but these are minor issues. A book well worth having.

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  1. Juvenile Sexual Offenders: A Comprehensive Guide to Risk Evaluation

Phil Rich 2009. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ. ISBN #978-0-470-20633-1Book - Rich on HSB assessment

Jonny’s view: Everything you need to know about juvenile harmful sexual behaviour assessment, all in one place. Definitely one for the shelf, particularly if you are working in the field. Chapters cover topics such as: heterogeniety; protective factors; distinguishing abuse from non-abusive sexual behaviour; HSB in younger children (pre-adolescents); risk instruments; conducting the assessment interviews and writing the report. This is a truly excellent reference work as well as a handbook for practice. 


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  1. The Good Lives Model for Adolescents Who Sexually Harm

Book - Print on HSB good livesBobbie Print (Editor) 2013. Safer Society Press, Brandon, VT. ISBN #978-1-884444-94-4

Jonny’s view: This is not a book on assessment, per se, though it includes a chapter on it. Essentially this book outlines the G-map adaption and application of the Good Lives Model with adolescents who sexually harm – exactly what it says “on the tin.” Other than a summary of the G-map journey with the model, chapters address: good lives plans; therapeutic practice and motivating and engaging young people. As you’d expect from G-map, this is a well thought through book by well-respected authors and is refreshingly practical. Should be on the shelf of anyone whose practice is committed to strengths based, motivational approaches.

There are lots of great resources around for this field of work. I list some of them on my HSB resources page, here.

What are your recommendations?…

Please join the conversation and let me know what your recommendations would be – on this or anything related…

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© Jonny Matthew 2015

Disclosure of material connection: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” This means that if you click the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.


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