Protective Factors in the Sexual Offending Area: Analysis of the Concept and a Preliminary Model
Traditionally, there has been a preoccupation with the concept of risk in criminal justice research and practice, with very little emphasis placed on the notion of protection. Recently, forensic psychology researchers and practitioners have become more interested in the idea of protective factors – the factors that are association with a reduction rather than an increase in offending. However, this area of research is in its infancy, and much is still unclear. The current thesis aims to analyse the development of this concept, as well as how it is currently understood. I will argue that current conceptualisations of protection are limited, and will outline a range of criticisms. I then develop a preliminary model that will aim to overcome these problems. More specifically, I will clearly define the notion of protection, offer an explanation of how protective factors may exert their protective effects, and discuss how this understanding of protection can be applied to offender interventions.