Sexual abuse within employment settings: a comparison of work-related, intra- and extra-familial child molesters

Diana M. Falkenbach*, Antonia Foehse, Elizabeth Jeglic, Cynthia Calkins, Linsey Raymaekers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Child sexual abuse (CSA) is a serious problem not only in the community but also in institutional settings such as youth-serving organizations, churches, and schools. Although research has started to examine the problem of abuse in institutional settings, there remains a dearth of information about the nature and context of CSA in different employment settings, including those that do not specifically cater to children. In addition, research on the similarities and differences between perpetrators who work with children and other sex offenders is scarce. As such, the present study compared offenders on variables relating to financial/employment lifestyle stability, risk/dangerousness level, abuse opportunity, and victim selection. Data revealed that child abusers who worked with children tended to be better educated, were less likely to be married, had fewer nonsexual convictions, and were more likely to abuse male post-pubescent children compared with intra- and extra-familial offenders who did not work with children. Implications for future research, prevention of CSA, and clinical practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)524-542
Number of pages19
JournalSexual Abuse-a Journal of Research and Treatment
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019


  • sex offenders who work with children
  • child sexual abuse
  • institutional abuse
  • intra-familial
  • professional perpetrators
  • extra-familial

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