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Sex Offender Evaluations the ABEL Assessment Tool

The ABEL Assessment What is The Abel Assessment for Sexual Interest?

The ABEL Assessment for Sexual interest Interest™ (AASI) an assessment that uses both objective (beyond awareness) and subjective (self-report) data to measure an individual’s sexual interest to various stimuli. It is used to provide us with an additional source of risk assessment and to facilitate disclosure and discussion of sexual interest that might otherwise be difficult to obtain in an interview with the examinee. Information received from the AASI is used to better understand sexual arousal patterns in individuals identified as having sexual interest in younger children or interest in sexual violence as indicated by their past or alleged past behavior.

The AASI is administered in a way that is not intrusive using a two-part computerized test. It is a technologically advanced psychological test that is validated by an impressively large study sample and extensive research with male, female, adolescent, and adult populations. Another version of the ABEL, the Abel-Blasingame Assessment System for individuals with Intellectual Disabilities interest (ABID) is also available. The ABEL can be administered in English, Spanish, or French to individuals twelve years and older. The data from both portions of the test are electronically transmitted to Abel Screening, Inc. for processing based on the most current and up to date research statistics. Because the test is administered on a computer rather than through an otherwise embarrassing interview, it is a lot easier for examinee’s to acknowledge their offense patterns and thus provides a more reliable profile of the concerns needing to be addressed in therapy.

The two-part examination includes an objective measure of sexual interest and a self-reported questionnaire. The questionnaire provides information about sexual fantasies, attitudes about sex, and past sexual behavior. The objective portion of the test captures the examinee’s deviant sexual interest while viewing 160 digital images of fully clothed adults, adolescents and children. Both the objective and the subjective (self-report) measures are evaluated together to determine any concerns or risks that may be prevalent in the examinee’s sexual development. Comparing the examinee’s self-awareness and acknowledgement of sexual interest to an objective measure is useful so that they may be helped to better understand and appreciate their sexuality and to correct any problems that may be developing. The test takes between one and two hours to complete.

While the AASI is an extremely useful instrument it should always be used as an adjunct tool within a comprehensive assessment or therapeutic regime. Its use should not be the sole basis for decisions in determining intensity of supervision, level of behavioral restrictions, transitional planning processes, or progress and completion of treatment. Although information obtained from the AASI or ABID will be considered these decisions will always be the primary concern of the multidisciplinary team using all resources and information available to them.

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