Date of Award
Master of Science in Criminal Justice (MSCJ)
Dr. Sutham Cobkit
Dr. Gang Lee
Dr. Rebecca Petersen
Juvenile sex offenders are included in sex offender registration laws based on the assumption that they pose a high risk for future reoffending. Without doubt sex offender laws are quite controversial. Given the recent support in applying sex offender registry laws to juveniles, laws originally designed to protect children of these same ages, this study addresses the following: 1. How do the disciplines of psychology and criminal justice impact student perception of juvenile sex offender registration? 2. How do major of study, race, and gender impact student perception of juvenile sex offender registration? 3. To what extent do social science students believe that registration of juvenile sex offenders contribute to improving public safety? Data from this study resulted from an N=461 convenience sample survey of social science students attending Kennesaw State University. The study found that participants (66%) endorsed the full application of registration requirements for juvenile sex offenders. While criminal justice majors were more prone to advocate for legislation to remain the same for both juveniles and adult sex offenders, psychology majors displayed degrees of hopeful outlooks on juvenile sex offenders despite that of non-psychology majors. Further, the results suggested no significant statistical relationship between the demographic variables of race to only include only Whites’ and African Americans as well as, gender on attitudes held towards juvenile sex offender registration.