Date of Award

January 2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Justin D. McDonald


American Indian/Alaskan Natives (AI/AN) have a long history of documented trauma experiences. In addition, AI/AN individuals are likely to have fewer economic resources and are faced with increased traumatic experiences in comparison to the general population. Further, the American Indian population is also affected by overrepresentation with incarceration rates in federal and state government detention centers. These data support the need to address non-sexual recidivism issues in the American Indian population. Little research has examined trauma experiences, selected trauma effects, and unique differences for American Indian sex offenders. Treatment employed for American Indian sex offenders is conducted based on data supporting Caucasian sex offender treatment. However, there is a need to examine the unique differences among American Indian sex offenders, as they may require more trauma-informed care or other specific treatment needs. This study hypothesized American Indian male sex offenders would report more adverse childhood experiences, trauma experiences, higher current PTSD rates in relation to their most distressing traumatic event, more selected trauma effects, and higher non-sexual re-offense risks factors than Caucasian male sex offenders. Results indicated American Indian sex offenders reported significantly more adverse childhood experiences, higher rates of underreported trauma symptoms, impulsive/problematic sexual behaviors, higher rates of suicidal behavior in the past 6 months, and higher non-sexual re-offense risk factors than Caucasian sex offenders. Additional analyses were conducted on the data and are described in the results section.