About this research stream

This research stream brings together our research into stalking, harmful sexual behaviour, deliberate fire-setting, family violence, and radicalisation and extremism. Each of these behaviours may or may not involve aggression or physical violence, but they nonetheless cause significant individual and social harm.

All have complex psychological and social determinants, making them important areas in which to develop knowledge about prevention and intervention. Over the past two decades, our researchers have investigated why these behaviours occur (or are sustained) and what approaches may be most effective for managing them. 

Our research in this area focuses on: 

  • increasing knowledge about psychological and social factors that contribute to different presentations of complex criminal behaviour 
  • development and evaluation of risk assessment instruments appropriate to different complex criminal behaviours 
  • clarifying the contributory role of mental disorder in complex criminal behaviours 
  • understanding and developing effective interventions for such behaviour across different service systems (such as mental health, policing and corrections)

Current and recent projects 

  • Understanding and responding to online child sexual exploitation offenders 
  • Improving family violence risk assessment by police
  • Understanding psychological factors related to stalking 
  • Understanding, assessing and intervening with adult and youth arson or deliberate firesetting
  • Validation of risk assessment instruments for sexual offending, stalking and family violence 
  • Investigating the role of mental health in family violence 
  • Understanding and interrupting pathways from child maltreatment to youth family violence

Highlighted publications

Cloonan-Thomas, S., Daff, E.S. & McEwan, T.E. (2022) Post-relationship stalking and intimate partner abuse in a sample of Australian adolescents. Legal and Criminological Psychology 27(2), 194-215. https://doi.org/10.1111/lcrp.12206

Daff, E. S., McEwan, T.E., & Luebbers, S. (2022). The Role of Cognition in Youth Intimate Partner Abuse. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 37 (7-8), NP4952-NP4980. https://doi.org/10.1177/0886260520958633

Fortunato, E., Papalia, N., & Ogloff, J. R. P. (in press). Effectively reducing repeat sexually abusive behaviour by young people: A role for therapeutic treatment orders. Psychiatry, Psychology and Law.

Gannon, T.A., Olver, M.E., Alleyne, E.K.A., Butler, H., Lister, V., Ó Ciardha, C., Sambrooks, K., & Tyler, N. (2023). The development and validation of a new firesetting questionnaire. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10862-022-10011-x

Henshaw, M., Darjee, R., Ogloff, J. R., Clough, J. A., & Arnold, C. (2020). Enhancing evidence-based treatment of child sexual abuse material offenders: The development of the CEM-COPE Program. Trends and Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice [electronic resource], (607), 1-14. https://www.aic.gov.au/publications/tandi/tandi607

Henshaw, M., Ogloff, J.R.P. & Clough, J. (2018). Demographic, mental health, and offending characteristics of online child exploitation material offenders: A comparison with contact‐only and dual sexual offenders. Behavioral Sciences & the Law 36(2): 198-215. https://doi.org/10.1002/bsl.2337

Johnston, K., & Tyler, N. (2022). The effectiveness of fire safety education interventions for young people who set fires: A systematic review. Aggression and Violent Behavior. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.avb.2022.101743

McEwan, T.E., Harder, L., Brandt. C. & de Vogel, V. (2020). Risk factors for stalking recidivism in a Dutch community forensic mental health sample. International Journal of Forensic Mental Health, 19(2), 127-141. https://doi.org/10.1080/14999013.2019.1661885

McEwan, T.E., Shea, D., Daffern, M., MacKenzie, R.D., Ogloff, J.R.P., & Mullen, P.E. (2018). The reliability and validity of the Stalking Risk Profile. Assessment, 25, 259-276. https://doi.org/10.1177/1073191116653470

Parkhill, A. J., Nixon, M., & McEwan, T. E. (2022). A critical analysis of stalking theory and implications for research and practice. Behavioral Sciences & the Law, 40(5), 562-583. https://doi.org/10.1002/bsl.2598

Reeves, S. G., Ogloff, J. R. P., & Simmons, M. (2018). The Predictive Validity of the Static-99, Static-99R, and Static-2002/R: Which One to Use? Sexual Abuse, 30(8), 887–907. https://doi.org/10.1177/1079063217712216 

Sheed, A., McEwan, T., Simmons, M., Spivak., & Papalia, N. (2023). Characteristics of young people who use family violence in adolescence and young adulthood: an age-based analysis. Journal of Family Violence. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10896-023-00529-3

Sheed, A., Simmons, M., Spivak., B., Papalia, N., & McEwan, T. (2022). The relevance of prior offending to risk and need in youth family violence: a population cohort study. Journal of Family Violence. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10896-022-00432-3   

Simmons, M., McEwan, T.E., Purcell, R. & Ogloff, J.R.P. (2018). Sixty years of child-to-parent abuse research: What we know and where to go. Aggression and Violent Behavior 38: 31-52. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.avb.2017.11.001  

Spivak, B., McEwan, T.E., Luebbers, S. & Ogloff, J.R.P. (2020) Implementing evidence-based practice in policing family violence: The reliability, validity and feasibility of a risk assessment instrument for prioritising police response. Policing and Society. https://doi.org/10.1080/10439463.2020.1757668   

Stevenson, E.K., Thomas, S.D.M & Daffern, M. (2022). Open versus closed group treatment of men with a history of sexual offenses. 35(6), 667–686doi.org/10.1177/1079063222113917

Watson, R., Daffern, M. & Thomas, S.D.M. (2017). The impact of interpersonal style on ruptures and repairs in the therapeutic alliance between offenders and therapists in sex offender treatment. Sexual Abuse, 29(7), 709-728. https://doi.org/10.1177/1079063215617514

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