Conference 2019

12th Annual Conference


Featured Speaker:
Kelly Babchishin, Ph.D.
Research Advisor Public Safety Canada
Adjunct Professor of Psychology University of Ottawa
and Carleton University


Kelly M. Babchishin, Ph.D. is a Research Advisor for the Parole Board of Canada and holds adjunct professorships with the University of Ottawa (School of Psychology) and Carleton University (Department of Psychology) as well as is an adjunct scientist with the University of Ottawa’s Institute of Mental Health Research. Kelly is an action editor for Sexual Abuse, associate editor of Nextgenforensic, and the Director of Research Development for the International Workgroup on Best Practice in the Management of Online Sex Offending. Kelly is an author of Static-99R, Static-2002R, and BARR-2002R and is part of the development team of the STABLE-2007 and ACUTE-2007. Her current research involves identifying causal candidates for the onset and maintenance of sexual offending behaviour, including special population such as incest offenders and online sexual offenders. Other research interests include change in sexual offending behaviour across the lifespan and risk assessment.

Conference Location: Hotel Hot Springs

305 Malvern Avenue, Hot Springs, Arkansas, 71901.

501-623-6600 or Reservations: 877-623-6697.  Room rates are:

  • $99  Single Occupancy

  • $109 Double 

  • $119  Triple

  • $129   Quad

    All rates are subject to applicable occupancy taxes, which are currently 14.5%.  For special room rates please identify your attendance to the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers Conference when making their reservation.  These rates are guaranteed thru 11/4/19; after that, the hotel will continue to accept reservations on a space and best available rate basis.  Room rate includes full breakfast each morning from 6-9 a.m.  Check-in time is 4 p.m. and check-out is 12 p.m.

Hotel Hot springs 305 Malvern Avenue, Hot Springs, Arkansas, 71901. (501) 623-6600


Conference Schedule

Thursday, 12/5/19:       8:00-8:30 a.m.: Attendee Registration

8:30-10:00 a.m.:     Early Risk Factors for Sexual Offending -Kelly M. Babchishin, Ph.D.

Our early environment matters. There is a breath of evidence to suggest that prenatal (before birth) and perinatal factors (around birth) are important predictors of wide range of later life outcome. For example, adverse early environment (e.g., low birth weight) has been linked to poorer cognitive outcome (Griffin, Mann, & McDermott, 2011), psychopathology (Johnco et al., 2015), and internalizing and externalizing problems (Robinson et al., 2009). There is also evidence to suggest that perinatal complications are associated with pedophilia diagnosed in adulthood (e.g., Cantor et al., 2005).

This talk will provide an overview of recent research that examined a number of parental and birth risk factors for sexual offending behaviours, using Swedish population-based registries. I will summarize new findings that identify factors that increase the risk of committing sexual offences amongst men. Second, the extent to which these risk factors are specific to sexual offending or concordant with risk factors of non-sexual violent offending will be summarized. Finally, the implications of these studies for the etiology of sexual offending and how it can inform prevention and early intervention efforts will be summarized

                                     10:00-10:30 a.m.:         Break

                                     10:30 a.m.-Noon:         Users of Child Sexual Exploitation Materials - Kelly M. Babchishin, Ph.D.

Although they remain a small proportion of identified sex offenders, there is increasing concern about how to manage, assess, and treat users of child sexual exploitation materials (CSEM; also referred to as child pornography offenders). Relatedly, there has been an influx of research on internet sex offenders with new findings reported almost every month. This presentation will review recent findings on CSEM offenders, with a focus on the similarities and differences of CSEM from typical, contact sex offenders. We will conclude by reviewing the risk profiles of CSEM offenders and findings relevant for the assessment and treatment of CSEM offenders.

                                      Noon-1:30 p.m.:           AR ATSA Members Lunch or Lunch on Your Own

                                     1:30-3:00 p.m.:            Users of Child Sexual Exploitation Materials (continued)

                                     3:00-3:30 p.m.:            Break

                                     3:30-5:00 p.m.:            Users of Child Sexual Exploitation Materials (continued)


Friday, 12/6/19:     8-9:30 a.m.:    Incest by Siblings and Fathers - Kelly M. Babchishin, Ph.D.

                                     9:30 -10:00 a.m.:          Break

                                     10:00-11:30 a.m.:         Incest by Siblings and Fathers (continued)

                                     11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.:   Lunch on your own

1:00-4:30 p.m.: Adult and Youth Tracks

1:00-2:00 p.m.:            Adult Panel: Collaboration 101 -Mike Wood, Ph.D., Sheri Flynn MSW, Sam Wallace, Ph.D. LPC, and more to be announced

This session will provide a roundtable discussion between individuals from various disciplines who work with adults who have sexually offended. Collaborative approaches to management, treatment, and supervision will be discussed. Audience participation is encouraged.

2:00-2:15 p.m. Break

2:15-3:15 p.m.:  Google Searches for Pornography and Reported Rates of Sexual Assault: A State by Time Analysis, 2005-2016 Ana J. Bridges, Ph.D., Casey T. Harris, & Morgan Hill

Concerns about whether pornography is associated with sexual assault have been addressed empirically for decades. Here, we examine whether Google searches for pornography are associated with sexual assault rates in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, and whether these associations hold across time when controlling for state-level disadvantage (i.e., poverty, unemployment, education, and female headed households). To test the robustness of our analysis, we also explore the associations between searches for pornography and other crimes. Method: To index the primary predictor, we extracted state-by-state yearly relative search values (RSVs) for “pornography” from Google Trends from 2005 to 2016. Sexual assault rates by state and year were obtained from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s yearly Uniform Crime Reports (UCR). Demographic covariates were extracted from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) and combined into yearly disadvantage indexes using principal component analysis. Results: Collapsed across time and state, pornography RSVs and sexual assault rates are significantly correlated, = .21, < .001, though there is significant variation across states. The association remains significant even when controlling for changes within states in disadvantage using fixed effects models. A significant interaction between pornography RSVs and sexual assault rates reveals that an increase in pornography RSVs are less strongly related to rape in states experiencing growth in disadvantage. In contrast, pornography RSVs are negatively related to robbery and aggravated assault rates. Conclusion: Across U.S. states and over a decade in which an increasing number of people had access to the internet, an increase in Google searches for pornography was associated with greater rates of sexual assault within states over time. This association is consistent with theories arguing for the disinhibiting effects of pornography on sexual assault and contradicts substitution theories.

3:15-3:30 p.m.:            Break

3:30-4:30 p.m.:            Incorporating Programmers into the Evaluation Process- Robert Hanser, Ph.D.

This presentation provides an overview of a quantitative form of evaluating the progress of participants who follow a three-stage treatment curriculum. The evaluation process incorporates the appraisals of both other programmers as well as the facilitator(s) involved in the process. This process is utilized both as feedback to the participant who is appraised and also as data toward a larger scale program evaluation. It is in this manner that programmers are required to both challenge and encourage one another in a manner that provides quantitative results, both in the therapeutic setting and in terms of beneficial treatment gain while in the program.

1:00-2:00 p.m.: Juvenile Panel: Collaboration 101- Presenters to be announced

This session will provide a roundtable discussion between individuals from various disciplines who work with juveniles who have sexually abused. Collaborative approaches to management, treatment, and supervision will be discussed. Audience participation is encouraged.

2:00-2:15 p.m.: Break

2:15-3:15 p.m.:  Decision Making and Adolescent Sexual Offending: The  Role of Delayed Reward Discounting  Hugo B. Morais, Ph.D.

Current explanatory models of sexual offending have been useful in elucidating the etiology of maladaptive sexual behaviors. Prominent models of sexual offending, however, are based largely on empirical findings regarding the offending patterns and psychological characteristics of adults. Consistent findings indicate adolescents who engage in sexually inappropriate behaviors differ from adult sexual offenders in important ways including cognitive functioning, offending trajectory and persistence, as well as response to psychological treatments aimed at addressing inappropriate sexual behaviors. Thus, the downward extension of explanatory models based on the adult literature to adolescent sexual offending is not supported by the extant sexual abuse literature. Importantly, current models of sexual offending emphasize the role of poor decision-making, particularly impulsive responding, in the development of sexual offenses. A precise operationalization of decision-making, however, remains absent in virtually all prominent sexual offending models. The current study, therefore, sought to elucidate the role of decision-making styles in the development of adolescent sexual offending. Based on a growing behavioral economics literature, the current study operationalized decision-making via three delayed reward discounting tasks. The current findings indicate decision-making styles may be useful in distinguishing adolescents with sexual offenses from non-sex-delinquents.

3:15-3:30 p.m.:   Break

3:30-4:30 p.m.:  Short-Term vs. Long-Term Treatment: What works best  for juveniles with sexual behavior problems?  Skip Hoggard, LPE-I

Reviewing the research on effective treatment approaches for the offender population. The presentation aims to define short- vs. long-term treatment, purposes and goal for each approach, discuss models of treatment, and discuss potential directions for research. The Risk-Need-Responsivity Model will be discussed with an emphasis on determining risk in deciding short- or long-term treatment.



Ana J. Bridges is a professor and director of the Diversity Research and Enhanced Access for Minorities (DREAM) lab in the Department of Psychological Science at the University of Arkansas. Her work focuses on understanding and ameliorating mental health disparities in vulnerable and underserved populations. She also conducts research into the causes, consequences, and treatment of sexual violence victimization. Her work has been featured in leading clinical psychology journals, including Journal of Consulting and Clinical PsychologyPsychological Services, Psychology of Women Quarterly, and Violence Against Women. Dr. Bridges’ research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, US Department of Health and Human Services, and the American Psychological Foundation. She has developed treatments to address sexual violence victimization in incarcerated women and compulsive pornography use in men. Dr. Bridges also developed integrated behavioral health programs for two health care systems in Northwest Arkansas and supervises graduate student clinicians providing mental health services in these primary care settings.

Casey T. Harris is an associate professor and co-director of the Center for Social Research (CSR) in the Department of Sociology and Criminology at the University of Arkansas. His work focuses on the intersection of stratification and crime with an emphasis on communities and urban sociology, racial and ethnic disparities in offending and arrest, immigration and migration, and quantitative methodology. His work has been featured in the top journals in the field, including CriminologySocial ProblemsThe Sociological QuarterlySocial Science Research, and the Journal of Quantitative Criminology. Dr. Harris has been funded by the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Justice, and Lilly School of Philanthropy and has a forthcoming book at Oxford University Press, entitled The Science of College: Navigating the First Year and Beyond, that draws on social science research to describe how today’s emerging adults can better transition into and through college for success in later life. 

Morgan A. Hill, M.A. is a doctoral student in the Department of Psychological Science at the University of Arkansas. Her work focuses on understanding the unique interactions between psychopathy and other forms of psychopathology (e.g., anxiety, PTSD), with the goal of using this knowledge to refine the understanding of psychopathy in relation to relevant psycho-legal variables of interest (e.g., sexual violence, recidivism). She is currently conducting several research projects, including a study of characteristics of pre-adjudicated individuals charged with sexual offenses, an examination of the relation between psychopathic traits and exposure-based trauma outcomes, and a multi-method, laboratory-based study of boldness and fearless dominance and their relationships with the fearlessness aspect of psychopathy. Her work has been featured in leading psychology journals, including Psychological Assessment, Psychiatry Research, Motivation and Emotion, and Assessment. She has also co-authored several book chapters, including a chapter on evidenced-based assessment and treatment approaches for adolescents who have engaged in sexually abusive behavior.   

Michael Wood, Ph.D. is the Supervising Psychologist for the Arkansas Department of Correction Sex Offender Community Notification Assessment Program, where he began working in 2000.  He has received specialized training in research, assessment, and treatment of people with sexual behavior problems through his affiliation with the University of Memphis and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, as well as at the Federal Correctional Complex in Butner, North Carolina. Dr. Wood is a licensed psychologist in Arkansas and a clinical and research member of ATSA, who also recently designated him as an ATSA Fellow for his contributions to the field.  He has conducted various research projects and co-authored an article on Arkansas Internet sex offenders that was published in Law and Human Behavior, and peer reviews research manuscripts for the journal, Aggression and Violent Behavior.

Sheri J. Flynn, MS, LSW is currently the administrator of the Sex Offender Community Notification Assessment Program for the Arkansas Department of Correction and has been since May of 2000; however, she has been with the program since its inception in September 1999.  She has been an adjunct professor in the Criminal Justice Department at the University of Arkansas Little Rock.  She has been an adjunct professor at Phillips County Community College, University of Arkansas. She has worked for the Arkansas Department of Correction since June 1997.  

Hugo Morais, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist and forensic examiner. He received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Auburn University. He completed a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the Psychiatric Research Institute at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Dr. Morais is currently a psychologist at the Arkansas State Hospital and an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. His research focuses on elucidating cognitive factors associated adolescent sexual offending.

Skip Hoggard LPE-I is a therapist working for the Family Treatment Program (FTP) of the UAMS Department of Pediatrics. He conducts psychosexual assessments, Registration Risk Assessments, and engages in therapy with juveniles with sexual behavior problems as well as victims of abuse, and their family members. This is his eighteenth year at FTP. He also works at RiverStone Wellness Center where his experience with trauma survivors comes in handy in therapy with adolescents

Robert Hanser, Ph.D. has worked with the sex offender population for over 7 years at Richwoods Correctional Center and in the community. Dr. Hanser also works in prison-based substance abuse treatment program and a court-mandated program for domestic violence offenders. He is the program coordinator for the Criminal Justice Program at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. He has written several textbooks published by Prentice Hall and Sage Publications that are used in numerous universities throughout the United States.

Sam Wallace, Ph.D. LPC has worked with youth with sexual behavior problems since 1999 and adults who have offended sexually since 2005. He currently is in private practice in Fayetteville, AR. Dr. Wallace provides psychosexual evaluation/risk assessments and outpatient treatment for adults and juveniles. Dr. Wallace is a clinical and research member of ATSA, treasurer of AR ATSA, and past president of AR ATSA. Additionally, he serves ad hoc reviewer for the Journal of Child Sexual Abuse and Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment and Trauma. Dr. Wallace is also a part time behavioral health surveyor for The Joint Commission.