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Faculty - Jeffrey Hecker

Jeffrey E. HeckerJeffrey E. Hecker
Phone: (207) 581-2033

My research focuses upon risk assessment for individuals who have committed sexual offenses. One line of research deals with adolescents who have committed sexual offenses. With my collaborator, Sue Righthand, we are evaluating the predictive validity of the Juvenile Sex Offender Assessment Protocol – II. The current study is an archival investigation of records of adolescents convicted of sexual offenses between 1995 and 2002. J-SOAP-II ratings are being made based upon psychological evaluations and other records collected at the time of their sentencing. We will be examining arrest records for these youth over the subsequent five to 12 years. The second line of research is laboratory-based. We are developing an alternative measure of sexual interest that utilizes the startle eye blink as a measure of attraction to sexual stimuli. The size of a man’s eye blink when startled is modulated by his emotional state. If startled while looking at an image he finds attractive, his eye blink will be relatively small. In contrast, the blink is large if he is startled while attending to an aversive image. The emotion-modulation of the startle eye blink does not appear to be under conscious control. We are exploring ways that the relationship between startle eye blink and emotional state can be used to assess men’s interest in normative and deviant sexual stimuli.

Recent Publications

  • Hecker, J.E., King, M.W., & Scoular, R.J. (in press) The startle-probe reflex: An alternative approach to the measurement of sexual interest. In D.R. Laws & D. Thornton (Eds.), Cognitive Approaches to the Assessment of Sexual Interest in Sex Offenders. New York: Wiley.
  • Fawzy, T., Hecker, J.E., & Clark, J. (2006). The relationship between cognitive avoidance and attentional bias for snake-related thoughts. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 20, 1103-1117.
  • Kubik, E.K., & Hecker, J.E. (2005). Cognitive distortions about sex and sexual offending: A comparison of sex offending girls, delinquent girls, and girls from the community. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse14, 43-70.
  • Righthand, S., Prentky, R., Knight, R., Carpenter, E., Hecker, J.E., & Nangle, D. (2005). Factor structure and validation of the Juvenile Sex Offender Assessment Protocol (J-SOAP). Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 17, 13-30.
  • Hecker, J.E., & Thorpe, G.L. (2005). Clinical Psychology: Science, Practice and Ethics. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
  • Hecker, J.E., & Scoular, R.J. (2004). Forensic report writing. In W. O’Donohue & E. Levensky (Eds.). Forensic Psychology. Academic Press.
  • Nay. W., Thorpe, G.L., Roberson-Nay, R., Hecker, J., & Sigmon, S.T.  (2004).  The role of attentional bias to threat in affecting symptomatic response to carbon-dioxide challenge.  Journal of Anxiety Disorders.
  • Kubik, E.K., Hecker, J.E., & Righthand, S. (2002). Adolescent females who have sexually offended: Comparisons with delinquent adolescent females and adolescent males who have sexually offended. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse.
  • Hecker, J.E., Losee, M..C., Roberson-Nay, R. & Maki, K. (2004). Mastery of your anxiety and panic and brief therapist contact in the treatment of panic disorder.Journal of Anxiety Disorders.
  • Nangle, D.W., Hecker, J.E., Smith, M.G., & Grover, R.L. (2003).  Perspective taking and adolescent sex offenders: From developmental theory to clinical practice. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice 10, 73-84.
  • Vogeltanz, N.D., & Hecker, J.E. (1999). The roles of neuroticism and
  • controllability/predictability in physiological responses to aversive stimuli.
  • Personality and Individual Differences, 27, 599-612.
  • Hecker, J.E., Fink, C.M., Vogeltanz, N.D., Thorpe, G.L., & Sigmon, S.T. (1998).Cognitive restructuring and interoceptive exposure in the treatment of panic disorder: A crossover study. Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy, 26,115-131.

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301 Little Hall
Orono, Maine 04469-5782
Phone: (207) 581-2030 | Fax: (207) 581-6128
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469