Assessing Adolescent Defendants' Adjudicative Competence: Interrater Reliability and Factor Structure of the Fitness Interview Test–Revised
Department of Psychiatry
Medical Subject Headings
Juvenile Delinquency; Mental Disorders; Adolescent; Mental Competency; Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
Health Services Research | Mental and Social Health | Psychiatric and Mental Health | Psychiatry | Psychiatry and Psychology
As a result of changing legal standards, forensic clinicians have a greater likelihood of being faced with the task of assessing adolescents' adjudicative competence. This study examines the reliability and factor structure of the Fitness Interview Test, Revised Edition (FIT-R), in 152 male and female defendants ages 11 to 17. The interrater reliability of items and sections on the FIT-R is good. Most intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) for items fall between .60 and .91, and ICCs for section summary scores range from .82 to .91. Consistent with the design of the FIT-R, confirmatory factor analysis supports a three-factor model, which includes understanding and reasoning about legal proceedings, appreciation of the charges and possible consequences of proceedings, and the ability to communicate with counsel. These factors are united by a dominant superordinate factor. Recommendations are made regarding the clinical use of the FIT-R in the assessment of adolescent competency.
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Citation: Jodi L. Viljoen, Gina M. Vincent, and Ronald Roesch. Assessing Adolescent Defendants' Adjudicative Competence: Interrater Reliability and Factor Structure of the Fitness Interview Test–Revised. Criminal Justice and Behavior August 2006 33: 467-487, doi:10.1177/0093854806287317