Assessing violence risk and psychopathy in juvenile and adult offenders: a survey of clinical practices

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Department of Psychiatry

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Adolescent; Adult; Age Factors; Antisocial Personality Disorder; Canada; Criminals; Female; Forensic Psychiatry; Health Care Surveys; Humans; Intelligence Tests; Juvenile Delinquency; Male; Middle Aged; Predictive Value of Tests; Psychological Tests; Psychometrics; *Risk Assessment; United States; Violence; Young Adult


Health Services Research | Mental and Social Health | Psychiatric and Mental Health | Psychiatry | Psychiatry and Psychology


This study surveyed 199 forensic clinicians about the practices that they use in assessing violence risk in juvenile and adult offenders. Results indicated that the use of risk assessment and psychopathy tools was common. Although clinicians reported more routine use of psychopathy measures in adult risk assessments compared with juvenile risks assessments, 79% of clinicians reported using psychopathy measures at least once in a while in juvenile risk assessments. Extremely few clinicians, however, believe that juveniles should be labeled or referred to as psychopaths. Juvenile risk reports were more likely than adult reports to routinely discuss treatment and protective factors, and provide recommendations to reevaluate risk. The implications of these findings are discussed.

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Citation: Assessment. 2010 Sep;17(3):377-95. Epub 2010 Feb 2. Link to article on publisher's site

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