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Forensic vigilance in forensic professionals: development, reliability and factor structure of the forensic vigilance estimate

Maartje Clercx (Forensic Psychiatric Centre “de Rooyse Wissel”, Venray, the Netherlands and Faculty of Social Sciences, the Behavioural Science Institute (BSI), Radboud University, Nijmegen, the Netherlands)
Robert Didden (Stichting Trajectum, Zwolle, the Netherlands and Faculty of Social Sciences, the Behavioural Science Institute (BSI), Radboud University, Nijmegen, the Netherlands)
Leam A. Craig (Forensic Psychology Practice Ltd, Forensic Psychology Practice Ltd, Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham, UK; Centre for Applied Psychology, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK; School of Social Sciences, Birmingham City University, Birmingham, UK and School of Psychology, University of Lincoln, Lincoln, UK)
Marije Keulen-de Vos (Forensic Psychiatric Centre “de Rooyse Wissel”, Venray, the Netherlands and Faculty of Social Sciences, the Behavioural Science Institute (BSI), Radboud University, Nijmegen, the Netherlands)

The Journal of Forensic Practice

ISSN: 2050-8794

Article publication date: 31 October 2022

Issue publication date: 1 February 2023

102

Abstract

Purpose

Forensic vigilance is a central competency that forensic professionals need to meet the complex demands of working in forensic settings. Until recently, no instrument for forensic vigilance was available. This study aims to develop a self-assessment tool of forensic vigilance for individuals and teams working in forensic settings, and investigated its psychometric properties.

Design/methodology/approach

The Forensic Vigilance Estimate (FVE) was presented to 367 forensic psychiatric professionals and 94 non-forensic psychiatric professionals by means of an online survey. Professionals rated themselves on 15 aspects of forensic vigilance.

Findings

The results indicated that the FVE had good psychometric properties, reflected by a good to excellent internal consistency (Cronbach’s α of 0.903), a good split-half reliability (0.884) and good test–retest reliability (0.809). The factor structure of the FVE was captured by a one-factor model (RMSEA 0.09, SRMR 0.05, TLI 0.91 and CFI 0.92). Proportion of explained variance was 52%. Forensic professionals scored significantly higher than non-forensic professionals on the FVE (t(459) = 3.848, p = 0.002).

Practical implications

These results suggest that the FVE may reliably be used for research purposes, e.g. to study the effects of targeted training or intervention or increasing work experience on forensic vigilance or to study which factors influence forensic vigilance.

Originality/value

This study represents the first attempt to capture forensic vigilance with a measuring instrument.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Declaration of interest: The authors have no conflicts of interests to declare.

Citation

Clercx, M., Didden, R., Craig, L.A. and Keulen-de Vos, M. (2023), "Forensic vigilance in forensic professionals: development, reliability and factor structure of the forensic vigilance estimate", The Journal of Forensic Practice, Vol. 25 No. 1, pp. 22-33. https://doi.org/10.1108/JFP-07-2022-0034

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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