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Article
Publication date: 3 December 2021

Elanor Lucy Webb, Deborah Morris, Abbey Hamer and Jessica Davies

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are highly prevalent in people with developmental disorders who engage in offending behaviour. Many violence-based risk assessment…

Abstract

Purpose

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are highly prevalent in people with developmental disorders who engage in offending behaviour. Many violence-based risk assessment tools include items pertaining to ACEs, and may inflate risk scores in trauma-exposed groups. This paper aims to explore the relationships between ACEs, risk assessment scores, incidents of risk and restrictive practices, in adolescents with developmental disorders in a forensic inpatient setting.

Design/methodology/approach

Secondary analysis was conducted on clinical data for 34 adolescents detained to a developmental disorder service. Data were extracted for Structured Assessment of Violence Risk in Youth (SAVRY) risk scores and risk behaviours and restrictive practices, as measures of observed risk.

Findings

Participants exposed to more ACEs had higher SAVRY risk scores (p < 0.001, two-tailed), with elevations specifically on the historical subscale (p < 0.001, two-tailed). Neither ACEs nor risk scores were associated with the frequency of risk behaviours. Nevertheless, participants exposed to four or more ACEs were secluded more frequently (p = 0.015, two-tailed), indicating a potential association between trauma and risk severity. Those with more complex developmental disorders experienced fewer ACEs (p = 0.02, two-tailed) and engaged in self-harm behaviours less frequently (p = 0.04, two-tailed).

Research limitations/implications

The inclusion of ACEs in risk assessment tools may lead to the inadvertent stigmatization of trauma-exposed individuals. Further investigation is necessary to offer clarity on the impact of early adversity on risk assessment accuracy and levels of institutional risk, and the role of developmental disorders in this relationship.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this study is the first to explore the relative associations between ACEs, risk assessment scores and observed institutional risk and does so in a highly marginalized population.

Details

Journal of Intellectual Disabilities and Offending Behaviour, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-8824

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 July 2011

Chi Meng Chu, Michael Daffern, Stuart D.M. Thomas and Jia Ying Lim

Gang affiliation is strongly associated with youth crime. Although gang prevention, intervention and suppression programmes have been used to reduce affiliation and manage…

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Abstract

Purpose

Gang affiliation is strongly associated with youth crime. Although gang prevention, intervention and suppression programmes have been used to reduce affiliation and manage youth gang‐related activities, the effectiveness of these approaches is questionable. Further, comprehensive programmes supporting disengagement from gangs that also address the actual criminal behaviours of gang‐affiliated youth are rare. Arguably, these are necessary if the goal of intervention is to reduce criminal behaviour and support disengagement from gangs. This paper aims to address these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

This study sought to elucidate the criminogenic needs of gang‐ and nongang‐affiliated youth offenders (n=165) using two commonly used risk/need assessment instruments, the structured assessment of violence risk in youth (SAVRY) and the youth level of service/case management inventory (YLS/CMI).

Findings

The results revealed that gang‐ and nongang‐affiliated youth offenders had similar criminogenic need profiles except for one difference on an item measuring peer delinquency.

Practical implications

Gang‐affiliated youth offenders have comparable criminogenic needs to other youth offenders. These needs require intervention if a reduction in crime is desired, and since gang‐affiliated youth offenders are more likely to re‐offend than those that are nongang‐affiliated, these results also suggest that there may be additional needs, beyond those assessed by the SAVRY and YLS/CMI, which should be investigated and considered in rehabilitation programmes.

Originality/value

Few studies have directly compared the risk and needs profiles between gang‐ and nongang‐affiliated youth offenders using standardised risk assessment measures; this study may be relevant to professionals working in the juvenile justice and offender rehabilitation arenas.

Details

Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, vol. 3 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-6599

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 March 2013

Maxine Sinclair, Alison Blencowe, Laura McCaig and Peter Misch

The existence of neuropsychological deficits associated with antisocial behaviour has received considerable attention. The pilot study investigates the cognitive…

Abstract

Purpose

The existence of neuropsychological deficits associated with antisocial behaviour has received considerable attention. The pilot study investigates the cognitive impairments in a sample 9‐17 years old with suspected or previously diagnosed intellectual disability and/or neurodevelopmental disorders referred to a tier 4 CAMHS service in South East London. This paper aims to present the preliminary findings from the study.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 28 participants between the ages of nine and 16 years, who had been referred to a tier 4 South London Forensic CAMHS, were administered selected subtests to assess intellectual, executive and social functioning using the WISC IV/WAIS IV, NEPSY II and DKEFS. Descriptive and non‐parametric statistics were used to describe the sample and identify neuropsychological deficits.

Findings

Consistent with previous research participants FSIQ and VCI were lower than the general population mean and young people identified as being high risk on the SAVRY were more impaired than those assigned to the lower risk group. The results also identified neuropsychological deficits in behavioural inhibition, cognitive flexibility, problem solving and processing fear but spared cognitive inhibition, general social processing and non‐verbal reasoning.

Originality/value

These preliminary findings serve as a platform for better understanding the neuropsychological functioning of the young people referred to the clinic and in the future it is hoped that the data will be used to evaluate cognitive rehabilitation adjuncts to established interventions provided by the service.

Details

Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities, vol. 7 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2044-1282

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 3 May 2016

Susanne Strand, Stefan Luebbers and Stephane M. Shepherd

The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship between psychopathic features as measured with the Psychopathy Checklist: Youth Version (PCL:YV) and behavioural…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship between psychopathic features as measured with the Psychopathy Checklist: Youth Version (PCL:YV) and behavioural and emotional functioning in young female offenders in custody.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a quantitative interview study investigating the relationship with psychopathic traits, measured with the PCL:YV (Forth et al., 2003), and different psychological characteristics as well as AD/HD, self-harm, and childhood trauma in adolescent offenders across genders. Data were collected from a sample of 40 female and 40 male adolescents who were incarcerated in Victoria, Australia.

Findings

Results indicated that the behavioural subscales of the PCL:YV were associated with externalising behaviours possibly underpinned by histories of abuse and substantiated child protection incidences. The presence of AD/HD was strongly associated with affective deficits suggesting that the PCL:YV may be identifying young females with AD/HD rather than core psychopathic traits. Findings also indicate that female-specific manifestations of manipulation are likely being misidentified as behavioural phenomena precluding clinical recognition as a core interpersonal trait. Significant dissimilarities with a young male comparison group were identified and are discussed within.

Research limitations/implications

The sample size is very small and the results should be seen as an indication rather than generalising.

Originality/value

Studies on female juvenile offenders is rare and this study adds to the literature on the construct of psychopathy and its relationship to psychosocial factors as well as associations with AD/HD, self-harm, and childhood trauma, among incarcerated adolescents.

Details

Journal of Criminal Psychology, vol. 6 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2009-3829

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 May 2017

Marilyn A. Sher, Lucy Warner, Anne McLean, Katharyn Rowe and Ernest Gralton

The purpose of this paper is to explore the validity and reliability of the Short-Term Assessment of Risk and Treatability: Adolescent Version (START:AV) to determine if…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the validity and reliability of the Short-Term Assessment of Risk and Treatability: Adolescent Version (START:AV) to determine if it has predictive accuracy in relation to physical aggression, severe verbal aggression, property damage and self-harm, in a medium secure setting. In addition, the authors hoped to provide some of the first descriptive data available for the START:AV among a UK adolescent population in a medium secure adolescent unit.

Design/methodology/approach

The sample consisted of 90 female and male adolescents, with and without developmental disabilities. It was important to explore the measure’s predictive accuracy across specific population groups, such as between males and females, as well as those with developmental disabilities, and those without.

Findings

Some significant relationships were found between the START:AV and adverse outcomes. For instance, total strength and vulnerability scores were predictive for verbal and physical aggression. Differences in predictive validity were evident when comparisons were made between males and females, with relationships being evident amongst the male population only. When splitting the male sample into developmental disability and non-developmental disability groups, significant relationships were found between strength and vulnerability scores and verbal and physical aggression.

Practical implications

A number of practical implications are considered, such as the START:AV is relevant for use with adolescents in hospital settings and the significant inverse relationship between strength scores and negative outcomes supports the importance of considering protective/strength factors when working with at risk youths.

Originality/value

There is currently limited validation data for the START:AV in the UK or elsewhere.

Details

Journal of Forensic Practice, vol. 19 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-8794

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 2 August 2013

Matthew R. Daniel, Steve Weir and Paul A. Tiffin

The purpose of this paper is to record and analyse clinicians’ views of the proposed FACE Child and Adolescent Risk Assessment Suite (CARAS). This is a novel risk…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to record and analyse clinicians’ views of the proposed FACE Child and Adolescent Risk Assessment Suite (CARAS). This is a novel risk assessment system comprising a set of screening questions and domain specific sub‐schedules intended to be implemented in electronic format within a youth mental health setting.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative approach was adopted with a series of focus groups conducted with three Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) teams drawn from general and specialised services in a large NHS Trust in North‐East England. A thematic analysis was used to explore the perceived clinical relevance, clarity and utility of the items that are contained within the FACE Child and Adolescent Risk Assessment Suite.

Findings

Emerging themes highlighted that items such as criminality and fire‐setting be added to the violence risk assessment schedule; a structured approach for risk of sexual harm be utilised; and an eating disorder risk assessment be included.

Practical implications

Clinicians viewed the FACE Child and Adolescent Risk Assessment Suite as a structured and comprehensive risk management tool that also demonstrated potential clinical utility. CAMHS clinicians’ views of the potential benefits of risk assessment schedules appear to be influenced by the perceived balance between comprehensiveness and ease and rapidity of administration. Further studies relating to validity and reliability are currently ongoing.

Originality/value

This is the first qualitative exploration of a comprehensive and flexible approach to risk assessment in a youth mental health setting.

Details

The Journal of Forensic Practice, vol. 15 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-8794

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 28 April 2010

Mark Olver and Keira Stockdale

Empirical research concerning the reliability and predictive validity of the juvenile psychopathy construct, as assessed by the Psychopathy Checklist: Youth Version (PCL…

Abstract

Empirical research concerning the reliability and predictive validity of the juvenile psychopathy construct, as assessed by the Psychopathy Checklist: Youth Version (PCL: YV; Forth et al, 2003) is reviewed. The results of an updated meta‐analysis (k = 38) investigating the interrater reliability of the PCL: YV are presented, along with an examination of meta‐analytic findings on the predictive accuracy of the tool. Considerations with respect to gender, ethnicity and development are explored. Some discussion points are offered regarding potential clinical applications of the construct of juvenile psychopathy and the PCL: YV with violent and other criminally adjudicated youths.

Details

The British Journal of Forensic Practice, vol. 12 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6646

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 August 2014

Marilyn A. Sher and E. Gralton

The purpose of this paper is to establish gaps in training, involve staff in the implementation process by incorporating their views on what is helpful and what can be…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to establish gaps in training, involve staff in the implementation process by incorporating their views on what is helpful and what can be improved, as well as provide information that might be helpful to other sites who are considering implementing the START:AV.

Design/methodology/approach

The current study is the first to examine a START:AV implementation and survey a multi-disciplinary team on their views about implementation in a medium secure service for adolescents in the UK. The survey was adapted from the one used by Collins et al. (2008). Once surveys were received the qualitative information was collated to explore themes, and frequency analysis was undertaken on the quantitative information.

Findings

The staff survey on the implementation of the START:AV highlighted a number of strengths and challenges. There was significant support for the START:AV in relation to it being a dynamic assessment to measure change, that focuses equally on strengths and vulnerabilities, making the process individualised. Users of the START:AV reported that the process of rating the START:AV as a team improved communication, teamwork, generated discussion and improved the detailed understanding of the patient being rated. Staff felt it was generally straightforward to use in terms of strengths and vulnerability ratings, but some difficulties emerged regarding making finer distinctions in ratings as well as completing risk formulations, highlighting further training needs. There was also some confusion about differentiating between certain strengths and vulnerabilities, leading to “double ratings”. Other difficulties highlighted centred on time and increasing workload.

Research limitations/implications

The main limitation of the study relates to the low response rate to the survey (31 per cent).

Practical implications

Recommendations for implementation and evaluation of new risk assessment procedures are made.

Originality/value

The current study is the first to examine a START:AV implementation and survey a multi-disciplinary team on their views about implementation in a medium secure service for adolescents in the UK.

Details

Journal of Forensic Practice, vol. 16 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-8794

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 March 2013

Ernest Gralton

This is an invited short overview from a clinician working in a national secure inpatient setting which aims to focus on inpatient forensic services for adolescents with…

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Abstract

Purpose

This is an invited short overview from a clinician working in a national secure inpatient setting which aims to focus on inpatient forensic services for adolescents with developmental disabilities.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper gives a brief overview of the needs of this population and the requirements for inpatient assessment and treatment.

Findings

This is a complex population who are referred relatively late to inpatient services, often after recurrent failings in residential services where mental disorders are commonly unrecognised. Comprehensive multidisciplinary assessment and treatment are required for this group.

Originality/value

This paper will be useful to a range of professionals dealing with adolescents with developmental disabilities who are engaging in offending and other high risk behaviours.

Details

Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities, vol. 7 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2044-1282

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 3 October 2019

Emma Elizabeth Covernton, Amy Moores and Joseph Aaron Lowenstein

The assessment and management of risk towards others is an integral part of clinical practice, particularly in forensic and other psychiatric settings. Version 3 of the…

Abstract

Purpose

The assessment and management of risk towards others is an integral part of clinical practice, particularly in forensic and other psychiatric settings. Version 3 of the HCR-20 is the latest version of a comprehensive set of professional guidelines based on the Structured Professional Judgement model. It is the most widely used and best validated tool available to assess risk of violence; however, clinicians perceive it as an additional task with limited clinical usefulness, which requires undergoing expensive training and takes considerable time to implement. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

Training was delivered to 148 clinicians to improve perceptions with regard to risk formulation and the HCR-20v3 as an effective and clinically useful tool in generating individual and robust care plans to minimise risk of violence.

Findings

Results indicated significant score increase post-training, indicating higher regard for the HCR-20 in terms of its usefulness, anticipated impact upon working, anticipated impact upon managing risk, ease of completion and perceived relevance to clinical practice. This was also consistent with qualitative feedback indicating improved risk management and care planning with reference to how learning would support respective roles. Feedback also highlighted the added value of certain aspects of the training provided, which may be useful to consider when designing HCR-20 training packages.

Research limitations/implications

This study demonstrates the importance of engaging clinicians in bespoke training on the practicalities of HCR-20 completion and the fundamentals of risk formulation.

Practical implications

This study highlights the importance of incorporating a training package for staff of all disciplines in changing perceptions of risk management tools and thus their use in the practical management of violence. The useful aspects of training may assist changing perceptions of the role that risk formulation and the HCR-20v3 play in the assessment and management of violence.

Originality/value

This research suggests that if this can be done successfully, it may lead to a change in the perception of the role that the HCR-20v3 can play in assessing risk of violence and generating meaningful management plans to reduce the future likelihood of violence.

Details

Journal of Forensic Practice, vol. 21 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-8794

Keywords

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