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Predictive Validity of the Structured Assessment of Violence Risk in Youth (SAVRY) among a Sample of Asian Canadian Youth on Probation

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Objective: Although past studies suggest that the Structured Assessment of Violence Risk in Youth (SAVRY; Borum et al., 2006) has moderate predictive validity, its predictive validity with Asian youth in Western countries is unknown. We therefore compared the SAVRY's predictive validity in a sample of Asian Canadian versus White Canadian youth.Hypotheses: Given that the SAVRY is normed on samples comprising mostly youth who are White, we expected its predictive validity for recidivism would be lower for Asian Canadians than White Canadians.Method: We examined youth probation officers' SAVRY assessments for 573 youth (445 White Canadians, 56 East/Southeast Asian Canadians, and 72 South Asian Canadians) on community supervision (i.e., probation) in a Canadian province. Youth were prospectively followed for an average of 1.97 years (SD = 0.56 years) to determine if they were subsequently charged with violent or non-violent offenses.Results: Asian Canadians scored significantly lower on Risk Total scores compared to White Canadians. Predictive validity for violent and non-violent recidivism fell in the medium to large range for East/Southeast Asian Canadians (AUCs = .69 to .89) and South Asian Canadians (AUCs = .64 to .83). In comparison, predictive validity for White Canadians was generally lower (AUCs = .63 to .77; small to large range). Risk Total scores and non-violent risk ratings significantly predicted non-violent recidivism better for East/Southeast Asian Canadians (AUCs = .89 and .87, respectively) than White Canadians (AUCs = .77 and .71, respectively). Despite few significant differences between Asian subgroups, predictive validity for non-violent risk ratings was significantly higher in East/Southeast Asian Canadians (AUC = .87) than South Asian Canadians (AUC = .64).Conclusions: The SAVRY may be a useful tool for predicting recidivism with Asian Canadians. However, future research should examine the SAVRY's predictive validity for youth of Asian descent in different countries and contexts.
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