This study used a novel approach to assess the content validity of three adolescent risk assessment tools: the Structured Assessment of Violence Risk in Youth (SAVRY; Borum et al., 2006), the Structured Assessment of Protective Factors for Violence Risk – Youth Version (SAPROF-YV; de Vries Robbé et al., 2015), and the Short-Term Assessment of Risk and Treatability: Adolescent Version (START:AV; Viljoen et al., 2014). In-person interviews and online surveys were conducted with people with a history of adolescent offending (n = 103), which included open-ended questions about their desistance from offending, followed by direct questions based on the tools’ protective factors. Responses were coded using directed content analyses based on the tools’ item definitions. In open-ended questions, across participants all items were mentioned, and all items were rated as important by at least some participants. Only a few additional themes emerged that were not captured by the tools. In addition, participants primarily discussed the presence of protective factors rather than the removal of risk factors, suggesting they represent distinct constructs. Overall the findings support the content validity of the SAVRY, SAPROF-YV, and START:AV protective factors, and highlight the value of perspectives from people with lived experience in risk assessment research.
Psychology, Crime & Law
Do adolescent risk assessment tools capture self-reported reasons for desistance? An examination of the content validity of protective factors
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