Protective Factors for Reducing Juvenile Reoffending: An Examination of Incremental and Differential Predictive Validity [2020]

Juvenile court practitioners and researchers have recently gained interest in evaluating internal and external strengths, or protective factors. Some scholars assert that incorporating measures of strengths into the risk assessment process can increase the accuracy of identifying odds of recidivating. Relatively few juvenile risk assessment validation studies have evaluated the predictive validity of strengths. This study employed a diverse sample (N = 278) of juveniles under supervision in a Midwestern court. The Protective Factors for Reducing Juvenile Reoffending (PFRJR) significantly predicted recidivism for the total sample, males, and White youth. There was no evidence of differential predictive validity across gender; however, strengths predicted differently across race/ethnicity. Strengths did not increase the amount of variance explained in recidivism after accounting for the variance explained by risk factor scores. Findings contribute to the paucity of validation studies that investigated the differential and incremental predictive validity of strengths.

Ashlee R. Barnes-Lee, Christina A. Campbell
Criminal Justice and Behavior, August 28, 2020