Risk Assessment in Juvenile and Young Adult Offenders: Predictive Validity of the SAVRY and SAPROF-YV [2020]

Most juvenile risk assessment tools heavily rely on a risk-focused approach. Less attention has been devoted to protective factors. This study examines the predictive validity of protective factors in addition to risk factors, and developmental differences in psychometric properties of juvenile risk assessment. For a national Dutch sample of 354 juvenile and young adult offenders (16-26 years) risk and protective factors were retrospectively assessed at discharge from seven juvenile justice institutions, using the Structured Assessment of Violence Risk in Youth (SAVRY) and Structured Assessment of Protective Factors for violence risk – Youth Version (SAPROF-YV). Results show moderate validity for both tools predicting general, violent, and nonviolent offending at different follow-up times. The SAPROF-YV provided incremental predictive validity over the SAVRY, and predictive validity was stronger for younger offenders. Evidently both the SAVRY and SAPROF-YV seem valid tools for the assessment of recidivism risk in juvenile and young adult offenders. Results highlight the importance of protective factors, especially in juvenile offenders, emphasizing the need for a balanced risk assessment.

Anneke T. H. Kleeven, Michiel de Vries Robbé, Eva A. Mulder, Arne Popma
Assessment, September 23, 2020
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