Australian forensic psychologists' perspectives on the utility of actuarial versus clinical assessment for predicting recidivism among sex offenders

Palk, Gavan R., Freeman, James E., & Davey, Jeremy D. (2008) Australian forensic psychologists' perspectives on the utility of actuarial versus clinical assessment for predicting recidivism among sex offenders. In 18th Conference of the European Association of Psychology and Law, 2-5 July 2008, Maastricht, The Netherlands. (Unpublished)

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Actuarial approaches are regarded as more accurate than both unstructured and structured clinical approaches in assessing risk of recidivism among sex offenders. While there has been a plethora of research on evaluating the effectiveness of actuarial instruments, there has been a paucity of research investigating their actual level of use in forensic settings. In addition, little is known about the practical difficulties associated with administering actuarial instruments. This paper reports on a survey completed by forensic psychologists in Australia about the risk assessment tools they prefer and the benefits and difficulties associated with their use. In addition, the paper explores the extent to which forensic psychologists use clinical information to adjust the level of risk identified through the actuarial approach. The findings are discussed in light of the utility of particular approaches to assessing risk of recidivism among violent offenders and sex offenders.

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ID Code: 15102
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: No
Additional URLs:
Keywords: sex offenders, risk assessment, actuarial assessment, clinical assessment, structured professional judgement
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > CRIMINOLOGY (160200) > Criminology not elsewhere classified (160299)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Personality Abilities and Assessment (170109)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Qld (CARRS-Q)
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2008 (please consult author)
Deposited On: 10 Oct 2008 00:00
Last Modified: 15 May 2013 22:06

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