Masters Thesis

The Role of Risk and Protective Factors in Risk Management for Forensic Inpatients Using the Short-term Assessment of Risk Treatability (start)

There is growing interest in studying the role of protective factors in risk assessment and management. the goal of the present study was to explore the role of the strength and vulnerability items found on the Short-Term Assessment of Risk Treatability (START) and to determine how they work in conjunction with one another. the data was drawn from a sample of inpatients ( n = 527) from a maximum-security forensic psychiatric hospital. Logistic regression analyses indicated that the vulnerability scale was a better predictor of the clinician’s final risk rating on the START. Rule adherence, material resources, impulse control, and external triggers were found as significant predictors among the strength items; whereas, conduct, substance use, and social skills were found as significant predictors among the vulnerability items. Factor analysis was conducted to explore the underlying structure that exists among the 40 strength and vulnerability ratings and resulted in a three-factor solution. These newly identified factors were tested as predictors of final risk ratings, and while they were stronger than the original scales, they also did not account for a large degree of variance and only the factor comprised solely of vulnerability items was a significant predictor. Future research should focus on conceptualizing and improving upon definitions to the strength and vulnerability items to increase the effectiveness of predicting future violent outcomes.

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