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Journal Article


Vargen LM, Jackson KJ, Hart SD. Law Hum. Behav. 2019; ePub(ePub): ePub.


Department of Psychology.


(Copyright © 2019, American Psychological Association)






OBJECTIVE: This study empirically evaluated risk judgments made using the Risk for Sexual Violence Protocol (RSVP; Hart et al., 2003), a widely used set of structured professional guidelines for assessing and managing sexual violence risk. HYPOTHESIS: Based on evaluations of other structured professional judgment guidelines, we hypothesized that judgments made using the RSVP would demonstrate good interrater reliability, concurrent validity, and predictive validity.

METHOD: Based on file review, research assistants made ratings using the RSVP and two commonly used actuarial tools for sexual violence risk assessment in a sample of 100 adult male sexual offenders who successfully completed a community-based sex offender treatment program. Recidivism information was obtained from official records 10 years after treatment completion.

RESULTS: With respect to interrater reliability, judgments of the presence and relevance of individual risk factors ranged from moderate to almost perfect, and those for composite scores reflecting the sum of these ratings were almost perfect. Interrater reliability for integrative summary risk ratings was substantial to almost perfect. Regarding concurrent validity, the findings indicated that judgments made using the RSVP had moderate to large and statistically significant correlations with scores on the actuarial tools. Finally, with respect to predictive validity, RSVP presence total scores and summary risk ratings were predictive of new sexual violence over the follow-up, and the magnitude of their predictive validity effect sizes was similar to that of scores on the actuarial tools.

CONCLUSIONS: The findings supported the potential utility of the RSVP in practice. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).

Language: en


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