Gender differences in risk factors for violence: an examination of the predictive validity of the Structured Assessment of Violence Risk in Youth

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Abstract

The research literature on predicting violence is particularly lacking in specifying risk factors for violence in adolescent girls. The recently developed Structured Assessment of Violence Risk in Youth [SAVRY; Borum et al., 2006] shows promise as it is empirically derived and incorporates dynamic factors in its assessment of risk. To date, there exists little information attesting to the reliability and validity of the SAVRY, and few investigations of the SAVRY's utility across gender. This study investigated the SAVRY in a sample of 144 high-risk adolescents (80 males and 64 females), focusing on gender discrepancies in the predictive utility of the measure. Results indicate that the SAVRY moderately predicts violent and non-violent reoffending in the entire sample, and also suggest that the SAVRY operates comparably across gender. Although not precluding the existence of gender-specific domains of risk, current results suggest that validated risk factors in boys hold relevance for the prediction of violence and delinquency in girls. Aggr. Behav. 36:390–404, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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