Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Enhancing the Integrated Treatment Assessment for Youth Sexual Recidivism Prediction: Toward a Washington State-Unified Risk Assessment System
by Choi, Eunsuhk, Ph.D., Washington State University, 2020, 121; 27955405
Abstract (Summary)

Risk prediction for youths’ sexual recidivism has concentrated on juveniles with a history of sex offense (JHS). This predetermined target population spawned the practical convention that risk assessment instruments are developed with, and applied to, JHS. While JHS are not the only group that recidivates with a sex crime, limited utilities inherent in currently used tools preclude risk prediction for all likely future sexual offenses.

To provide risk prediction models unfettered by sexual offense history, the current study examined the Integrated Treatment Assessment (ITA) which is a Juvenile Rehabilitation (JR) version of the Washington State Juvenile Court Administrators Risk Assessment (WSJCA-RA). The sample of JR youth (N = 2,745) demonstrated that youth without a history of sex offending also reoffended sexually. I created two newly devised risk prediction models for sexual and general recidivism of JR youth. With the large pool of ITA items (k = 126), by selecting and weighting items for each target outcome, the Sexual Risk Model was designed to provide risk estimates of sexual recidivism for all JR youth, while the Any Risk Model was developed with the whole sample and specifically validated with JHS for their risk of general delinquency.

Results revealed improved predictive validity as well as risk level classification accuracy of the new models developed, compared to the current ITA. The Any Risk Model specifically demonstrated consistent prediction power across subgroups by age and race/ethnicity. The JHS validation results of the Any Risk Model also imply wide application of the new model, with an equivalent prediction power for the specific subpopulation. The new ITA, equipped with improved functionalities, will serve the JR with clear guidance on intervention priority, as well as Washington State with an exemplar of a tool update for a state-unified risk assessment system.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Hamilton, Zachary K.
Commitee: Pedneault, Amelie, Willits, Dale
School: Washington State University
Department: Criminal Justice
School Location: United States -- Washington
Source: DAI-A 82/3(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Criminology, Law
Keywords: Risk assessment, Youths' sexual recidivism
Publication Number: 27955405
ISBN: 9798678106346
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