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The utility of the SAVRY across ethnicity in Australian young offenders

By Stephane M. Shepherd, Stefan Luebbers, Murray Ferguson, James R. P. Ogloff and Mairead Dolan


This research identified the presence and severity of salient risk factors for violence and assessed the predictive validity of the Structured Assessment of Violent Risk in Youth (SAVRY) for an Australian young male offender cohort held in detention. As the bulk of previous research has focused on European and North American Caucasian youth, comparisons were made between participants from Australian ethnic subgroups: English-Speaking Background (ESB), Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD), and Indigenous and Torres Strait Islanders (IND). The study found the instrument to moderately predict general and violent recidivism across the larger cohort and the SAVRY Risk Rating was able to differentiate between times to reoffense. However, the predictive validity differed significantly across ethnic subgroups with moderate to strong predictive accuracy for the ESB group, poor predictive accuracy for the CALD group, and only particular SAVRY scores attained significant accuracy for the IND group. Findings on subgroup risk factors were considered in light of contemporary understandings of the unique experiences and trajectories of minority youth. Future investigation is necessary to differentiate and characterize the risk factors and offending patterns of the ethnicities within the CALD classification

Topics: Juvenile delinquency, Racial and ethnic differences, Statistical validity, Violent crime, Risk assessment, Recidivism, Risk factors
Publisher: American Psychological Association
Year: 2014
DOI identifier: 10.1037/a0033972
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