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Nervenarzt. 2009 Mar;80(3):295-304. doi: 10.1007/s00115-008-2574-3.

[Structured psychiatric assessment of risk for violent recidivism in juvenile offenders].

[Article in German]

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  • 1Institutsambulanz Wolfratshausen, Heckscher Klinikum für Kinder- und Jugendpsychiatrie, Psychosomatik und Psychotherapie, Obermarkt 18a, 82515, Wolfratshausen, Deutschland.


The psychiatric assessment of violence in youth represents a critical and essential part of forensic expertise and clinical practice. New methodical approaches are offered by structured risk rating scales and checklists which encompass psychopathy. The recently translated German version of Structured Assessment of Violence Risk in Youth (SAVRY), which is based on the Historical, Clinical, Risk Management Scheme (HCR 20), was evaluated in a sample of forensically assessed youth (n=83) regarding the predictive validity for criminal recidivism. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analyses attested medium (general delinquency), moderate (violent reoffending) and high (serious violent reoffending) effect strength, depending of the type of offence. Survival analyses showed that juveniles rated as high risk for violence were significantly faster and in a higher proportion recidivistic than those with a moderate or low risk. The results indicate the applicability of risk assessment instruments for German juveniles. Approaches for preventive, therapeutic and reintegrating measures are demonstrated, taking relapse patterns and dynamic risk aspects into consideration.

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