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Article
A classification tree approach to the development of actuarial violence risk assessment tools
Psychiatry Publications and Presentations
  • Henry J. Steadman, Clarke Institute of Psychiatry
  • Eric Silver, Policy Research Associates Inc.
  • John Monahan, University of Virginia School of Law
  • Paul S. Appelbaum, University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • Pamela Clark Robbins, Policy Research Associates Inc
  • Edward P. Mulvey, University of Pittsburgh
  • Thomas Grisso, University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • Loren H. Roth, University of Pittsburgh
  • Steven M. Banks, University of Massachusetts Medical School
UMMS Affiliation
Department of Psychiatry
Date
2-29-2000
Document Type
Article
Medical Subject Headings
Actuarial Analysis; Adult; *Decision Trees; Female; Forensic Psychiatry; Humans; Logistic Models; Male; Risk Assessment; Violence
Disciplines
Abstract
Since the 1970s, a wide body of research has suggested that the accuracy of clinical risk assessments of violence might be increased if clinicians used actuarial tools. Despite considerable progress in recent years in the development of such tools for violence risk assessment, they remain primarily research instruments, largely ignored in daily clinical practice. We argue that because most existing actuarial tools are based on a main effects regression approach, they do not adequately reflect the contingent nature of the clinical assessment processes. To enhance the use of actuarial violence risk assessment tools, we propose a classification tree rather than a main effects regression approach. In addition, we suggest that by employing two decision thresholds for identifying high- and low-risk cases--instead of the standard single threshold--the use of actuarial tools to make dichotomous risk classification decisions may be further enhanced. These claims are supported with empirical data from the MacArthur Violence Risk Assessment Study.
Rights and Permissions
Citation: Law Hum Behav. 2000 Feb;24(1):83-100.
Related Resources
Link to Article in PubMed
PubMed ID
10693320
Citation Information
Henry J. Steadman, Eric Silver, John Monahan, Paul S. Appelbaum, et al.. "A classification tree approach to the development of actuarial violence risk assessment tools" Vol. 24 Iss. 1 (2000) ISSN: 0147-7307 (Linking)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/thomas_grisso/21/