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Record ID: fe2803c7-0e90-4550-ba6d-265ef766dbc3
Type: Journal Article
Title: A brief actuarial assessment for the prediction of wife assault recidivism: the Ontario Domestic Assault Risk Assessment
Other Titles: Psychological assessment
Authors: Cormier, Catherine A
Hilton, N Zoe
Harris, Grant T
Rice, Marnie E
Lang, Carol
Keywords: Screening;Risk factors;Policing;Measurement
Year: 2004
Publisher: American Psychological Association
Citation: 5 (3), 2004
Notes:  This article reports on a Canadian actuarial assessment to predict male-to-female domestic violence from a pool of potential predictors in a sample of 589 offenders in police records and followed up for an average of almost 5 years. The resulting 13-item scale, the Ontario Domestic Assault Risk Assessment (ODARA) showed a large effect size in predicting new assaults against wives or former wives, which was associated with number and severity of new assaults and time until recidivism. Cross-validation and comparisons with other instruments are included. The primary test of risk assessment research is said to be predictive validity. The Danger Assessment (DA) is a structured clinical assessment, designed to assess the risk of lethality using victim interview or self report. Its 15 items refer to a perpetrator’s history of relationship and other violence, availability of weapons, substance abuse, suicidality and jealousy. The Spousal Assault Risk Assessment (SARA) Guide is informed by clinical interpretation of variables that distinguish abusive men. Part 1 has 10 general violence risk factors (substance abuse, employment problems, mental illness, personality disorder, suicidal-homicidal relationship problems, exposure to family violence, violation of conditional release, and past assault of family members). Part 2 has 10 spousal violence risk factors (recent escalation, offender attitudes, characteristics of most recent assault). As with the DA, only some of the SARA items are useful predictors (violation of conditional release, personality disorder, and denial of spousal assault). The Violence Risk Appraisal Guide (VRAG) has been cross-validated with large predictive effect sizes in many samples of violent male offenders. Police practice in Ontario, Canada, uses the Domestic Violence Supplementary Report (DVSR). Its 22 items pertain to relationship separation, jealousy, stalking, threats, weapons, substance abuse, mental illness, disobeying court orders, violence to pets, and victim’s fear but not to general criminal history. Unlike the DA or SARA, the DVSR was designed for frontline officers and relies on information readily available when investigating domestic violence incidents but with no data about the predictive accuracy of the DVSR. The DA, SARA and DVSR did not use psychological assessment or the use of actuarial methods. Actuarial refers to the selection of predictor items. This study tests the predictive validity of information obtained by police attending incidents of male-to-female domestic assault and information maintained in criminal records management systems. It found that the development of a simple actuarial risk assessment tool, the ODARA, resulted in a risk assessment for police-known wife assaults that was strongly predictive but also shorter and more suited for use in law enforcement than the 3 existing non-actuarial risk assessments.
ISSN: 1040-3590
Appears in Collections:Journal Articles

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