Judgments of dangerousness: Are sex offenders assessed differently than civil psychiatric patients?

Cynthia Calkins Mercado, Eric B. Elbogen, Mario J Scalora, Alan Tomkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Although there has been a great deal of research on sex offenders, researchers have yet to examine how clinicians assess sex offender dangerousness in practice. The purpose of this study was to take a first step toward understanding how professional and paraprofessional “clinicians” assess sex offenders by comparing how they assess violence in this population with how they assess violence of civil psychiatric patients. Thirty‐five clinicians were asked to list factors they used to assess risk of dangerousness for eight recently discharged patients and to further rate the patients on risk cues derived from the Psychopathy Checklist‐Short Version (PCL‐SV), rendering a total of 280 judgments of dangerousness. Results indicated that clinicians most commonly considered clinical and behavioral types of factors for assessing violence of both clinical populations, however, notable differences emerged when analysing the specific violence risk factors utilised. In particular, clinicians working with sex offenders emphasised contextual factors such as employment opportunities and social support while clinicians working with psychiatric patients emphasised medication compliance as well as underlying psychotic processes, such as delusional thinking and guardedness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)146-153
Number of pages8
JournalPsychiatry, Psychology and Law
Volume8
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001

Fingerprint

Dangerous Behavior
Violence
Psychiatry
offender
violence
Medication Adherence
employment opportunity
Social Support
Population
Cues
social support
medication
Research Personnel
Research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Law

Cite this

Judgments of dangerousness : Are sex offenders assessed differently than civil psychiatric patients? / Mercado, Cynthia Calkins; Elbogen, Eric B.; Scalora, Mario J; Tomkins, Alan.

In: Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, Vol. 8, No. 2, 01.01.2001, p. 146-153.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Mercado, Cynthia Calkins ; Elbogen, Eric B. ; Scalora, Mario J ; Tomkins, Alan. / Judgments of dangerousness : Are sex offenders assessed differently than civil psychiatric patients?. In: Psychiatry, Psychology and Law. 2001 ; Vol. 8, No. 2. pp. 146-153.
@article{63954a581cb1448f93b76452b3da7045,
title = "Judgments of dangerousness: Are sex offenders assessed differently than civil psychiatric patients?",
abstract = "Although there has been a great deal of research on sex offenders, researchers have yet to examine how clinicians assess sex offender dangerousness in practice. The purpose of this study was to take a first step toward understanding how professional and paraprofessional “clinicians” assess sex offenders by comparing how they assess violence in this population with how they assess violence of civil psychiatric patients. Thirty‐five clinicians were asked to list factors they used to assess risk of dangerousness for eight recently discharged patients and to further rate the patients on risk cues derived from the Psychopathy Checklist‐Short Version (PCL‐SV), rendering a total of 280 judgments of dangerousness. Results indicated that clinicians most commonly considered clinical and behavioral types of factors for assessing violence of both clinical populations, however, notable differences emerged when analysing the specific violence risk factors utilised. In particular, clinicians working with sex offenders emphasised contextual factors such as employment opportunities and social support while clinicians working with psychiatric patients emphasised medication compliance as well as underlying psychotic processes, such as delusional thinking and guardedness.",
author = "Mercado, {Cynthia Calkins} and Elbogen, {Eric B.} and Scalora, {Mario J} and Alan Tomkins",
year = "2001",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1080/13218710109525014",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "8",
pages = "146--153",
journal = "Psychiatry, Psychology and Law",
issn = "1321-8719",
publisher = "Routledge",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Judgments of dangerousness

T2 - Are sex offenders assessed differently than civil psychiatric patients?

AU - Mercado, Cynthia Calkins

AU - Elbogen, Eric B.

AU - Scalora, Mario J

AU - Tomkins, Alan

PY - 2001/1/1

Y1 - 2001/1/1

N2 - Although there has been a great deal of research on sex offenders, researchers have yet to examine how clinicians assess sex offender dangerousness in practice. The purpose of this study was to take a first step toward understanding how professional and paraprofessional “clinicians” assess sex offenders by comparing how they assess violence in this population with how they assess violence of civil psychiatric patients. Thirty‐five clinicians were asked to list factors they used to assess risk of dangerousness for eight recently discharged patients and to further rate the patients on risk cues derived from the Psychopathy Checklist‐Short Version (PCL‐SV), rendering a total of 280 judgments of dangerousness. Results indicated that clinicians most commonly considered clinical and behavioral types of factors for assessing violence of both clinical populations, however, notable differences emerged when analysing the specific violence risk factors utilised. In particular, clinicians working with sex offenders emphasised contextual factors such as employment opportunities and social support while clinicians working with psychiatric patients emphasised medication compliance as well as underlying psychotic processes, such as delusional thinking and guardedness.

AB - Although there has been a great deal of research on sex offenders, researchers have yet to examine how clinicians assess sex offender dangerousness in practice. The purpose of this study was to take a first step toward understanding how professional and paraprofessional “clinicians” assess sex offenders by comparing how they assess violence in this population with how they assess violence of civil psychiatric patients. Thirty‐five clinicians were asked to list factors they used to assess risk of dangerousness for eight recently discharged patients and to further rate the patients on risk cues derived from the Psychopathy Checklist‐Short Version (PCL‐SV), rendering a total of 280 judgments of dangerousness. Results indicated that clinicians most commonly considered clinical and behavioral types of factors for assessing violence of both clinical populations, however, notable differences emerged when analysing the specific violence risk factors utilised. In particular, clinicians working with sex offenders emphasised contextual factors such as employment opportunities and social support while clinicians working with psychiatric patients emphasised medication compliance as well as underlying psychotic processes, such as delusional thinking and guardedness.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0035715165&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0035715165&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1080/13218710109525014

DO - 10.1080/13218710109525014

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:0035715165

VL - 8

SP - 146

EP - 153

JO - Psychiatry, Psychology and Law

JF - Psychiatry, Psychology and Law

SN - 1321-8719

IS - 2

ER -