Women’s Risk Factors and Their Contributions to Existing Risk/Needs Assessment:The Current Status of a Gender-Responsive Supplement

Patricia Van Voorhis, Emily M. Wright, Emily Salisbury, Ashley Bauman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

222 Scopus citations


A growing body of scholarship faults existing risk/needs assessment models for neglecting the risk factors most relevant to women offenders. In response, a series of gender-responsive assessment models were tested for their contributions to widely used gender-neutral risk needs assessments. In six of eight samples studied, subsets of the gender-responsive scales achieved statistically significant contributions to gender-neutral models. Promising results were found for the following: (a) parental stress, family support, self-efficacy, educational assets, housing safety, anger/hostility, and current mental health factors in probation samples; (b) child abuse, anger/hostility, relationship dysfunction, family support, and current mental health factors among prisoners; and (c) adult victimization, anger/hostility, educational assets, and family support among released inmates. The predictive validity of gender-neutral assessments was strong in seven of eight samples studied. However, findings for both gender-neutral and gender-responsive domains suggested different treatment priorities for women from those currently put forward in correctional theory and policy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)261-288
Number of pages28
JournalCriminal Justice and Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2010



  • correctional classification
  • criminogenic needs
  • gender-responsive
  • needs
  • risk factors
  • women offenders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Psychology(all)
  • Law

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