College of Psychology Theses and Dissertations

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Date of Award

1-1-2011

Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PhD)

Department

Center for Psychological Studies

First Advisor

John Lewis

Second Advisor

David Shapiro

Third Advisor

Craig Marker

Keywords

Diversity, Hispanic, Sensitivity and Specificity, Sex Offenders, Sexual Recidivism, Static-2002

Abstract

Assessments designed to estimate the probability of sexual offense recidivism have gained popularity due to research that suggests these instruments are psychometrically sound for this purpose. The Static-2002 (Hanson & Thornton, 2003), an actuarial instrument of sexual recidivism, has been validated in specific populations, but in the absence of multicultural populations. It is necessary to establish the validity of the Static-2002 for a multicultural population, especially considering the increasing impetus to mandate measures of sexual recidivism. This study was designed to assess the predictive validity of the Static-2002 as an actuarial instrument that estimates the probability of sexual, violent, and general recidivism within a multicultural population.

Recent criminal histories and de-identified archival records of 103 adult sex offenders were used to complete demographic questionnaires and to calculate retroactive predictive accuracy scores for the Static-2002. Records were obtained from a private practice office in South Florida, which provides outpatient treatment to conditionally released offenders. Hypothesis testing utilized a receiver operating characteristic area under the curve (ROC AUC) analysis to examine the discriminating power of the Static-2002 and to identify optimal cutoff values for each risk category. These cutoff values were then compared to the established Static-2002 risk categories to evaluate the cutoff scores' congruency.

For this sample population, resulting ROC AUC values indicated the predictive accuracy of the Static-2002 to be moderate for any (including general; .67) offense recidivism, and high for violent recidivism (.74). However, the Static-2002 was ineffective for predicting sexual recidivism among this sample population since the predictive accuracy of the ROC area for sexual reoffenses was not statistically significant above chance (p = .07). The four Static-2002 risk categories derived for this study are: low, moderate-low, moderate-high, and high. When compared with the established Static-2002 risk categories, this study's risk categories were found to be mostly concurrent with the established categories.

Similar to previous research, this study found that when the sample population differs racially/ethnically from the normed population (60% of this study's participants were Hispanic), the Static-2002 was ineffective for accurately predicting sexual reoffending. However, the Static-2002 effectively predicted violent and general recidivism with this sample population.

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