Assessing the forensic evaluation and therapeutic services provided to pre-adjudicated juvenile offenders by licensed psychologists
KeywordsEducation, Guidance and Counseling.
Sociology, Criminology and Penology.
AdvisorMorris, Richard J.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThere has been a dramatic increase in the number of juveniles who have had contact with the legal system over the past 10 years. However, there is a dearth of research investigating the forensic services provided to juvenile offenders by psychologists. The goal of the present study was to assess the types of forensic services psychologists provide to pre-adjudicated juvenile index offenders. One hundred and thirty-seven registrants of the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology (NR) replied to one of three versions of a questionnaire. Data were obtained regarding demographic and professional characteristics of respondents, whether they conduct forensic evaluations, and whether they provide forensic interventions. Results indicated that the majority of psychologists who provide forensic services to juvenile offenders are Caucasian males, approximately 51 years of age, who work in private practice or do private consultations, and who have been in practice for approximately 19 years. Furthermore, the majority of these psychologists are members of the American Psychological Association, received their Ph.D. degree from a graduate program in clinical psychology, and received no formal or supervised predoctoral or postdoctoral training in forensic psychology. The frequent legal/forensic questions psychologists are asked to address when conducting forensic evaluations are placement recommendations, followed by competency to stand trial, treatment recommendations, and whether a juvenile should be transferred to adult criminal court. Regardless of the type of legal/forensic question asked, psychologists frequently use the following assessment methods: juvenile and/or parent interview, a Wechsler Scale of Intelligence, the MMPI, and the Rorschach. They also review archival data on the juvenile, such as educational and psychological records and police reports. Reducing the risk for recidivism is the primary reason why psychologists are asked to provide forensic interventions, and the most common intervention provided is cognitive-behavioral therapy. The most commonly used outcome measure assessing treatment progress is a behavior checklist or rating scale. The results of the present study were compared to the existing literature on psychological services provided to juvenile offenders. Limitations of the present study and suggestions for subsequent research are also discussed.
Degree ProgramGraduate College