Are we on the same page? Comparing the perceptions of professionals on overall sexual violence risk
Risk\, Need\, and Responsivity (RNR) Model, sexual violence
The risk, need, and responsivity (RNR) model is currently the most evidence-supported model of treatment for offenders. Although there is ample research that focuses on the validation of the model, very few studies have examined how well professionals adhere to the principles of RNR. The current study investigated how professionals perceive sexual violence risk, what treatment dosages professionals recommend and how they quantify those dosages, if they can identify criminogenic needs and responsivity issues, and if individual attitudes of professionals influence risk perceptions. Additionally, the study examined if individual attitudes of professionals could have an influence on their perceptions of sexual violence risk. Twenty-nine members of the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA) completed an online survey where they read a mock referral form about an individual who had sexually offended and completed a series of questionnaires. The findings revealed that professionals were more likely to use their own discretion when making risk-related decisions, disagreed on treatment dosage, and were unable to consistently identify criminogenic needs and responsivity issues. These results suggest that professionals may not be adhering as closely to the principles of RNR as would be expected and highlight the need for validated guidelines to ensure sound practice.
Presented on April 23, 2018 at Student Research Day held at MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta.
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