Predicting reoffending using the structured assessment of violence risk in youth (savry): A 5-year follow-up study of male juvenile offenders in hunan province, China

Jiansong Zhou, Katrina Gisela Witt, Xia Cao, Chen Chen, Xiaoping Wang

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7 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Juvenile violent offending is a serious worldwide public health issue. Objective: The study examined whether the Structured Assessment of Violence Risk in Youth (SAVRY) can be used to predict violent reoffending in Chinese male juvenile offenders, and to determine which risk/protective domains (items) are associated with violent recidivism. Methods: A total of 246 male juvenile offenders were recruited. SAVRY domains were scored by trained raters based on file review and interviews with participants and their legal guardians. Information on further arrests, charges, or convictions for violent offences were collected from police records over a five year follow-up. Results: Over the course of the five year follow-up periods, 63 (25.6%) juvenile offenders were rearrested for a further violent reoffence. Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) analyses showed Areas Under the Curve (AUCs) ranging from 0.60 to 0.68 for the SAVRY total, risk and protective score domains. Univariate logistic regression analysis showed that 7 of the 30 SAVRY items were significantly associated with reoffending; explaining 36.2% of the variance. Backward stepwise multiple logistic regression analysis showed the independently predictive items were items 2 (history of non-violent offending'), 17 (negative attitudes'), 18 (risk-Taking/impulsivity'), and 20 (ánger management problems'). Together these four items explained 25.0% of the variance in reoffending. Conclusions: The results suggested that the SAVRY can be meaningfully used to inform the development and evaluation of effective violence risk assessment and management approaches for male juvenile offenders detained in a Youth Detention Center in Hunan province, China.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0169251
Number of pages11
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017

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