Validity of the juvenile sex offender assessment protocol revised (J-SOAP-II) with a multiethnic sample of juvenile sex offenders released from juvenile justice commission placements

Ricardo Martinez, Fordham University

Abstract

The Juvenile Sex Offender Assessment Protocol Revised (J SOAP II) is currently the most widely used and researched risk assessment instrument specifically designed to aid in the evaluation of the risk of sexual recidivism for known juveniles sex offenders (JSO). However, the instrument has been the subject of only a handful of empirical studies and support for its predictive validity has been inconsistent. Furthermore, despite evidence that the predictive validity of risk measures may vary across racial/ethnic groups, the instrument has been primarily tested only with Caucasian JSO. The present study employed a retrospective file review design to complete J SOAP II protocols on 156 JSO who had been released from two Juvenile Justice Commission placements; a residential sex offender treatment center (PRTC) and the state's juvenile correctional center (JTSB). The follow up period was 10 years and state juvenile and adult records of rearrests were used for outcome data. It was hypothesized, that the predictive accuracy of the overall scale would be good for sexual and general reoffense, but that there would be racial/ethnic and study site differences in performance of J SOAP II subscales. The J SOAP II displayed had good internal consistency and interrater reliability. However, contrary to expectations the J SOAP II Total score consistently underperformed (i.e., AUC < .70) with sexual and general reoffense with AUCs of .64 and .60, respectively for the entire sample. The instrument also performed poorly for sexual and general reoffense with participants from PRTC (AUC = .65 and .58, respectively) and wit those from JTSB (AUC = .62 and .60, respectively). Analyses across racial/ethnic subgroups revealed similarly poor performance for sexual and general reoffense with African Americans (AUC = .68 and .62, respectively) and Latino participants (AUC = .21 and .47, respectively), but somewhat higher, albeit nonsignificant, performance with Caucasian participants (AUC = .80 and .64, respectively). Analysis of subscale performance was generally poor with somewhat more promise for the dynamic subscales. Overall, the study did not support the use of the J SOAP II with the high risk JSO studied or with non-Caucasian JSO. Study limitations, clinical implications, and contextualization of the study's results in view of the existing literature are provided.^

Subject Area

Psychology, Clinical|Sociology, Criminology and Penology|Psychology, Psychometrics

Recommended Citation

Ricardo Martinez, "Validity of the juvenile sex offender assessment protocol revised (J-SOAP-II) with a multiethnic sample of juvenile sex offenders released from juvenile justice commission placements" (January 1, 2011). ETD Collection for Fordham University. Paper AAI3466712.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI3466712

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