Mortimer, Rhian (2010)
Foren.Psy.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
Research has been conducted to identify the risk and protective factors for offending primarily in juveniles; however this research has not extended to high security adult offenders who represent the most significant risk to society. This thesis utilised previously researched risk factor models to identify developmental risk and protective factors and how these increase the likelihood of following an offending pathway in adulthood. This thesis includes a systematic review, review of a psychometric tool, an individual case study and a research paper, which identify specific factors relevant to types of high security offenders. The findings demonstrated that aggression and substance misuse were among the most common risk factors, which began in adolescence and continued into adulthood. Therefore, adult high security offenders could be retrospectively mapped onto juvenile risk factor models, suggesting that the factors identified in high risk samples are primarily developmental in nature. These results demonstrate that interventions with at-risk adolescents may be beneficial in reducing future risk. The findings support previous conclusions in that experiences of increased risk factors in conjunction with few protective factors increases the likelihood of individuals being involved in offending behaviour. Therefore, pro-active and reactive measures should be targeted towards such at-risk individuals.
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