Law and Human Behavior

, 31:449 | Cite as

Risk Assessment for Juvenile Justice: A Meta-Analysis

  • Craig S. Schwalbe
Original Article


Risk assessment instruments are increasingly employed by juvenile justice settings to estimate the likelihood of recidivism among delinquent juveniles. In concert with their increased use, validation studies documenting their predictive validity have increased in number. The purpose of this study was to assess the average predictive validity of juvenile justice risk assessment instruments and to identify risk assessment characteristics that are associated with higher predictive validity. A search of the published and grey literature yielded 28 studies that estimated the predictive validity of 28 risk assessment instruments. Findings of the meta-analysis were consistent with effect sizes obtained in larger meta-analyses of criminal justice risk assessment instruments and showed that brief risk assessment instruments had smaller effect sizes than other types of instruments. However, this finding is tentative owing to limitations of the literature.


Risk assessment Delinquency Juvenile justice Juvenile court Meta-analysis 



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Columbia University, School of Social WorkNew YorkUSA

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