Protective factors in forensic mental health: A new frontier

C. de Ruiter, T. Nicholls

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The field of violence risk assessment has made substantial strides in the past four decades. In large part, these advances reflect the addition of purpose-designed risk assessment measures such as the hcr-20 and covr as well as the contributions of prolific scholars and state of the art studies (hodgins’ aftercare project; monahan, steadman et al.'s macarthur violence risk assessment study). However, important areas of inquiry have been left largely unexplored. The potential incremental value to be added by dynamic risk factors to historical and static factors is relatively unexamined. Yet, changeable factors offer the capacity to identify new opportunities for the prevention and management of violence risk. Similarly, the added value to be offered by a consideration of protective factors in addition to risk factors is only now emerging as a field of inquiry in adult forensic mental health. This special section is dedicated to addressing some of these limitations and provides papers describing two new measures (saprof and start) and empirical evidence supporting the role of protective factors in risk assessment and risk management research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)160-170
JournalInternational Journal of Forensic Mental Health
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011

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