The Sexual Violence Risk-20: factor structure and psychometric properties

Thijs Kanters*, Ruud H. J. Hornsveld, Kevin L. Nunes, Almar J. Zwets, Peter Muris, Hjalmar J. C. van Marle

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Although the Sexual Violence Risk-20 (SVR-20) is widely used, its psychometric properties have only been investigated in a limited number of studies. This study explored the factor structure of the SVR-20 and examined its psychometric properties. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was used to examine the fit of the original three-domain model of the SVR-20. The CFA showed that the original structure was not satisfactory. Exploratory principal components analysis (PCA) was conducted in search of a more optimal factor structure. Psychometric properties (i.e., internal consistency, predictive value, and convergent validity) of both the original domains and alternative factors were investigated. The PCA and subsequent CFAs pointed in the direction of an alternative, more optimal three-factor solution. The three alternative factors were labeled as Antisociality, Sexual deviance, and Problematic thinking and produced better internal consistency coefficients than the original domains. However, the validity of the SVR-20 was modest and no evidence was found indicating that the alternative factors were better in this regard as compared to the original domains. Despite the overall superiority of actuarial measures in predicting recidivism, the structured professional judgment of the SVR-20 proved to be more predictive of sexual, violent, and general recidivism than its actuarial scoring method.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)368-387
JournalJournal of Forensic Psychiatry & Psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • SVR-20
  • factor structure
  • psychometric properties
  • sexual offenders
  • risk assessment


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