Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Gale H Roid, PhD

Second Advisor

Paul Stoltzfus, Psy.D

Third Advisor

James Foster, PhD


The differential prediction of violence potential in adolescents m juvenile corrections and the mental health fields continues to garner concern. The result of this inability to predict ;md therefore prevent these aces of violence has resulted in an increased incarceration of adolescents in the criminal justice system. Two previous studies (Criminal Justice Association, 1993; Dembo. Hughes, Jackson & Mieczkowski, 1993) have noted similar results. While no system is 100% accurate. there arc known risk factors of violent behavior (Flannery. 1998: Monahan. 1981: Webster & fackson. 1997). This study examined many of these known indicators of violent behavior: and, identified other indicators in the research process. The study went further and developed an assessment scale to measure violence risk or violence potential. A brief overview of the literature on violence produced a total of 23 indicators. Results of expert ratings by doctorate level psychologist increased the number to 26 indicators. Afterward. more than 450 items were developed as a measure of content validity of the indicators. Utilizing doctorate level graduate students as content validity raters of the items produced a trial questionnaire of 202 items. Trials were conducted using male youth from a state correctional institution as subjects; and. conducting statistical analysis of content validity and internal consistency reliability to Content Validity and Internal Consistency and Reliability of a New Scale on Violence Potential measure the viability of the proposed instrument. The results produced 15 scales with internal consistency reliability ratings between .70 to .91. Using the work of Achenbach (1992) on factor loading. four factors were found: internalizing. externalizing. personal violence experience, and fear and oppression. Although more work on larger samples is required. the preliminary instrument appears promising.