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An Empirical Test of the Factor Structure of the Violence Risk Scale and Its Measurement Invariance Across Time and Cultural Groups
journal contributionposted on 2023-02-22, 04:33 authored by Yilma WoldgabrealYilma Woldgabreal, A Day, M Daffern, C Lloyd, Joe GraffamJoe Graffam
Violence risk assessment instruments are used to inform key decisions about treatment planning and delivery, release on parole, and intensity of supervision in the community. Yet, limited published information is available about psychometric properties other than predictive validity. The purpose of this study was to examine the factor structure and measurement invariance across pretreatment to posttreatment and cultural groups of one of the most widely used violence risk assessment instruments, the Violence Risk Scale (VRS). Data from 366 completed assessments at preintervention and postintervention phases for adults serving custodial sentences for violent offenses in an Australian jurisdiction were subject to confirmatory factor analysis. The results indicated four intercorrelated but conceptually independent dimensions. Furthermore, measurement invariance was established across pretreatement and posttreatment occasions and different cultural groups. However, latent means comparison revealed significant difference across cultural groups, raising questions about sensitivity and generalizability of the VRS when used with diverse cultural groups.