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Nicholas Mooney

Doctor of Clinical Psychology
Study Completed: 2011
College of Humanities & Social Sciences


Thesis Title
Predicting offending within the New Zealand Youth Justice system: Evaluating measures of risk, need and psychopathy

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Mr Mooney’s previous work experience with youth offenders recognised the need for youth justice professionals to have access to valid and reliable risk assessment measures. Such measures can be used to help predict and plan interventions. His research therefore examined the predictive validity of three empirically grounded risk assessment measures. These were the Youth Level of Service/ Case Management Inventory (YLS/CMI), the Youth Psychopathic Traits Inventory (YPI), and the Inventory of Callous/ Unemotional Traits (ICU). These measures were administered during a 90 minute assessment interview with 114 youth offenders aged between 14 and 17 years. All three measures accurately predicted further antisocial behaviour after six-months. However the YLS/CMI, which assessed risk factors amenable to change, provided the strongest prediction of re-offending. Clinical psychologists practicing within the New Zealand’s youth justice system are encouraged to consider such measures in order to better intervene with young people at risk of reoffending.

Professor Ian Evans
Dr Nick Wilson
Professor Janet Leathem

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