What is it about?

An important task of forensic psychologists and psychiatrists is to assess how likely it is that a person who has committed a violent crime will reoffend. To make these predictions more objective and accurate, so-called risk assessment tools have been developed. However, they often focus on risk factors (e.g., substance misuse) and tend to ignore individual and environmental characteristics that can actually reduce the risk of reoffending (e.g., a supportive social network). The SAPROF is a practical tool for assessing protective factors. In our article, we tested its performance as a predictor of non-reoffending by summarizing the findings of 39 studies.

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Why is it important?

The assessment of risk factors alone is neither complete nor fair. We showed that including protective factors improves prediction accuracy and helps to get a better picture of an individual’s needs for treatment and supervision. Ultimately, this will help to reduce reoffending.


I hope that our article will encourage forensic experts to routinely incorporate protective factors in their risk assessment.

Matthias Burghart
Universitat Konstanz

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: The Structured Assessment of Protective Factors for violence risk (SAPROF): A meta-analysis of its predictive and incremental validity., Psychological Assessment, October 2022, American Psychological Association (APA),
DOI: 10.1037/pas0001184.
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