Rethinking Risk Assessment: The MacArthur Study of Mental Disorder and Violence

Hardcover | March 15, 2001

byJohn Monahan, Henry J. Steadman, Eric Silver

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The presumed link between mental disorder and violence has been the driving force behind mental health law and policy for centuries. Legislatures, courts, and the public have come to expect that mental health professionals will protect them from violent acts by persons with mental disorders.Yet for three decades research has shown that clinicians' unaided assessments of "dangerousness" are barely better than chance. Rethinking Risk Assessment: The MacArthur Study of Mental Disorder and Violence tells the story of a pioneering investigation that challenges preconceptions about thefrequency and nature of violence among persons with mental disorders, and suggests an innovative approach to predicting its occurrence. The authors of this massive project -- the largest ever undertaken on the topic -- demonstrate how clinicians can use a "decision tree" to identify groups ofpatients at very low and very high risk for violence. This dramatic new finding, and its implications for the every day clinical practice of risk assessment and risk management, is thoroughly described in this remarkable and long-anticipated volume. Taken to heart, its message will change the wayclinicians, judges, and others who must deal with persons who are mentally ill and may be violent will do their work.

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From the Publisher

The presumed link between mental disorder and violence has been the driving force behind mental health law and policy for centuries. Legislatures, courts, and the public have come to expect that mental health professionals will protect them from violent acts by persons with mental disorders.Yet for three decades research has shown that...

John Monahan is at University of Virginia.

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Format:HardcoverPublished:March 15, 2001Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195138821

ISBN - 13:9780195138825

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Table of Contents

1. Violence Risk Assessment: The Law and the Science2. Violence Among Patients in the Community3. Testing "Criminological" Risk Factors4. Testing "Clinical" Risk Factors5. Customizing Risk Assessment6. Combining Customized Risk Assessment to Produce the Best Estimate of Risk7. Violence and the Clinician: Assessing and Managing RiskAppendix A. The MacArthur Violence Risk Assessment Study: MethodsAppendix B. Risk Factors and Associations with Violence

Editorial Reviews

"Ten years in the making, Rethinking Risk Assesment turns previous risk assessment methods on their heads. Their analysis is thoughtful, cogent, and likely to be a road map for years to come. By any measure, this book will be a classic."--Psychiatric Services