Predicting General and Violent Recidivism in Sex Offenders Using the HCR-20: An Exploratory Study

Federica Arrighi, Fordham University


This study focuses on exploring the predictive validity of the Historical Clinical Risk Management-20 scale (HCR-20) in the assessment of the risk of general and violent recidivism in a sample of 22 adult males with a serious mental disorder who have committed a sex offense in their lifetime. The first hypothesis was that recidivism is correlated with the risk of violence, based on the HCR-20 summary risk rating scores. The second hypothesis was that specific risk factors would be significantly associated with recidivism whereas others would not be. The specific factors hypothesized to be relevant in this sample were informed by the literature reviewed and included history of violence, history of antisocial behaviors, history of mental disorders, history of substance abuse, history of personality disorders, and recent symptoms of mental disorders. The results did not support the hypotheses. Of the six variables tested in the first hypothesis only one, Serious Physical Harm, indicated significant difference between those who were and were not rearrested. For the second hypothesis only one variable significantly differentiated those who reoffended generally and those who did not, and two variables significantly differentiated those who recidivate violently and those who did not. Among the hypothesized significant predictor variables only history of personality disorders (item H7) marked a difference between those who were and were not rearrested for a violent charge; however, interpretations are limited by the small sample size. In the supplemental logistic regression models of general and violent recidivism with the predictor variables that emerged as significant in univariate t-test, and age, none of the models account a significant portion of the variation of recidivism.

Subject Area

Clinical psychology|Criminology

Recommended Citation

Arrighi, Federica, "Predicting General and Violent Recidivism in Sex Offenders Using the HCR-20: An Exploratory Study" (2021). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI28419187.