Can A Questionnaire Predict Youth Violence? - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Can A Questionnaire Predict Youth Violence?

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SALISBURY, Md. - Can a questionnaire help predict whether or not a child will have a future of violence?

Psychologist, Dr. Kathy Seifert has developed a tool she says does.  Doctor Seifert began developing the Care 2 system 15 years ago.
     
"We can prevent some of the violent acts that young people commit by understanding the circumstances that lead up to extreme violence," says Dr. Seifert.

The 57 part survey weighs the past negative behaviors and social backgrounds of children between the ages of six and nineteen, against resiliency factors, like having a positive school experience.

Thursday, Doctor Seifert met with representatives of Salisbury University and the Department of Juvenile Services to discuss a $250,000 grant from the Maryland Industrial Partnerships program to test the accuracy the Care 2 system is at both predicting violence and preventing it from happening.

Experts agree, it's a daunting task.  "The most difficult thing in terms of trying to predict is human behavior," says Salisbury University professor of Social Work, Dr. Marvin Tossey, who is overseeing the assessment for the University.

Over the next two years, Salisbury University will test the Care 2 with young people already in the corrections system.

"The idea, then, is to say, well, can we demonstrate that children who have high risk scores 4...5 years ago, did they have a fairly high, whatever have you...how violent did they become?" says Dr. Tossey.

The second year of the grant will be focused on whether or not the Care 2 can prevent that type of violence.

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