The empirical limits of forensic mental health assessment

Law Hum Behav. 2005 Feb;29(1):1-5. doi: 10.1007/s10979-005-1396-0.


This article introduces a special issue of Law and Human Behavior, including five articles describing the limits of forensic mental health assessments of (a) risk of violence in female adolescents, (b) sexually violent predators, (c) dangerousness in capital murder cases, (d) child sexual abuse, and (e) PTSD litigants. Knowing the limits of forensic mental health assessment methods is essential in order to recognize their strengths, increase the credibility of forensic mental health assessment, and drive research that will enhance the value of assessments for the courts.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Dangerous Behavior*
  • Female
  • Forensic Psychiatry*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Risk Assessment*
  • United States
  • Violence / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Violence / psychology*