Assessing protective factors for sexually violent offending with the SAPROF

Sex Abuse. 2015 Feb;27(1):51-70. doi: 10.1177/1079063214550168. Epub 2014 Sep 10.


The Structured Assessment of Protective Factors for violence risk (SAPROF) has recently been developed as a risk assessment tool to focus solely on protective factors for (sexual) violence risk. Research on protective factors for sexual offending is very limited and most risk assessment tools for adult sexual offenders do not incorporate protective factors. The current study investigates the applicability and predictive validity of the SAPROF for forensic psychiatric patients who have sexually offended. For a sample of 83 hands-on sexual offenders, risk assessments were carried out retrospectively with the SAPROF, the Historical Clinical Risk Management-20 (HCR-20) and the Sexual Violence Risk-20 (SVR-20). Results show good interrater reliability and negative correlations between the SAPROF and both risk tools. Predictive validities of the SAPROF protective factors for reconvictions of general and sexual violence were good for short-term (1-3 year) as well as for long-term follow-up (15 year). Moreover, the SAPROF remained a statistically significant predictor of future violence and sexual violence even after controlling for the HCR-20 and the SVR-20. Implications of these findings and recommendations for future research are discussed.

Keywords: dynamic risk factors; protective factors; risk assessment; sexual offender; sexual recidivism.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Criminals / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Protective Factors
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Risk Assessment
  • Sex Offenses / psychology*
  • Young Adult