Violence Offender Assessment
Sometimes, offender characteristics
(motivation, reading ability and compliance), the evaluation's purpose (court,
probation, corrections or treatment) and the assessment milieu or setting
call for a short domestic violence test. This is particularly true when
domestic violence treatment is mandated. In these settings, we recommend
consideration of the Domestic Violence Inventory (DVI) or the
** Domestic Violence Inventory-Short Form **
- A Domestic Violence Inventory retest.
- Reading impaired domestic violence offenders.
- Adult evaluation, counseling and treatment agencies.
- Adult courts, pretrial and pre-sentence investigations.
- High volume domestic violence assessment agencies.
- Assessment of adults accused or convicted of domestic violence.
- Domestic violence assessment in clinics, court settings and service provider offices.
The DVI-Short Form is a brief, easily administered and automated (computer-scored) adult
domestic violence offender screening instrument or test. The DVI-Short Form
consists of 76 items and takes 15 to 20 minutes to complete. The DVI-Short Form
has six scales (measures): 1.
2. Violence (Lethality) Scale,
Alcohol Scale, 4.
Control Scale, and
6. Stress Coping Abilities Scale.
The DVI-Short Form evolved from the Domestic Violence Inventory (DVI) and contains variations
of the six DVI scales. The DVI-Short Form assesses attitudes and behaviors
important in domestic violence offender profiling. Paper-pencil test
administration takes on average 17 minutes, and tests are computer-scored
on-site within 2½ minutes. The DVI-Short Form was developed specifically for
domestic violence offender evaluation. It is much more than just another
alcohol and drug test, consequently it measures important attitudes and
behaviors missed by other tests.
Six Scales (Measures)
The six DVI-Short Form scales are described as follows:
- Truthfulness Scale:
Measures how cooperative, open and truthful
the offender was while completing the test. It identifies denial,
guardedness, problem minimization and attempts to fake good.
- Violence (Lethality) Scale:
Measures the use of force to injure, damage or
destroy. This scale identifies people that are a danger to
themselves and others. Within the context of domestic violence,
the terms violence and domestic violence are used interchangeably.
- Control Scale:
Measures a person's need to control others. Control refers to the
process of regulating, restraining or controlling others.
Controlling behaviors include swearing, intimidation, pushing,
hitting and battering.
- Alcohol Scale:
Measures the severity of alcohol use and abuse. Alcohol refers to
beer, wine and other liquors. Alcohol is often involved in instances of domestic violence.
- Drugs Scale:
Measures the severity of illicit drug use or abuse. Drugs refer to
marijuana, crack, cocaine, amphetamines, barbiturates and heroin.
Illicit drugs are frequently involved in domestic violence.
- Stress Coping Abilities Scale: Measures a person's ability to
cope with stress, anxiety and pressure. Stress exacerbates mental
health symptomatology. This scale is a non-introversive screen for
established (diagnosable) emotional and mental health problems.
* * * * *
Why Use the DVI-Short
Domestic violence is increasing across the U.S. This
trend underscores the abhorrent effects of domestic violence and the
importance of accurate assessment.
Early detection of
domestic violence perpetrators facilitates quicker intervention and treatment. This type of information also helps in deciding upon levels of probation,
supervision, counseling, treatment and incarceration.
At one sitting of approximately 15 to 20
minutes' duration, staff can acquire a vast amount of information. The DVI-Short
Form collects information on offender acting out (violence), controlling
tendencies, substance abuse and stress coping abilities. Early problem
identification facilitates timely intervention and improved outcome.
Screening or assessment instruments
filter out people with serious problems. This filtering system works as follows:
DVI-SHORT FORM RISK RANGES
0 - 39%
40 - 69%
70 - 89%
Reference to the above table shows that a problem is not identified until a scale score is at
the 70th percentile or higher. These risk range percentiles are based upon over 65,000
people who have taken the DVI and DVI-Short Form. This procedure is fair and avoids extremes, i.e.,
over-identification and under-identification of problems and risk.
A state, department or agency's policy
might refer clients with identified problems for further evaluation,
intervention or treatment services. In this case, 31% of the people screened
(Problem Risk and Severe Problem) would be referred. Or, policy might only refer
people with serious problems (Severe Problem, 11%) for additional services.
In these examples, 69% or 89% (contingent upon
adopted policy) of the people screened would not be referred for additional
(and expensive) services. Low and Medium Risk
offenders might benefit from group counseling and/or interactive educational
programs. And, as offenders' scores enter Problem (70th to 89th
percentile) and Severe Problem (90th to 100th
percentile) ranges, supervision and treatment options also escalate.
Budgetary savings (dollars) would be
large with no compromises in clients receiving appropriate evaluation and/or
treatment services. Indeed, more offenders would
receive help. Without a screening program, there is usually more risk of over
or under-utilization of additional professional services.
DVI-Short Form scales identify areas of concern. These scales (measures) are:
1. Truthfulness Scale,
Violence Scale, 3. Control Scale,
Alcohol Scale, 5. Drugs Scale and
Stress Coping Abilities Scale.
In brief, DVI-Short Form reports summarize the offender's self-report history, explain
what attained scale scores mean and offer specific score-related recommendations.
Within 2½ minutes of test data entry,
automated (computer-scored) reports are printed on-site. These reports
summarize a vast amount of information in an easily understood format. For
example, reports include a DVI-Short Form profile (graph), which summarizes
scale scores at a glance. Also included are attained scale scores, an
explanation of what each score means and specific recommendations. In
addition, significant items (direct admissions) are highlighted, and answers to
a built-in interview (last sequence of items) are presented. Emphasis is
placed on having meaningful reports that are helpful and easily understood.
To go directly to the example DVI-Short Form report, click on the
DVI-Short Form Report
link. After reviewing the report,
you can return to this section by clicking on the "Return to DVI-Short Form
Reports Section" link.
Reliability and Validity
The DVI-Short Form has a proprietary
built-in database that insures inclusion of all administered tests in a
confidential (no names) manner. Over 65,000 DVI and DVI-Short Form tests' data
are represented in the DVI database. These reliability, validity and accuracy
statistics are reported in the document titled "DVI: An Inventory of
Scientific Findings." Annual database analysis further demonstrates that
DVI-Short Form scales are very highly correlated with DVI scales.
The DVI-Short Form scales correlate highly significantly with DVI scale scores.
DVI-SHORT FORM CORRELATION
COEFFICIENTS (N = 5,311, 2002)
Correlation coefficients vary from zero to 1, where zero represents no relationship and 1
means the two variables are perfectly related. In the above table, DVI-Short
Form scale items were correlated against the DVI scales in this sample of DVI
data. DVI-Short Form scales are subsets of DVI scales (same items are in both
tests), and they are shown to be highly correlated with the DVI scales. For
domestic violence offender assessment, test users now have a choice: DVI or DVI-Short Form.
Internal consistencies (coefficient alphas) for DVI-Short Form scales are reported in the
following table for 5,311 domestic violence offenders assessed in the year 2002. This is one among
several year 2002 samples.
RELIABILITY OF THE DVI-SHORT FORM
|DVI-Short Form Scales
Stress Coping Abilities
All DVI-Short Form scales have alpha
coefficients well above the professionally accepted standard of .75 and are
highly reliable. All coefficient alphas are significant at the p<.001 level.
Early DVI studies used criterion
measures and were validated with other tests, e.g., Minnesota Multiphasic
Personality Inventory (MMPI) L-Scale and F-Scale, 16PF, MacAndrews, MMPI
Psychopathic Deviate, Treatment Intervention Inventory, SAQ-Adult Probation
III, etc. Much of this research is summarized in the document titled "DVI: An
Inventory of Scientific Findings."
All DVI scales correlate significantly with corresponding
DVI-Short Form scales. The "standard" DVI contains the same six measures or
scales in the DVI-Short Form. We refer to the longer original DVI as the "standard
test." If interested in the DVI, you can click on the following link to go to
Domestic Violence Inventory (DVI) webpage.
The DVI-Short Form is available on Windows diskettes.
Windows diskettes require a one-time computer setup procedure after which
DVI-Short Form data diskettes (25 or 50 tests) are used to score and print
reports. Training manuals are provided free, and new test users can be walked
through these scoring procedures over Risk & Needs Assessment, Inc.'s (Risk & Needs) telephone line.
Proprietary DVI-Short Form diskettes contain 25 or 50 test applications. These 3½"
diskettes score, interpret and print reports on-site. Once an account is established,
ordered diskettes are mailed to users. Approximately 97% of orders are filled
and mailed back to users the same day. When all test applications are used,
diskettes are returned to Risk & Needs where the demographics (e.g., gender, ethnicity)
and test data are downloaded into the DVI-Short Form database for subsequent
database analysis. The proprietary "delete names" program is activated by the
test user with a few keystrokes to delete all respondent names from diskettes
before they are returned to Risk & Needs. Deleting all offender names insures
protection of each offender's confidentiality and compliance with HIPAA
(federal regulation 45 C.F.R. 164.501).
The DVI-Short Form system contains a proprietary built-in database. Earlier, it was noted that
all DVI-Short Form used diskettes are returned to Risk & Needs, and the test data is downloaded
into the DVI-Short Form database. This expanding database allows ongoing research and testing
program summary features that were not possible before. Ongoing research ensures quality
control. Annual testing program summaries provide for program self-evaluation.
No personal information, names, social security
numbers, etc. are ever downloaded into any test database. After downloading test data returned diskettes
Annual Summary Reports
Risk & Needs can access each of its
tests' built-in databases for statistical analysis and summarization of all
tests administered in a year. Annual Summary Reports are prepared
for state, department, agency and even some individual providers -- at no
cost to them. These reports are provided as a professional courtesy
to large volume test users. Summary reports include demographics,
court-history when relevant, and test statistics (reliability, validity
and accuracy). Has anyone offered to summarize your testing program?
Annually? At no additional cost to you? Minimum testing volume for
annual reports is 350 tests. There is no maximum limit. Risk & Needs' annual reports range in size from 350 tests to over 55,000 tests annually.
An example Annual Summary Report can be viewed by clicking on this
Annual Summary Report link.
Staff Member Input
The DVI-Short Form is to be used in
conjunction with experienced staff judgment. When available, court and
adjustment records should be reviewed, as they can contain important
information not provided or incorrectly provided by the offender. Experienced
staff should also interview the client. For these reasons, the following
statement is contained in each DVI-Short Form report: "DVI-Short Form results
are confidential and are considered working hypotheses. No diagnosis or
decision should be based solely upon DVI-Short Form results." The DVI-Short
Form is to be used in conjunction with experienced staff judgment.
Why Develop the DVI-Short Form?
Domestic Violence is an all too frequent
serious crime. It varies in severity from swearing or pushing to battering.
Contributing factors are many and include substance (alcohol and other drugs)
abuse, violence (lethality) propensity, control issues and impaired stress
coping abilities. The DVI-Short Form evaluates all of these important areas of inquiry.
Approximately 20+ percent of domestic
violence offenders are reading impaired. The 76-item DVI-Short Form is more
concise than the DVI. The DVI-Short Form enables many reading impaired offenders
to complete the DVI.
Perhaps the biggest reason for
developing the DVI-Short Form test was user requests. Many current and
potential test users requested that we develop the DVI-Short Form. Risk & Needs spent years developing the DVI-Short Form. And, it wasn't
released to the public until Risk & Needs' staff were satisfied with its reliability,
validity and accuracy.
Unique DVI-Short Form Features
Measures how truthful the respondent was while completing the DVI-Short Form.
This scale identifies denial, problem minimization and faking. Many domestic
violence offenders attempt to minimize their problems. The DVI-Short Form's
Truthfulness Scale has been validated with other tests, truthfulness studies
and the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) L and F-Scales. It
consists of a number of items that most people agree or disagree with. This
important scale has been demonstrated to be reliable, valid and accurate. Much
of this research is reported in the document titled "DVI: An Inventory of
Truth-Corrected Scores: Have proven to be important in enhancing
assessment accuracy. This proprietary
truth correction program is comparable to the MMPI's K-Scale corrections
methodology. The DVI-Short Form's Truthfulness Scale has been correlated with
the other five DVI-Short Form scales. The Truth Correction equation then
converts raw scores to Truth-Corrected scores. Raw scores reflect what the
offender wants you to know. Truth-Corrected scores reveal what the offender is
trying to hide. Truth-Corrected scores are more accurate than raw scores.
Violence (Lethality) Scale:
Measures the offender's propensity for
using force to injure, damage or destroy. It identifies the offender's danger to self and
others. The growing awareness of violence in our society resulted in the
inclusion of the Violence (Lethality) Scale in the DVI-Short Form.
When screening violence or lethality potential is important, we recommend you use the DVI-Short Form.
Within the context of domestic violence, the terms violence and domestic violence are used interchangeably.
psychoanalytic theory is the process of restraining or regulating impulses. In
social psychology, control is often a synonym of power or influence. In
domestic violence, "control" refers to the process of restraining, regulating
or controlling others. Controlling behaviors include, but are not limited to,
pushing, swearing, intimidation and hitting. The concept of control has become
an important construct in domestic violence research. Consequently,
Control Scale was added to the DVI-Short Form in 1998. The inclusion of
the Control Scale is an example of the DVI-Short Form being designed
specifically to assess domestic violence perpetrators. The Control Scale adds
greatly to our assessment and understanding of domestic violence perpetrators.
This important area of inquiry is overlooked by other domestic violence tests.
Substance Abuse Screening
is important because alcohol and/or drug use is often associated with domestic
violence. The Alcohol Scale identifies alcohol use and measures the
severity of abuse. Similarly, the
Drugs Scale identifies illicit drug
use and measures the severity of abuse.
Stress Coping Abilities Scale:
Measures how well the respondent handles tension, stress and pressure. This
scale goes beyond establishing whether or not the respondent is experiencing
stress. It determines how well the respondent handles or copes with stress.
Stress exacerbates emotional and mental health symptoms. Consequently, this
scale is a non-introversive way to screen established (diagnosable) mental
health problems. A client scoring at or above the 90th percentile
on the Stress Coping Abilities Scale should be referred to a certified/licensed mental health
professional for a more comprehensive evaluation and
diagnosis, as warranted. This important area of inquiry is missed by other
domestic violence tests.
DVI-Short Form Scale Interpretation
There are several levels of DVI-Short
Form scale interpretation ranging from viewing the DVI-Short Form as a
self-report to interpreting scale elevations and interrelationships.
Since the DVI-Short Form evolved from the Domestic Violence Inventory (DVI),
readers are encouraged to examine this discussion on the DVI webpage. To
review the DVI scale interpretation discussion, click on this
link. This link goes to the DVI webpage. You may click on your
browsers "Back" button to return to this webpage.
More than just another alcohol or drugs
test. In addition to alcohol and drugs, the
DVI-Short Form assesses other important areas of inquiry like truthfulness,
violence (lethality), control issues and stress coping abilities. The
DVI-Short Form is designed specifically for domestic violence perpetrator assessment.
Three ways to give the DVI-Short Form.
The DVI-Short Form can be administered in three different ways:
Paper-pencil test booklet format. This is the most popular testing procedure.
English and Spanish test booklets are available.
2. The DVI-Short Form
can be given directly on the computer screen. And,
3. Human Voice Audio
involves a computer and a headset. The client uses the up-down arrow keys. As
the client goes from question to answer with the arrow keys, that question or
answer is highlighted on the monitor (screen) and simultaneously read to the
client. These three test administration modes are discussed in the "DVI:
Orientation and Training Manual." Each test administration mode has advantages
and some limitations. Risk & Needs offers these three test
administration modes so test users can select the test administration mode
that is best suited to their needs.
Reading impaired assessment.
Reading impaired respondents represent 20+ percent of the domestic violence
perpetrators tested. This represents a serious problem to other domestic
violence tests. In contrast, Risk & Needs has developed a proprietary alternative for reading
impaired assessment, which is termed "Human Voice Audio."
Human Voice Audio.
Human Voice Audio is available in English and Spanish. It helps resolve many
reading and cultural differences issues. A person's passive vocabulary is often
greater than their active (spoken) vocabulary. Hearing items read out loud
often helps reduce cultural and communication problems. As discussed earlier,
"Human Voice Audio" test presentation requires a computer, earphones and
simple instructions regarding how to operate the up-down arrow keys located on
the computer keyboard. Without this "Human Voice Audio" option, a domestic
violence perpetrator testing program could be limited.
Risk & Needs encourages test users to delete respondent names from diskettes before
they are returned to Risk & Needs. This proprietary name deletion procedure involves a
few keystrokes. Once respondent names are deleted, they are gone and cannot be
retrieved. Deleting names does not delete demographics or test data, which is
downloaded into the DVI-Short Form database for subsequent analysis. This
procedure insures client confidentiality and compliance with HIPAA (federal
regulation 45 C.F.R. 164.501).
Test Data Input Verification:
This proprietary program allows the person that inputs test data from the
answer sheet into the computer to verify the accuracy of their data input. In
brief, test data is input twice, and any inconsistencies between the first and
second data entries are highlighted until corrected. When the first and second
data entries match or are the same, the staff person may continue. Use of this
data input verification procedure is optional, yet strongly recommended by
Risk & Needs.
Risk & Needs' staff are available to participate in DVI-Short Form
training programs scheduled by test users in the United States. Large
departments/agencies or statewide programs often are interested in DVI-Short
Form training. Sometimes, smaller agencies or departments get together for a
joint training session on the DVI-Short Form. Risk & Needs gives
attendees certificates attesting to their DVI-Short Form training.
Staff training is also provided on Fridays at Risk & Needs' Phoenix offices from 8:30 a.m.
to 11:30 a.m. or from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. These training sessions are free. To participate,
contact Risk & Needs at least ten days in advance. Participation is on a first call, first
The Domestic Violence Inventory was
conceptualized after years of evaluating people accused or convicted of
domestic violence for the courts, attorneys, probation and corrections departments
as well as counseling and treatment agencies. Years of psychometric research followed.
The goal from the beginning has been to develop a practical, helpful and psychometrically sound
instrument. Practical in the sense that it can be completed in a reasonable amount of time; helpful
in terms of providing useful information to people working with domestic violence perpetrators; and
psychometrically sound with regard to reliability, validity and accuracy.
Risk & Needs achieved
that goal with the Domestic Violence Inventory (DVI). And, in response to test users' requests,
Risk & Needs developed the DVI-Short Form.
Risk & Needs staff is proud of the DVI and
the DVI-Short Form and believe we have successfully achieved the goals set
forth above, i.e., a practical, helpful and psychometrically sound test.
Now, our mission is to maintain these
objectives while sustaining the DVI and DVI-Short Form's state-of-the-art
reputation. We are aided in these efforts by both the DVI and the DVI-Short
Form's built-in databases, which facilitate ongoing research.
Hopefully, this dialogue explains why the
Domestic Violence Inventory (DVI) and the DVI-Short Form are two of the very few tests designed
specifically for domestic violence perpetrator assessment.
In conclusion, we know that DVI and
DVI-Short Form user feedback is important. User feedback has contributed to
the design (e.g., 6 scales) and updation (e.g., Control Scale) of the DVI and
the development of the DVI-Short Form. We appreciate DVI-Short Form user feedback whether it is by
phone, e-mail or letter.
Test Unit Fee (Cost)
DVI-Short Form cost information can be reviewed by clicking on the
Test Unit Fee
(Cost) link. There is only the one cost or charge, and that is the test unit
fee. Everything else is included at no additional cost to the test user. This
includes test booklets, answer sheets, training manuals, upgrades, ongoing
database research, annual summary testing reports, staff training, and support
services. Do not be misled by some test publishers' à la carte pricing like
separate costs for each test administration as well as for each of the
test-related items listed above. Instead of asking for the test administration
cost, ask for the total cost involved in using a test. We believe Risk & Needs' one test
unit fee is very affordable.
Free Examination Kit
A 1-test DVI-Short Form demonstration diskette is
available on a 30-day cost free basis. Demo diskettes are in
format. The examination kit contains a 1-test demo diskette, Installation CD (with instructions),
test booklet (reusable), an answer sheet (can photocopy), a "DVI: Orientation and
Training Manual," and some descriptive information.
Risk & Needs does want the demonstration diskette and test booklet returned
within 30 days of receipt.
Risk & Needs provides a full range of support services that includes:
information dissemination (descriptive materials, demo diskettes and staff presentations);
orders (97% returned the same day received);
test-related materials (no additional
cost); consultation & support of research (free discussion, cooperation
and DVI-Short Form-related support);
training (high volume users and statewide programs' on-site presentations);
first time user
(telephone walk-through available);
support (software and
test-related); DVI-Short Form updates (no additional cost); and
other (as long as it is test-related). Risk
& Needs is committed to providing DVI-Short Form support services to
interested parties and test users.
Selecting a Domestic Violence Offender Assessment Instrument or Test
If you are selecting a domestic violence
offender assessment instrument, the following Comparison Checklist should prove
helpful. This checklist itemizes important assessment and screening qualities.
The "Other" column represents any other test you might want to compare to the
Domestic Violence Inventory Short Form.
TEST COMPARISON CHECKLIST
Designed Specifically for Domestic Violence
Test Reliability & Validity Research Provided
Test Completed in 30 Minutes
On-Site Reports within 3 Minutes
Truthfulness Scale to Detect Faking
Truth-Corrected Scores for Accuracy
Three Test Administration Options
1. Paper-Pencil (English and Spanish)
2. On Computer Screen (English and Spanish)
3. Human Voice Audio (English and Spanish)
Delete Names (confidentiality) Procedure
HIPAA (federal regulation) Compliant
Test Data Input Verification (accurate scoring)
Built-in Database (Free)
Annual Database Research (Free)
Annual Test Program Summary (Free)
Juvenile Version (DVI-Juvenile)
Outcome Measure (DVI Pre-Post)
Specific Scale Score-Related Recommendations
Alcohol and Drugs Scales
Violence (Lethality) Scale
Stress Coping Abilities Scale
Large Research Database
Very Affordable Test Unit Fee
Comprehensive Assessment (six scales)
Easily Understood and Helpful Reports
|ASAM Compatible Recommendations
Staff Training (Free)
Examination Kits (Free)
* * * * *
DVI-SHORT FORM REPORT
Within 2½ minutes of test data entry, automated (computer-scored) reports are printed on-site.
These reports summarize a lot of information in an easily understood format. For
example, reports include a DVI-Short Form Profile (graph), which summarizes
scale scores at a glance. Also included are attained scale scores, an
explanation of what each score means and specific score-related
recommendations. In addition, significant items (direct admissions) are
highlighted, and answers to a built-in interview (last sequence of items) are
presented. Emphasis is placed on having meaningful reports that are helpful
and easily understood.
DVI-SHORT FORM REPORT
* * * * *