Incremental validity analyses of the violence risk appraisal guide and the psychopathy checklist: screening version in a civil psychiatric sample.
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This study compares two instruments frequently used to assess risk for violence, the Violence Risk Appraisal Guide (VRAG) and the Psychopathy Checklist: Screening Version (PCL:SV), in a large sample of civil psychiatric patients. Despite a strong bivariate relationship with community violence, the VRAG could not improve on the predictive validity of the PCL:SV alone, even though the VRAG includes several ostensible violence risk factors other than psychopathy. Moreover, incremental validity analyses indicated that the remaining VRAG items accounted for little or no variance in violent outcomes once psychopathy scores were controlled. Conversely, the PCL:SV continued to account for considerable variance after controlling for the VRAG. These results reflect the limited validity of the VRAG items in civil psychiatric samples beyond the variance that is explained by the PCL:SV alone.