Centre for Forensic
Behavioural Science

Aggression and violence postgraduate projects

Our postgraduate students are undertaking research projects focused on violence prevention and intervention programs that can reduce violent behaviour.

Rana Abou-Sinna

The impact of self-concept on the educational engagement of incarcerated young offenders  

The project aims:

  1. to identify the characteristics associated with self-concept in young offenders which are most predictive of educational engagement
  2. to explore how young offenders’ self-concepts differ from those of non-offenders
  3. to explore how young offenders construct their narrative identities (life stories).

Delene Brookstein

For better or worse: Predictive validity of the Historical-Clinical-Risk Management 20 (Version 3) and the Violence Risk Appraisal Guide (Revised) in community settings

This project aims to evaluate the predictive validity of the Historical-Clinical-Risk Management 20 Version 3 (HCR-20 V3) and the Violence Risk Appraisal Guide Revised (VRAG-R) in a sample of Australian forensic psychiatric patients after their discharge into the community. The project also aims to compare the HCR-20 V3 and VRAG-R to their predecessors (HCR-20 V2 and VRAG), to assess whether these newly revised tools improve upon accuracy in violence prediction.

Hannah Ching

Changing face of youth violence

This project seeks to investigate the emerging phenomenon of ‘thrill seeking’ violence by examining the changing patterns of youth violence over the last decade, with particular reference to changes in the functions of violent offences and the psychological characteristics of offenders.

Ashley Dunne

Identifying the key psychological needs of violent offenders with personality disorder

This research examines the relationship between Personality Disorder (PD) and violent offending and the psychological characteristics of high risk offenders with PD.

Julia Hosie

An investigation into the relationship between personality and aggression using the General Aggression Module

This study examines the relationships between personality and aggression using the general aggression (GAM) and five factor models. Specifically, it examines Ferguson and Dyck’s criticisms that the GAM has questionable validity in clinical populations and disproportionately focuses on aggression-related knowledge structures to the detriment of other inputs, specifically personality variables.

Gabrielle Klepfisz

Violent offenders' treatment change in dynamic risk and protective factors: Associations with violent recidivism

The aim of this study is to investigate whether changes on intermediary treatment targets, including dynamic risk factors (criminogenic needs) and dynamic protective factors, are associated with violent recidivism at post-treatment follow-up. This research will provide valuable information to Corrections Victoria staff and parole board decision makers in determining future risk and further supervision and treatment needs.    

Margaret Nixon

Intellectual disability, criminal offending and victimisation: A longitudinal data linkage study

Anecdotal evidence suggests that people with intellectual disability are overrepresented in the criminal justice system as both offenders and victims of crime. This study aims to examine factors that may increase risk or, conversely, act to protect against such involvement and the efficacy of present interventions over time.

This is a novel study with a sample large enough to provide findings that may be generalised to the population of people with an intellectual disability in Victoria. We hope the findings will provide an evidence base for future policy and intervention design.

Tamara Sweller

An analysis of Offence Paralleling Behaviour in a custody-based sex offender treatment program: Can this behaviour be used to predict risk of reoffending?

Individuals commit criminal offences for a variety of reasons although their behaviour preceding, during and after their criminal behaviour can be seen as an attempt to achieve a goal. Offence Paralleling Behaviour (OPB) is behaviour that individuals might engage in to satisfy these goals when in a more structured environment such as prison. This research will investigate the Offence Paralleling Behaviour engaged in by offenders convicted of a sexual offence, as they progress through a sex offender treatment program in custody.

Rachael Watson

The impact of interpersonal style of treatment readiness in an offender population

The focus of this research project is to expand understanding of treatment readiness in offender populations. It will look at interpersonal style (a characteristic pattern of interacting with others). This will be further explored by analysing the impact of interpersonal style on the working alliance within the therapeutic relationship, and the impact of interpersonal style on treatment gain.

Zora Zukabdi

Motivation-ideology-capability risk assessment and treatment management (micra) for preventing ideology-based terrorism recidivism in Indonesia

As of today, there is no standardised risk and need assessment for ideology-based terrorism case offenders. This research will define the domains and factors in risk and need assessment for ideology-based terrorism case offenders.