My contributions to the field of sexual abuse include using multi-method, inter-disciplinary approaches to improve risk assessment, treatment, and policy recommendations. I have published over 20 peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, conference presentations, and magazine articles on research related to sexual offending. I have also obtained over $280,000 for my research activities and service initiatives, including awards, scholarships, and program development grants. Most notably, I was awarded the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship ($150,000) through the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. The Vanier is the highest award offered to doctoral students by Canadian federal funding agencies and is given to those who exemplify excellence in academics, research, and leadership.
My focus on understanding offending is divided into two research programs. First, I am continuing to advance the evidence base for risk assessment tools. Three of my current risk assessment projects include producing standardized risk categories (see Justice Centre, 2014 for description of the common language project) for the STABLE-2007 and rules for combining it with the Static-99R/2002R, a meta-analysis on the predictive validity of the STABLE-2007, and using standardized risk categories as a method for combining risk judgments across a diverse set of tools (e.g., Psychopathy Checklist-Revised, Violence Risk Appraisal Guide, Level of Service Inventory – Revised). Optimizing our use of risk assessment tools in this manner will improve the accuracy of evaluators decision making and improve communication between professionals. Secondly, my doctoral research is using data collected by Public Safety Canada to model underlying psychological dimensions that discriminate between sexual recidivists and non-recidivists. Although these distinctions are frequently hypothesized, there are few studies using latent modeling techniques to examine the structure of these phenomena. Such an understanding will aid clinical formulation and case management. It is my hope that these research programs contribute to the ongoing academic and professional discussion required for keeping society safe.