ERIC Number: EJ896532
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Sep
Reference Count: 8
Test Review: Schneller, J. (2005). "Psychosocial Evaluation and Threat Risk Assessment (PETRA)." Lutz, FL--Psychological Assessment Resources
Sullivan, Jeremy R.; Holcomb, Michelle R.
Assessment for Effective Intervention, v35 n4 p253-256 Sep 2010
This article presents a review of the "Psychosocial Evaluation and Threat Risk Assessment" (PETRA), a 60-item self-report instrument "designed to address the psychosocial characteristics most commonly associated with acts of school violence" among middle school and high school students ages 11 to 18 years. The PETRA was developed out of concern that violence assessment approaches such as checklists of risk factors or warning signs were not developed from a norm-referenced perspective and therefore have limited utility for distinguishing typical behavior from atypical behavior. An advantage of the PETRA approach is that the instrument is self-report, which is consistent with the notion that understanding the student's perspective is of paramount importance. Another strength of the PETRA is the inclusion of the Social Desirability and Inconsistency scales. The major weakness associated with the PETRA involves the generalizability of the normative data, as all of the normative data were gathered from one school district in Florida. Thus, the extent to which the data are representative of the United States as a whole is likely limited because of potential regional differences; this is inadequate given the PETRA's intended purpose of providing for norm-referenced interpretation. Finally, it should be noted that the PETRA asks questions about "general" psychosocial functioning, behaviors, attitudes, and perceptions; it does not include any questions about the "specific" threat that a student has made. This leads to the recommendation that the PETRA should be used with other instruments and procedures to provide a more comprehensive assessment of a specific threat.
Descriptors: Violence, Psychological Evaluation, Social Desirability, Test Reviews, Risk, Statistical Data, Validity, Intervention, High School Students, Middle School Students
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: High Schools; Middle Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Florida