The Department of Defense (DoD) Family Advocacy Program (FAP) office conducts research as necessary to facilitate its mission to prevent domestic and child abuse; promote early identification and coordinated, comprehensive intervention, assessment, and support to victims; and to provide assessment, rehabilitation, and treatment to alleged abusers.
Study: Refinement of FAP Maltreatment Severity Scales
Investigators: Dr. Richard E. Heyman and Dr. Amy M. Slep, SUNY-Stony Brook
Purpose: To create a reliable joint-Service severity scale for substantiated abuse incidents.
Background: Each military Service is required to assign a severity level of mild, moderate, or severe to each incident of substantiated abuse entered into the Service and DoD FAP Central Registries. The unique Service processes for determining severity affect data reliability and joint-Service interpretation. The project aims to create a scale based on a well-defined decision tree that focuses on the physical and/or psychological impact of the incident.
Status: The study is currently ongoing.
Study: Phase III Domestic Abuse Risk Assessment Project
Investigators: Dr. Sandra M. Stith, Kansas State University; Dr. Joel Milner, Northern Illinois University; and Dr. Rene Robichaux, Behavioral Health Division, Army Medical Command
Purpose: To provide predictive validity data on the Joint-Service Spouse Physical Maltreatment Clinician’s Guide to Risk Assessment.
Background: DoD policy requires FAP clinicians to assess the likelihood of future abuse by substantiated domestic abuse offenders. None of the risk assessment tools used in the civilian community have been empirically validated for a military population. This four-phased project will design and test a joint-Service risk assessment tool to predict recidivism.
Status: The Phase I pilot study was completed. In Phase II, data was collected at twelve installations across all four Services and Phase I findings were cross-validated. A fifty-six item tool, the “Joint-Service Spouse Physical Maltreatment Clinician’s Guide to Risk Assessment,” was developed and pilot tested. Phase III established the feasibility of the study design to establish predictive validity for the tool, using data from Fort Riley and Fort Hood. In the final Phase IV of the study, data is being collected from at least fifty additional victims using the design studied in Phase III to establish predictive validity for the risk assessment tool.