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The Effect of Missing Item Data on the Relative Predictive Accuracy of Correctional Risk Assessment Tools

Missing data are pervasive in risk assessment but their impact on predictive accuracy has largely been unexplored. Common techniques for handling missing risk data include summing available items or proration; however, multiple imputation is a more defensible approach that ...

Published onFeb 23, 2024
The Effect of Missing Item Data on the Relative Predictive Accuracy of Correctional Risk Assessment Tools
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 ABSTRACT

Missing data are pervasive in risk assessment but their impact on predictive accuracy has largely been unexplored. Common techniques for handling missing risk data include summing available items or proration; however, multiple imputation is a more defensible approach that has not been methodically tested against these simpler techniques. We compared the validity of these three missing data techniques across six conditions using STABLE-2007 (N = 4,286) and SARA-V2 (N = 455) assessments from men on community supervision in Canada. Condition 1 was the observed data (low missingness), and Conditions 2 to 6 were generated missing data conditions, whereby 1% to 50% of items per case were randomly deleted in 10% increments. Relative predictive accuracy was unaffected by missing data, and simpler techniques performed just as well as multiple imputation, but summed totals underestimated absolute risk. The current study therefore provides empirical justification for using proration when data are missing within a sample.

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