An Examination of the Interrater Reliability and Concurrent Validity of the Spousal Assault Risk Assessment Guide – Version 3 (SARA-V3)

December 1, 2016 | By Tara J. Ryan

Simon Fraser University

The Spousal Assault Risk Assessment Guide-Version 2 (SARA-V2; Kropp, Hart, Webster, & Eaves, 1995, 1999, 2008) is one of the most widely used Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) risk assessment tools in the world. After over 20 years, the SARA has been updated to reflect advances in research related to IPV and risk assessment more generally. The purpose of this thesis is to examine the interrater reliability and concurrent validity of the most recent version of the Spousal Assault Risk Assessment-Version 3 (SARA-V3). A total of N = 97 closed IPV cases were used to rate SARA-V3. To examine interrater reliability, a second rater coded n = 30 of the same files using SARA-V3. Interrater reliability for individual risk factors, SARA-V3 numerical total scores, and summary risk ratings fell primarily in the moderate range and consistent with prior research. Other raters had previously coded the same files with SARA-V2 and a number of other IPV risk assessment tools, and these tools served as the basis for evaluating the concurrent validity of the SARA-V3. ICCs were mostly in the fair to good range indicating adequate interrater reliability. Correlations between SARA-V3 and other IPV risk assessments were medium to large indicating good concurrent validity. Overall, the interrater reliability and concurrent validity findings were in line with previous research on SARA-V2 and the other assessments of IPV risk. Limitations of this study and implications for future research and practice are discussed.


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