Tracey Skilling

Tracey Skilling
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health · Child, Youth & Family Program (CYFP)

Ph.D.

About

44
Publications
17,546
Reads
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1,336
Citations
Additional affiliations
December 2001 - present
University of Toronto
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
January 2001 - present
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
Position
  • Psychologist and Clinician Scientist
Education
September 1995 - October 2000
Queen's University
Field of study
  • Forensic Psychology
September 1993 - August 1995
University of Waterloo
Field of study
  • Addictions
September 1987 - August 1992
Queen's University
Field of study
  • Psychology

Publications

Publications (44)
Article
Research on strengths and violent behavior in justice-involved youth suggests that the prevalence and predictive validity of strength factors vary as a function of gender. Interviews conducted between 2009 and 2012 with 185 justice-involved Canadian youth ( N female = 84, N male = 101; 67% violent index offence) were coded retrospectively using two...
Article
Antisocial attitudes are a strong predictor of reoffending and frequently incorporated into risk assessment tools, including the Youth Level of Service/Case Management Inventory (YLS/CMI). However, YLS/CMI Attitudes/Orientation domain items appear to cover different issues—antisocial attitudes and willingness to engage in treatment—which have diffe...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Stop, Now And Plan (SNAP) is a cognitive behavioral-based psychosocial intervention that has a strong evidence base for treating youth with high aggression and externalizing behaviors, many of whom have disruptive behavior disorders. In a pre-post design, we tested whether SNAP could improve externalizing behaviors, assessed by the pare...
Article
Full-text available
Despite calls for strength-focused approaches in juvenile justice, there is little research on the role of strengths in probation case management. This is one of the first studies to examine whether strengths function as specific responsivity factors as proposed by the risk–need–responsivity model, through mediating and moderating effects, and find...
Article
The relationship between juvenile offending and substance use is well-documented. Understanding this relationship in the context of other criminogenic needs could lead to more effective treatment programming, in an effort to reduce future justice system involvement. This study retrospectively classified 276 substance-using youth in the justice syst...
Article
Several brief screening measures for youth risk to reoffend have been developed; however, these measures have been tested primarily in high-income English-speaking countries and their predictive validity is limited. A recent study proposed a screening strategy using a combination of seven items from the youth Level of Service/Case Management Invent...
Article
The Risk-Need-Responsivity (RNR) model deems criminal attitudes a high-priority criminogenic target for both genders while self-esteem is considered noncriminogenic, hence low priority. In contrast, self-esteem is afforded greater priority among gender-responsive researchers, while the construct of criminal attitudes is afforded lesser priority. We...
Article
Even though risk assessments are routinely conducted in the criminal justice system to inform sentencing and case management, their cross-cultural applicability remains contested. This study investigated the generalizability of the Youth Level of Service/Case Management Inventory (YLS/CMI), a widely implemented youth forensic risk assessment instru...
Article
How complex trauma features and criminogenic needs co-vary within youth justice populations requires examination. This study applies latent profile analysis to a sample of 311 justice-involved Canadian youth (211 male, 100 female) to identify if unique profiles of youth would emerge delineated by different combinations of comorbid needs pulled from...
Article
Full-text available
Elevated rates of traumatic experience in the juvenile justice population are well established. Nevertheless, the role of trauma and its application to rehabilitation and recidivism in a criminal justice context remains hotly debated, particularly for female youth. The Risk-Need-Responsivity framework, the predominant model for risk assessment and...
Article
Sufficient evidence exists that gender should and does matter in offender management. This study examined the predictive validity of risk and strength factors extracted from the Youth Assessment and Screening Instrument (YASI) and the Youth Level of Service/Case Management Inventory (YLS/CMI) in a sample of 254 justice-involved youth (148 males, 10...
Article
Risk assessments that include dynamic risk factors are increasingly being utilized within the youth justice system to predict a young person’s likelihood to reoffend, to assist with case management, and to better inform intervention services. However, most studies to date have relied solely on single-wave cross-sectional research designs that essen...
Article
Full-text available
It is unclear if self-report measures of criminal attitudes and associates—developed and validated predominately on adult male offender samples—can or should be used with justice-involved girls. With a sample of 300 justice-involved youth (100 females, 200 males), this study examined the reliability and validity of the Measure of Criminal Attitudes...
Article
Introduction: There is paucity of research on treatment-related coercion in youth: most research focuses on adult populations and legally mandated treatment. This study aims to examine the service-seeking profiles of youth with substance misuse issues who report a legal mandate or perceived coercion to enter treatment. Methods: Differences betwe...
Article
Despite robust evidence for the efficacy of the Risk-Need-Responsivity (RNR) framework, the needs of youth on community supervision, as identified by risk–need assessments, are frequently not reflected in the services they receive. Potential barriers to recommended service were examined in 219 Canadian youths who were court-ordered to receive foren...
Article
Objective This study examined cross-informant evidence for a general factor of psychopathology (“P”), and a narrower, clinically-oriented dysregulation general factor based on the Dysregulation Profile (“DP”) in a large clinical sample of children and adolescents. We also compared the magnitude of P and DP general factor associations with self-harm...
Article
Pedophilia refers to the recurrent, intense sexual interest in prepubescent children who, by definition, have not developed any secondary sex characteristics. Researchers have begun to investigate whether persons with pedophilia are qualitatively different from those without pedophilia (pedophilia is a taxon) or if people vary in their level of sex...
Article
The Youth Level of Service/Case Management Inventory (YLS/CMI) is a widely used risk assessment tool for youth offenders. It is intended to be administered regularly to capture changes in criminogenic needs and thus inform case management during a youth’s sentence. However, there is a dearth of research examining whether updated assessments are mor...
Article
Understanding the role that mental health issues play in justice-involved youth poses challenges for research, policy, and practice. While mental health problems are generally not risk factors for criminal behavior according to the risk-needs-responsivity (RNR) framework of correctional psychology practice, prevalence rates are very high and RNR pr...
Article
Mental health courts are a promising new approach to addressing the overrepresentation of mental health needs among offender populations, yet little is known about how they facilitate change, particularly for youth. The current study reports on a process evaluation of a youth mental health court in Toronto, Canada. Drawing upon observations of the...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Concurrent mental health and substance use issues are a serious problem for adolescents and transition-aged youth. Service providers across sectors must be involved in informing system change to meet youth needs. This study examines stakeholder perspectives on services for youth with concurrent disorders including 1) clinical issues in...
Article
Strengths constitute an important element of developmental assessments. It is consistent with evidence-based practice to use assessment tools that adequately measure a given construct and are appropriate for use with their targeted population. The Strengths Assessment Inventory-Youth Version (SAI-Y; Rawana & Brownlee, 2010)-a self-report measure of...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Prominent correctional psychology researchers argue that the psychological constructs of criminal attitudes and associates are two of the strongest dynamic predictors of criminal behaviour irrespective of gender (Andrews & Bonta, 2010). In contrast, feminist criminological researchers are more skeptical regarding the importance of these person-leve...
Article
The fact that individuals with mental health problems are significantly overrepresented in the justice system is a significant concern for public policy and practice. Psychology research examining mental health and risk for criminal offending can be broadly categorized into 2 approaches that have remained either independent of one another or in app...
Article
Full-text available
Youth mental health courts are a relatively new type of specialty court designed to address the mental health needs of justice-involved youth, usually with the ultimate goal of desistance from future offending. As part of a process evaluation of Toronto's first youth mental health court, court records and files for 127 youth who participated in the...
Article
A clinical sample of justice-involved male adolescents and a community comparison group were compared on a battery of cognitive ability tasks (intelligence and executive functions), decision making measures, and other individual difference measures, including ratings of self-control, recognition of morally debatable behaviors, and antisocial belief...
Article
The high prevalence rate of mental health difficulties in youth involved in the justice system raises concerns as well as numerous questions for research, policy, and practice. In this article we examine several aspects of the intersection between mental health and Canadian youth justice policy and practice, with a particular focus on describing mo...
Article
This study qualitatively explored frontline perspectives on the challenges of addressing youths’ criminogenic needs within a risk–need–responsivity (RNR)-based case management framework. Twenty-nine probation officers from Toronto, Canada participated in semistructured interviews. Emergent themes included the importance of targeting “high impact” c...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Prominent correctional psychology researchers argue that the psychological construct of criminal attitudes is one of the strongest dynamic predictors of criminal behavior (Andrews & Bonta, 2010). In contrast, feminist criminological researchers are more skeptical regarding the importance of person level variables such as criminal attitudes in the c...
Article
The Risk-Need-Responsivity (RNR) framework for working with offenders has been well validated. Factors that contribute to reoffending within adult and youth forensic populations have been identified, including antisocial attitudes, but less is known about the measurement of this construct in youth. Thus, in the present study, the reliability and va...
Article
Research on implementation of a case management plan informed by valid risk assessment in justice services is important in contributing to evidence-based practice but has been neglected in youth justice. We examined the connections between risk assessment, treatment, and recidivism by focusing on the individual criminogenic needs domain level. Cont...
Article
Full-text available
Research supports rehabilitative programming that recognizes youth’s level of risk to reoffend and addresses their criminogenic needs and responsivity factors. The risk–need–responsivity (RNR) framework takes a gender-neutral approach that critics assert overlooks the unique needs of female offenders. While matching treatments to RNR principles has...
Article
Full-text available
A well-documented finding in developmental psychopathology research is that different informants often provide discrepant ratings of a youth's internalizing and externalizing problems. The current study examines youth- and parent-based moderators (i.e., youth age, gender, and IQ; type of psychopathology; offense category; psychopathic traits; paren...
Article
Full-text available
This study examined the extent of, and explored several possible explanations for, the discrepancies found between adolescent and parent reports of conduct problems in adolescent sexual and nonsexual offenders. We found that adolescent sexual offenders scored lower on measures of conduct problems than did nonsexual offenders, whether on the basis o...
Article
The rehabilitation of young offenders and their reintegration into society are important goals of the juvenile justice system. An empirically supported model of service delivery attending to the principles of risk level, criminogenic need, and respon- sivity provides direction in achieving these goals. Although research on this model thus far has e...
Article
Full-text available
Background There is frequently great concern about the dangerousness of deinstitutionalized men with intellectual disabilities who have been institutionalized because they are considered to be at high risk for the commission of serious antisocial acts or sexual offending. Unfortunately, there is little information on whether changes in the behaviou...
Book
Full-text available
This book presents an integrated theoretical perspective on antisocial behavior for readers who are seeking a more thorough understanding of juvenile delinquency. The authors have integrated what they have learned from recent empirical and conceptual advances in evolutionary psychology, behavioral genetics, and developmental psychology--three field...
Article
Full-text available
Early starting, lifetime criminal persistence has been called sociopathy, antisocial personality disorder, and psychopathy. There is, however, disagreement about its core features and which measure is best for identifying such individuals. In the 1st of 2 studies of male offenders (n = 74), we found a large association between scores on the Psychop...
Article
Full-text available
It has recently been argued from studies of adults that chronically antisocial offenders constitute a discrete class of individuals. If this is true, it is likely that the class can be identified in childhood. Taxometric analyses were applied to items assessing antisociality in children. These items were similar in content to several established me...
Chapter
Full-text available
As a psychological construct, psychopathy has undergone recent change, and there is still disagreement as to its fundamental character. Nevertheless, it can be reliably and validly measured with such behaviors as callousness, impulsivity, sensation seeking, dishonesty, emotional detachment, extreme selfishness, antisociality, belligerence, juvenile...
Article
This experiment tested the impairing effect of alcohol on cognitive inhibitory control of behavior in the absence of any motivational consequences for exhibiting or inhibiting a response. Men (n = 24) and women (n = 24) were trained on a computerized "go-stop" task that measured response reaction time (RT) to a go signal and inhibitory control by t...

Projects

Project (1)
Project
This is a chapter written by me and my colleagues at the CAMH, Dr.'s Tracey Skilling and Julia Vinik. The chapter is part of a book entitled: "The Safer Society: Handbook of Assessment and Treatment of Adolescents Who Have Sexually Offended." In it, we overview the development and treatment of sexual offending in youth, with an emphasis on trauma.