Date of Award

Summer 2009

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Committee Director

Robert P. Archer

Committee Member

Michelle L. Kelley

Committee Member

David R. Spiegel

Committee Member

Richard W. Handel

Committee Member

John A. Mason


The Massachusetts Youth Screening Instrument-2 (MAYSI-2; Grisso & Barnum, 2006) was developed in 1998 to offer an efficient measure for identifying adolescents within the juvenile justice system in need of further psychiatric evaluation, treatment, or specialized care. Since the instrument's publication, several studies have evaluated the psychometric properties and clinical utility of the MAYSI-2. The current study adds to the literature examining the reliability and validity of this measure. Specifically, the current study sought to evaluate the long-term characteristics and predictive utility of the MAYSI-2 scale scores. This study utilized a sample of 8,929 boys (n = 6.780) and girls (n = 2,149) admitted into one of Virginia's 25 detention facilities between July 2004 and June 2005. During this 12-month period the juvenile detainees were administered the MAYSI-2 from once to as many as nine times, with approximately 35% who had reoffended on at least one occasion. T-tests revealed significantly different MAYSI-2 scale scores for boys and girls. Thus, all analyses were conducted separately by gender. Among both boys and girls, correlations based on number of days between MAYSI-2 administrations revealed stronger test-retest correlational values with briefer time intervals (< 60 days versus > 60 days). A series of repeated measures ANOVAs compared mean MAYSI-2 scale scores across the first three test administrations. Results from these analyses revealed significant decline in test scores on four out of seven MAYIS-2 scales for boys (Angry-Irritable, Depressed-Anxious, Somatic Complaints, and Traumatic Experiences) and four out of six MAYIS-2 scales for girls (Angry-Irritable, Depressed-Anxious, Somatic Complaints, and Suicide Ideation). Logistical regression analyses were conducted to identify significant predictors of recidivism. Results yielded four significant predictors for boys (Alcohol/Drug Use, Angry-Irritable, Depressed-Anxious, and Somatic Complaints) and three significant predictors for girls (Alcohol/Drug Use, Angry-Irritable, and Somatic Complaints). Overall, correct classification was 63.9% for boys and 68.8% for girls. Analyses evaluating the relationship between MAYSI-2 scale scores and length of detention stay were not significant. This study contributes to the literature evaluating the psychometric properties of the MAYSI-2. Recommendations for further research are included.


A Dissertation Submitted to the Faculties of The College of William and Mary, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk State University, and Old Dominion University in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology through the Virginia Consortium Program in Clinical Psychology.


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