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The Role of Forensic Psychology in the Investigation


Many job environments overseen by forensic psychology experts are multidisciplinary (Greene & Wrightsman, 2013). Because of this, forensic psychologists more often work with other professionals with limited knowledge in this field. Working with non-treatment staff presents exceptional challenges to the customary provision of mental health services (Edens, 2001). The above challenges pose some ethical issues such as confidentiality and misuse of psychological information.

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Ethical issues when working with non-treatment staff

Confidentiality is an essential feature of a therapeutic bond. Forensic psychologists are bound by a code of ethics to safeguard clients’ information. The ethical challenge associated with confidentiality is often encountered when working with non-treatment staff like in a prison setting. For instance, a convict can inform a psychologist about a planned escape attempt (Greene & Wrightsman, 2013). In such situations, the expert will be faced with a dilemma. He or she will decide whether to report the issue to the wardens and risk revealing the convict’s identity to the authorities or not. To address the above challenge, psychologists should identify limitations associated with confidentiality and discuss these restrictions with all relevant parties. The constraints comprise of prison break plans and physical harm.

When working with non-treatment staff, abuse of psychological information may regularly occur (Vaughn, 2005). Psychologists are mandated by their code of ethics to ensure that the data they collect from their clients are utilized as intended. However, correctional staff working with psychiatrists may emphasize on negative information and ignore the positive facts about a customer. To address the issue, psychologists should be cautious before releasing these data. Similarly, the experts should demand the intention as to why the information is necessary.

Risk factors associated with juvenile violence

The article selected is The Relationship between Personality, Anger Expression, and Perceived Family Control among Incarcerated Male Juveniles (Coles, Greene & Braithwaite, 2002). The article proposes that many psychological and communal features can interrelate to place juvenile at risk of violent behaviors. There are many risk factors associated with violence in youths. The literature focused on two of these factors. They were personality and family. With a varied illustration of male teenagers at risks of aggression, an investigation was done to classify the juveniles with respect to their characters. The findings noted three clusters. The groups were related with respect to their fury expression, trait anxiety, and character anger. There was no relationship between the groups and family control. In conclusion, the article noted that increased psychopathology in male criminals was linked with nervousness rather than family control.


Coles, C., Greene, A., & Braithwaite, H. (2002). The relationship between personality, anger expression, and perceived family control among incarcerated male juveniles. Psychological Reports, 37(146), 395-409.

Drayton, M. (2009). The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2. Occupational Medicine, 59(2), 135-136.

Edens, J. (2001). Assessment of juvenile psychopathy and its association with violence: A critical review. Behavioral Sciences and the Law, 19(1), 53−80.

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Greene, E., & Wrightsman, L. (2013). Wrightsman’s psychology and the legal system (8th ed.). Belmont, CA: Thomson/ Wadsworth.

Romm, S., & Bockian, N. (2002). Factor-Based Prototypes of the Million Adolescent Clinical Inventory in Adolescents Referred in Residential Treatment. Journal Of Personality Assessment, 72(1), 125-143.

Vaughn, M. (2005). The construct of psychopathy and its potential contribution to the study of serious, violent, and chronic youth offending. Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice, 3(3), 235−252.

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