Find out more about our research and publications

Griffith Youth Forensic Service operates as part of a broader program of research and practice at Griffith University concerned with understanding and preventing sexual violence and abuse. The research team has generated more than $12 million in external grants and consultancies, and has over 100 publications including books, book chapters, journal articles and reports. Research is funded primarily from external sources such as the Australian Research Council, Criminology Research Council,Queensland's Department of Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander Partnerships and the Australian Government’s Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Scientist-practitioner model

An explicit theoretical base and empirical support for practice forms one of the principles on which Griffith Youth Forensic Service is based.

The close relationship between our clinicians and Griffith University researchers provides a resource base for our practice.

We embrace principles of evidence-based practice to ensure ongoing evaluation of program activities and outcomes, as well as delivery of proven and promising interventions.

The delivery of service and parallel research activity serves to inform practice and generate data on which to base future practice.

The ongoing evolution of the program is based in the scientist-practitioner model (Jones and Mehr, 2007). The model advocates that psychologists need to be knowledgeable of clinical and research practices, and has three main assumptions:

  • Assumption 1: psychologists who have research knowledge and skills facilitate a more effective clinical service and thus ensure service continuity and demand
  • Assumption 2: the development of a scientific database is essential to inform and improve a  clinical practice
  • Assumption 3: researchers who are directly involved in a clinical practice (evidence-based practice) have the capacity to study important social issues, thus complimenting practice-based evidence.

The model provides a foundation to our research and scientific practice.

GYFS incorporates an evidence-based approach to understanding, treating and preventing youth sexual offending.

For more information about the scientist-practitioner model, refer to:

  • Jones, J. L., & Mehr, S. L. (2007). Foundations and assumptions of the scientist-practitioner model. The American Behavioral Scientist, 50(6), 766-771.


Our applied research activities include the examination of:

  • developmental pathways of adolescent and adult sexual offenders
  • onset, progression and desistance among offenders
  • risk prediction
  • institutional responses to sexual offending.

More topics of research

  • adverse childhood experiences including domestic family violence and young people who engage in harmful sexual behaviour
  • clinical and forensic psychological interventions with adolescent and adult offenders
  • internet sexual offending and impacts on police investigating these matters
  • comparing adolescence and adult onset sexual offending
  • place-based investigations using a ‘realist evaluation’ perspectives
  • serious non-sex offender comparison groups.

Research placements

Griffith Youth Forensic Service provides opportunities for postgraduate students who are interested in gaining research experience within the field of adolescent sexual offending. Students are supervised by experienced GYFS researchers and/or the GYFS Director Associate Professor John Rynne or Deputy Director Research, Dr Danielle A Harris. For more information about research placements and opportunities, contact us.

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GYFS-related publications

Explore our peer-reviewed articles, books, book chapters and other publications.

Completed research

Delve deeper into our previous research projects and discover more about our research strengths.

More information

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