Griffith Youth Forensic Service (GYFS) 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 (ARC), Criminology Research Council (CRC) and the Australian Government’s Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
The Scientist - Practitioner Model
An explicit theoretical base and empirical support for practice forms one of the principles on which GYFS is based. The close relationship between GYFS clinicians and Griffith University researchers provides a resource base for GYFS practice. GYFS embraces 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.
Applied research activities of GYFS 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;
• prevention of child sexual abuse (primary, secondary and tertiary);
• 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 nonsex offender comparison groups.
Refer to information about research placements and opportunities for more information.
Refer to current research for more information about current GYFS-related research projects.
Refer to the completed research for more information about past GYFS-related research projects.