Relational risk factors for reoffending in women: A systematic review

Mette K. F. Kreis*, Matthias Schwannauer, Kirsty Gillings

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Dysfunctional interpersonal relationships are highlighted as an important dynamic risk factor for reoffending in women. However, quantitative research in this area is scarce and findings inconsistent, with key meta-analytical reviews limited in relation to adult women offenders. This has important implications for appropriate risk assessment of women. A systematic review was conducted of the literature guided by, among others, Centre for Reviews and Dissemination methodology on evaluating observational studies. The review evaluated the quantitative empirical evidence for an association between interpersonal relationships, especially with family and intimate partners, and recidivism in women, and the underlying psychological processes involved. The search resulted in eight included studies. Most were of fair methodological quality, but with several limitations. Findings were inconsistent but suggested that relational factors may be relevant to reoffending in women in interaction with other complex factors. This may help inform more effective risk assessment, risk management and intervention with women offenders. The findings highlighted the need for research exploring the interaction and mediating effects of various factors, including relationships, on women's reoffending, and the psychological processes involved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)381-393
Number of pages13
JournalInternational journal of forensic mental health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • female offenders
  • recidivism
  • criminogenic needs
  • risk
  • interpersonal relationships
  • pathways
  • need


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