The American Psychological Association’s (APA) ethical guidelines identify that psychological tests should only be utilized on populations for which reliability and validity have been established. Likewise, the APA specifies gender to be nonbinary, encouraging clinicians to utilize inclusive and accurate measures. Following such guidelines when conducting violence risk assessments with women and individuals who identify as non-binary is currently challenging because a majority of violence risk assessment tools utilize a male normative sample. Applying such tools to populations beyond a cisgender male can result in misclassifications of individual risk. When risk is misclassified, improper interventions are utilized, which leads to an increase in the probability of recidivism. In response, research has begun to explore gender-responsive modifications to violence risk assessment tools; however, these options have yet to be synthesized in one place. Therefore, this systematic literature review was the first study to identify gender-responsive modifications and which risk assessment tools have implemented them, what suggestions have been made for relevant future research, and how this literature defines gender. Through a comprehensive and detailed review, nine databases were examined, ultimately identifying 59 literature sources that were analyzed using deductive and inductive coding and narrative synthesis. In total, this study identified nine unique means by which violence risk assessment tools may become gender-responsive, alongside 13 violence risk assessment tools that have implemented these modifications. Likewise, this study’s results also identified 13 total suggested modifications, split across four categories of potential implementation. Recommendations for clinical use and research on these measures and modifications are discussed. Finally, of note, since none of the synthesized resources examined non-binary gender, with only two resources even mentioning gender outside of binary terms, it is critical that researchers work to create appropriate violence risk assessment measures for this population.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Gender nonconformity; Risk Assessment; Violence--Forecasting

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Susan Hall