Rebecca Elliott, Psy.D., is a 2022 graduate of the Psy.D. Program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, New England

Dissertation Committee:

  • Kathi Borden, PhD, Committee Chair
  • Monique Bowen, PhD, Committee Member
  • Thomas Powell, PhD, Committee Member


forensic evaluation, personality assessment inventory, gender

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Rates of female criminality appear to be rising (The Sentencing Project, 2022), and thus more women are likely to present for evaluation in a forensic capacity. A majority of research in the field of criminal behavior has focused exclusively on male populations. A dearth of research examining risk factors among female offenders has led to a lack of empirically validated tools used to assess women. Additionally, research on gender differences within a forensic population representing a wide range of referral questions has not been conducted. Women offenders present with unique and different risk factors than men (Grimbos et al., 2016); thus, gender-responsive assessment is warranted to facilitate the development of informed clinical opinions regarding risk, needs, and recommended treatment. The Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI) is a widely used self-report measure of personality (Morey, 2007) that assists forensic evaluators by offering additional clinical information relevant to psychopathology and treatment. The present quantitative study was designed to examine gender differences in a unique forensic sample using the PAI, providing information about the profiles of males and females referred for forensic evaluation. This study expanded the knowledge base regarding differences and similarities in psychopathology between men and women within a forensic population. These findings highlight the importance of maintaining a gender-responsive approach to forensic assessment that will lead to more valid assessment results and treatment recommendations. The PAI is discussed regarding its utility within gender-responsive assessment in a sample of this kind. Recommendations for forensic evaluators are also offered.


Rebecca Elliott

ORCID Scholar ID# 0000-0001-5235-4618