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The Effect of Training on the Quality of Criminal Responsibility Nexus Statements

1 January 2017


The study investigated whether targeted training in nexus statement construction would improve forensic examiners’ (N = 44) abilities to substantiate relationships between symptoms and psycholegal impairments when providing an opinion about criminal responsibility. The results indicated that scores on nexus statement construction increased significantly after training. Significant negative correlations existed between pre- and posttraining nexus statement scores and three variables: evaluator age, number of years completing forensic evaluations, and number of forensic reports completed over the participant’s career. The number of forensic reports completed under supervision did not affect the quality of the participants’ nexus statements. The results suggest that writing well-rationalized, articulate nexus statements is difficult to learn and that more extensive training may be needed.


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