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EARLs Research

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Research on the EARL-20B and EARL-21G demonstrates that the tools show promising clinical utility, reliability and predictive validity. They are easy-to-use, clinically useful, reliable and are statistically significant predictors of future antisocial conduct. Importantly, they have been shown to be better predictors of future antisocial behaviour than unstructured clinical opinion, providing strong support for use as decision-enhancing tools. These tools help to fill the gap between research and clinical practice by providing guidance for evaluating and addressing meaningful risk/need factors among conduct disordered children and can be used to support clinical risk management plans.

EARLs Research Highlights:

  • EARL-20B total scores predict criminal outcome:
    • In a sample of 379 boys who were found guilty of an offence, their EARL-20B scores were significantly higher than for those boys who were not found guilty of an offence.
    • Results indicate that as the risk factor scores increase across child, family and responsivity subscales of the EARL-20B, so does the probability of falling into a high-or moderate risk class for delinquent behaviour.
  • Finding from the EARL Three-Factor Structure indicated that as the Family and Child subscales increase, the number of property and serious offences increase.
  • EARL-20B risk evaluation predicts more consistently than clinicians’ unstructured risk evaluations.
  • Girls' total risk scores on the EARL 21G and girls' initial severity of behaviour problems across parent and teacher reported behaviour scales are found to be strongly associated. The higher the total risk score, the higher the level of behaviour problems and the slower the rate of effects immediately following treatment intervention.

We are interested in learning about any work you have done with the EARLs and would greatly appreciate receiving any summaries, reports or articles of your work. We are working toward establishing a collaborative research community that highlights national and international work on the tools. For more information, please contact Margaret Walsh.

“The invaluable services we are providing in the City of Hamilton would not be possible without the strong support received from the CCCO at CDI. Their training, research and dissemination activities have assisted us and other communities across Canada to develop model programs, referral mechanisms, community mobilization activities and sound risk assessment for children under 12 in conflict with the law and their families.”

Heather Hunter, Past Chief Executive Officer, Banyan Community Services