Detecting the Potential for Violence

Jane F. Gilgun

Smashwords Edition

Copyright 2012 by Jane F. Gilgun

About the Author

Jane F. Gilgun, Ph.D., LICSW, is a professor, School of Social Work, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, USA. See other books, articles, & children’s stories by Jane Gilgun on


This article presents an assessment that helps professionals detect the potential for violence. The assessment is balanced and looks at both risks and protective factors. Rather than having a zero tolerance policy where a single risk can get a child expelled, this assessment looks at the whole child, especially the factors that show the child is at low risk to act out in violent ways.

Detecting the Potential for Violence

Persons who have to decide about the levels of risk for violent behaviors must look at a wide range of factors. The following is a framework for assessing the potential for violence. The framework covers five areas:

____One: precipitating events,

____Two: patterns of direct statements,

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