Participate – Legal rights study

We are a team of researchers from the School of Psychology at Victoria University. We are looking for young people aged 10 to 18 years, and their parents/caregivers, to participate in a research project. This project looks at how well young people and their parents/caregivers understand young peoples’ rights. You can contact us at  or for more information or  click here:

Letter to parents and young person

Young Peoples Study – Information sheet and consent form

Parent Caregiver Study – Information sheet and consent form

Legal competency and youth development


Image from the NZ Police

  • This research strand explores young people’s capacity to understand and participate competently in the justice system and the impact developmental (im)maturity might have on their competency. This includes young people’s understanding of their legal rights (referred to as the rights caution in New Zealand) and issues associated with fitness to stand trial.

Risk and risk assessment 

  • Research in this area focuses on the effectiveness of risk assessment tools in predicting reoffending, particularly amongst youth offender populations. For example, we have evaluated the use of the DRAOR (Dynamic Risk Assessment for Offender Re-Entry) in a New Zealand Corrections sample of youth offenders (17-19 years) and women offenders.

Offender rehabilitation

  • The primary focus of this research theme is identifying effective approaches for the rehabilitation of youth offenders.  This theme spans applied through to theoretical projects.
  • Applied projects evaluate the effectiveness of treatment programmes for youth offenders (e.g., those who have engaged in sexually abusive behaviours or high risk youth).
  • Theoretical work under this theme involves the application of strength-based approaches to offender rehabilitation, with a particular interest in the application of the Good Lives Model (GLM) to the treatment of youth offenders.

Research Summaries 

Our research summaries and posters are designed to give you a good overview of our research projects, including the main findings and their relevance to New Zealand.

Check out the research summaries here.

Other projects and collaborations:

Enhancing understanding of emotions in young children with conduct problems was a joint project between the School of Psychology, Victoria University of Wellington (A/Prof Karen Salmon) and A/Prof Richard Kearney (Psychology, Australian National University).