An interactive assessment of sexual interest self report, for use with adolescents or adults who present with sexual offending or challenging sexual behaviour.

1) A Free copy of AART 2.0….

1) A Free copy of AART 2.0....

NOTICE TO CUSTOMERS:  The full programme of Affinity is designed to assess the validity of self-reported sexual interest.  It is easily administered and provides a wealth of detail that may be useful in forensic evaluations.  Evaluators not requiring that amount of detail might wish to consider the Affiinity Achetype Ranking Tool (AART) as a minimal alternative.  AART also has the benefit that it incorporates and extended range of archetype figures (including older adults and an infant)’ and can be more readily used with children, juveniles or adults with intellectual difficulties.

This is the deal.

For a limited period of time, the current copy of AART is available for free download and use by suitably experienced professionals (see section 6 below). Aside from these conditions, there are no other restrictions or stipulations attached to the use of this assesment. There are no obligations arising from downloading and using it.

(Links to download Mac and Windows version of the software are at 8 a) and 8 b) below)

However, everyone who contributes to improvement of AART will receive a free copy of the release version. This will include as many of the improvements and fixes suggested by users as possible. ‘Contributes’ in this context means emailing one of the following:

  1. a description of a verifiable bug or deficit
  2. a suggestion for a reasonably achievable improvement
  3. an account of use with SO or sexually challenging behaviour with recommendations for integration with existing practice

2) The Background

2) The Background

The Affinity Archetype Rating Task (V 1.0) was originally developed in the early 1990’s as an assessment tool for use with adults with an intellectual disability (ID) . The image here is of the German language version of AART 1.0

Its primary purposes were to:

  1. Offer a structured assessment procedure generating basic quantitative data
  2. Constitute a task which opitimises communication about the nature and foundation of sexual interest
  3. Generate both qualitative and quantitative data that can feed back into further assessment and intervention

The principle was that although some of the difficulty eliciting information about sexual interests might arise from defensiveness, denial and minimisation, much arises from the particular difficulty adults with ID have communicating about sexual preferences. AART made it easier to discuss sexual interest, and offers a structure and scaffolding which optimises communication between client and professional.

After some years, the Archetype Rating Task was incorporated into Affinity 1.0. Since that time, users of both Affinity 1.0 and 2.x have often asked for the Archetype Rating Task to be available separately – which has eventually lead to AART 2.0

3) AART Assessment principles

Although adults with ID were the original target group, AART’s ease of use has meant that it has been used with adolescents who present with exploitative sexual behaviour. The expectation is that individuals being assessed will struggle to give an entirely verbal description of sexual preferences. For some individuals, even such a simple task as “place these pictures in order of sexual preference” would be too difficult and complex. AART addresses this by only setting one discrete task at a time. At any point in the assessment, the client involved is invited to reflect on one of the following:

  1. Are there any drawings that show the sort of person you would find sexually attractive/like to have sex with.*
  2. Which of the drawings shows the sort of person you would find sexually attractive/most like to have sex with?
  3. Which of the drawings shows the sort of person you would find most sexually Unattractive/LEAST like to have sex with

It can be seen that this procedure allows evaluation of both approach and avoidance based evaluation. It therefore accommodates the possibility that risk of sexually exploitative behaviour may arise from the absence of aversion, rather than specific and deviant preferences.

Another important principle is that the assessment does not involve any sexually explicit material or indeed photographs of real people.

* The specific prompt/question can be adjusted to the capacity and vocabulary of the individual concerned.

4) Assessment results

4) Assessment results

AART generates a simple pictorial representation of the choices made by the individual being assessed. Each of the individual decisions made are combined to generate a sophisticated rank order representation.

In the above example, the self report suggests bisexual hebephilic preferences. It can be seen that reading from left to right, the most preferred category was juvenile female (JUF), but juvenile male (JUM) was also identified as sexually attractive. The vertical bar to the right of the JUM image indicates that everything to the right of that was identified as to some degree sexually UNattractive.

It is of some interest that the least unattractive category was identified as adult female (ADF), and the next 2 categories are also female. This, combined with the primacy of juvenile female generates a hypothesis that (with the male client) heterosexual interests predominated over homosexual interests. Whatever the case, it can be seen that the graphic output of AART generates a very useful stimulus for further discussion and hypothesis testing with the client concerned.

It is also very apparent from the assessment output that it represents ordinal data, and the positions of the respective figures can be represented numerically. It would be possible to do this with positive numbers 1-11, but this would lose the information distinguishing self-reported attractiveness and unattractiveness. It would therefore properly the best to represent the preferred images with positive numbers, and the non-preferred images as negative, so running from +2 to -9.

If you particularly need to generate interval/ratio data, and the assessment is of a person with only mild intellectual disability, consider using the full version of Affinity.

5) Administering the AART

5) Administering the AART

Launching the software results in a ‘splash screen’ containing a number of buttons and a warning (in red). Although feedback on the purpose, function and performance of AART is welcome, it is important that it is not used by individuals beyond their professional expertise or competence.

Please note that all users must take full responsibility for proper professional conduct in the use of this software. Pacific Behavioural Assessment and i-Psych accept no responsibility for the use of this instrument by unauthorised persons, or misrepresentation of any data produced thereby.

The function of the buttons is self explanatory.

Clicking the ‘Continue’ button (outlined in red) removes the warning and replaces it…

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… with a field containing information about the assessment tool, and a ‘Begin’ button. This in turn leads to a blank screen containing only ..

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This is effectively a ‘holding screen’, giving an opportunity to make some prefatory comments and give some explanations to the prospective respondent. It is important to reassure them that the task is intended to help communicate about sexual preferences. is also important to emphasise that the assessment does not involve any sexually explicit material, or indeed photographs of real individuals. Of course, this explanation can be in very basic terms commensurate with the capacity of the individual concerned.

When the individual appears to understand the likely content and purpose of the assessment, and has given meaningful consent to proceed, the Green ‘Start’ button is clicked.

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AART Is not an assessment in which the individual responds to prompts or questions without any discussion or support. In fact, quite the opposite is encouraged. The professional undertaking the assessment can at this point say “before we look at what you are being asked to do, just tell me about the pictures you can see.”

With individuals of more impaired intellectual functioning, it is possible to ask specific (but non leading) questions about the age and appearance. There are of course no right or wrong answers with respect to the juvenile male and female (JUM & JUF) images, so uncertainty about sexual development and (depending on the age of the respondent) caution about sexual behaviour involving either is entirely appropriate.

Users of the Affinity assessment will note that the images have been revised since Affinity v 2.5. They will also notice that the number of categories have increased (from 8 to 11) with the addition of older adults and an infant. (Updated images will appear in Affinity 3.0, but the number of categories in Affinity 3.0 will not be increased.)

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The professional undertaking the assessment is free to read aloud, paraphrase and explain the onscreen instruction. It is also acceptable to invite the respondent to speak aloud any thoughts relating to the task.

The respondent should be encouraged to use the mouse pointer to make a selection according to the instructions. However, if he or she has difficulty with that due to disability or inexperience of computer use, the professional can take responsibility for the actual clicking while the respondent indicates and explains selections using voice and gesture.

Although a selection has been made in the image above, it can be changed to another while the blue ‘Confirm’ button is visible. Once the ‘Confirm’ button is clicked…

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… the selected image disappears, and the task is repeated. The system now allows the respondent to state that none of the images depict categories he or she would find sexually attractive.

Once again, the assessment administrator is free to paraphrase and assist with the decisions required. So for example, it is perfectly acceptable to say. “Now you can see that a picture has disappeared. Look carefully at the ones that are left. Do any of them show the sort of person you would think is sexy?”

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The task proceeds, with images being selected and then disappearing, until the respondent declares that none of the remaining archetypes represent individuals likely to be sexually attractive, by clicking the “None of them” button.

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Sexual aversion is a neglected area, and this element of AART is a golden opportunity to explore its presence and determinants. Once preferred categories have been selected and removed, the task can be experienced as more emotionally challenging. Occasionally respondents will become angry and declare the task impossible. However, with encouragement even this can be informative. Exactly what is it that is generating conflict, and why? It is entirely appropriate to explore and discuss the cognitions and affect underlying this response.

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Once the last image has been selected and confirmed, the screen moves on to display all images in their original positions, and with a number of buttons. Clicking on the button ‘Show Results’ (outlined in red) causes the archetypes to reorder according to the expressed preferences of the assessment just completed…

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The ‘Show Results’ button, is replaced by a ‘Reset’ button (marked 1) , which will return the archetypes to the standard order. The ‘Print’ button (2 above) is not implemented in the Beta version, but it will be possible to print results in the release version.

The ‘Save’ button will save a copy of the archetypes as ranked by the respondent. This can be found in a folder labelled “AART” in the current user’s documents folder. The file is in .PNG format, which can be opened in almost any software that can load images.

The ‘New assessment’ button (4) returns to the first assessment screen, whereas the ‘Exit’ button returns to the splash screen, form where the program can be closed.

6) What does ‘Suitably Experienced’ mean?

AART is not an assessment tool that requires a specific professional qualification as a prerequisite for use. Many different disciplines make essential contributions to the assessment and management of individuals who present a riisk of sexual harm. We anticipate that AART might be used by psychologists, psychiatrists, nurses, counsellors, care staff, occupational therapists etc etc. The important expertise is with respect to the client group concerned, and experience working with sex offenders or those presenting with challenfing sexual behaviour.

If a prospective user also understands:

  1. why the presence or absence of deviant sexual interest is relevant to risk assessment and mitigation, and…
  2. that notwithstanding the above, deviant sexual interests are neither necessary or sufficient causes of sexual harm

… then this amounts, within the context of use of AART, to being ‘suitably experienced’.

7) Feedback

7) Feedback

Please send agreement to participate, comments, and feedback by email to David Glasgow (dvglasgow@pacific-assmt.com).

Don’t forget to state the OS you are using if you are reporting a bug. Also, describe:
(1) what you did, (2) what happened,  (3) what you expected to happen, and (4) what you would prefer happened.

8 a) Download Windows

8 a) Download Windows

Click the icon to begin. You will download a ZIP file containing an executable. The program is not automatically installed. Unzip the download and drag the file to any location you wish. This can be within the ‘Program’ directory, but need not be.

To uninstall, simply drag the program to the trash.

 

8 b) Download Mac

8 b) Download Mac

Click the icon to begin. You will download a ZIP file containing an app. The program is not automatically installed. Unzip the download and drag the app to any location you wish. This can be within the ‘Applications’ directory, but need not be.

To uninstall, simply drag the app to the trash.

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Contact Us

D. Richard Laws, Ph.D.
drlaws@pacific-assmt.com

David V. Glasgow, M. Clin. Psych.
Head, Product Development
dvglasgow@pacific-assmt.com

Mail Address

PO Box 23032
Cook Street R.P.O.
Victoria, BC V8V 4Z8
Canada

Courier Address

101-230 Cook Street
ATTN: Post Office
Victoria, BC V8V 3X3
Canada

Fax: 250.388.5787