Behavior Data Systems
Assessment Tests and Interviews Reliable Computer Graded Assessment


Juvenile Pre-Disposition Evaluation

Developed Specifically for Juvenile Pre-Disposition Evaluation

The Juvenile Pre-Disposition Evaluation (JPE) is designed specifically for juvenile pre-disposition evaluation. The Juvenile Pre-Disposition Evaluation has 159 items and takes 35 minutes to complete. The Juvenile Pre-Disposition Evaluation has nine measures (scales): 1. Truthfulness Scale, 2. Suicide Scale, 3. Resistance Scale, 4. Self-Esteem Scale, 5. Violence (Lethality) Scale, 6. Alcohol Scale, 7. Drugs Scale, 8. Distress Scale and 9. Stress Coping Abilities Scale.


** Juvenile Pre-Disposition Evaluation **
  • Juvenile court evaluations
  • Juvenile pre-isposition evaluations
  • Probation departments and community corrections
  • Certified/licensed mental health providers
  • Juvenile drug courts

Nine Scales (Measures)

The nine Juvenile Pre-Disposition Evaluation (JPE) scales are described below:

  1. Truthfulness Scale: Measures how truthful the juvenile was while completing the test. This scale identifies denial, guardedness, problem minimization and attempts to "fake good."
  2. Suicide Scale: Identifies suicide prone individuals. Some youths are emotionally overwhelmed, desperate and dangerous to themselves.
  3. Resistance Scale: Measures defensiveness, uncooperativeness and resistance. Some youths resist help, whereas others accept it.
  4. Self-Esteem Scale: Reflects a person's explicit valuing and appraisal of self. It incorporates an attitude of acceptance-approval versus rejection-disapproval.
  5. Violence (Lethality) Scale: Measures the use of force to injure, damage or destroy. This scale measures the youth's danger to self and others. Adolescent violence concerns contributed to the inclusion of this scale.
  6. Alcohol Scale: Measures alcohol (beer, wine and liquor) use and abuse. This scale measures the severity of alcohol abuse while identifying alcohol-related problems.
  7. Drugs Scale: Measures the severity of illicit drug (marijuana, crack, cocaine, amphetamines, barbiturates, heroin, etc.) use and abuse while identifying drug-related problems.
  8. Distress Scale: Measures experienced pain, worry, sorrow and grief. Distress can involve both mental and physical strain. Distress is a common reason why youths seek counseling.
  9. Stress Coping Abilities Scale: Measures how well the youth handles stress, tension and pressure. Stress exacerbates symptoms of emotional and mental health problems.

The Juvenile Pre-Disposition Evaluation (JPE) assesses attitudes and behaviors important to juvenile adjustment profiles. The JPE is much more than just another alcohol or drug test: It measures many important behaviors missed by other tests.

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Why Use the JPE?

Juvenile crime rates have risen across the U.S. These statistics underscore the abhorrent affects of substance (alcohol and other drugs) abuse and juvenile violence. Early detection of juvenile problems facilitates prompt and appropriate decision making. This type of information helps in deciding upon treatment, probation and incarceration alternatives. It also helps in deciding upon levels of supervision and incarceration alternatives.

At one sitting of approximately 35 minutes' duration, the authorities can acquire a vast amount of perpetrator information that includes attitudinal, behavioral and juvenile problems. Early problem identification facilitates timely intervention and improved outcome.

Advantages of Screening

Screening or assessment instruments filter out individuals with serious problems that may require referral for more comprehensive evaluations and/or treatment. This filtering system works as follows:

Risk Category Risk Range
Low Risk 0 - 39% 39%
Medium Risk 40 - 69% 30%
Problem Risk 70 - 89% 20%
Severe Problem 90 - 100% 11%

Reference to the above table shows that a problem is not identified until a scale score is at the 70th percentile or higher. These risk range percentiles are based upon juveniles that have been tested with the JPE. This procedure is fair and avoids both extremes, specifically over-identification and under-identification of problems and risk.

A court, prosecutor, defense attorney or probation officer might refer juveniles with identified problems for further evaluation, intervention, treatment or even incarceration. In these cases, 11% of the juveniles screened (severe problem) would be referred. Or, policy might refer juveniles with identified (problem risk and severe problem) problems or thirty-one percent (31%) of the juveniles screened for further evaluation, treatment or even incarceration. In these examples, 89% or 69% (contingent upon adopted policy) of the juveniles screened would not be referred for additional (and expensive) alternatives.

Potential for budgetary savings (dollars) is large, with no compromises in appropriate evaluation, treatment or levels of supervision services for juveniles. Consequently, more juveniles could receive help. Without a screening program, there is usually more risk of over- or under-utilization of additional specialized services.

Test Booklets

JPE test booklets are provided free. These booklets contain 159 items and are written at a fifth to sixth grade reading level. If a person can read the newspaper, they can read the JPE. The JPE test booklets are available in English and Spanish.


In brief, a JPE report summarizes the juvenile's self-reported history, explains what the attained scale scores mean and offers specific score-related recommendations.

Within 2½ minutes of test data entry, automated (computer-scored) three-page reports are printed on-site. These reports summarize a lot of information in an easily understood format. For example, these reports include a JPE profile (graph), which summarizes scale scores at a glance. Also included are attained scale scores, an explanation of what each score means and specific score-related recommendations. In addition, significant items (direct admissions) are highlighted, and answers to a built-in interview (last sequence of items) are presented. Emphasis is placed on generating meaningful reports that are helpful and easily understood.

To review a JPE report, click on this JPE Example Report link. The example JPE report is also presented at the end of this webpage.

Reliability and Validity

The JPE has a proprietary built-in database that insures inclusion of all test data administered in a confidential (no names) manner. JPE reliability and validity are reported in the document titled "JPE: An Inventory of Scientific Findings." Annual database analysis further demonstrates that JPE scales have high reliability coefficients.

For example, internal consistencies (coefficient alphas) for JPE scales are in the following table. This study incorporates 1,329 juveniles screened in the year 2001.

Juvenile Pre-Disposition Evaluation Scales Coefficient
Truthfulness Scale .87 p<.001
Suicide Scale .87 p<.001
Resistance Scale .85 p<.001
Self-Esteem Scale .90 p<.001
Violence (Lethality) Scale .91 p<.001
Alcohol Scale .92 p<.001
Drugs Scale .91 p<.001
Distress Scale .91 p<.001
Stress Coping Abilities Scale .92 p<.001

All JPE scales have alpha coefficients well above the professionally accepted standard of .75, and are highly reliable. All coefficient alphas are significant at the p<.001 level.

Early JPE studies used criterion measures and were validated with other tests, e.g., Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) L Scale and F Scale, 16 PF, MMPI Taylor Manifest Anxiety Scale, ACDI-Corrections Version II, MMPI Depression Scale and Treatment Intervention Inventory-Juvenile.

Much of this research is summarized in the document titled "JPE: Inventory of Scientific Findings." Subsequently, discriminant and predictive validity database analysis-based studies support JPE reliability, validity and accuracy.


The JPE is available on Windows diskettes. Windows diskettes require a one-time computer setup procedure after which JPE data diskettes (25 or 50 test applications) can be used to score and print reports. Training manuals are provided, and new test users can be walked through these scoring procedures over the telephone.

Proprietary JPE diskettes contain 25 or 50 test applications. These 3½" diskettes score, interpret and print reports on-site. Once a JPE account is established, ordered diskettes are mailed to users. Approximately 97% of the orders are filled and mailed back to users the same day. When all test applications are used, diskettes are returned to Behavior Data Systems, Ltd. (BDS), where the demographics (e.g., age, sex, ethnicity) and test data are downloaded into the JPE database for subsequent database analysis. The proprietary "delete names" program is activated by the test user with a few keystrokes, to delete all juveniles' names from diskettes before they are returned to Behavior Data Systems. Deleting all juvenile names insures protection of each youth's confidentiality and compliance with HIPAA (Federal Regulation 45 C.F.R. 164.501).

The "JPE: Orientation and Training Manual" explains how the JPE works and should be read by the staff. The "JPE: Computer Operating Guide" explains how to score tests, print or store reports and discusses other unique JPE computer-related functions.


The JPE system contains a proprietary built-in database. Earlier, it was noted that all JPE used diskettes are returned to Behavior Data Systems, and the test data is downloaded into the JPE database. This expanding database allows for ongoing research and testing program summary features that had not been possible before. Ongoing research insures quality control. Annual testing program summaries provide for program self-evaluation.

Built-in Database

The JPE permits ongoing research and annual program summary -- at no additional cost. As discussed earlier, when the 25 or 50 tests on a diskette are used, the used diskette is returned to Behavior Data Systems and downloaded into the expanding JPE database. Advantages of this proprietary database are many, and include database research analysis and annual summary reports.

No personal information, names, social security numbers, etc. are ever downloaded into any test database.

Returned diskettes can be summarized on a state, department, agency or provider basis - at no additional cost to users. Annual summary reports provide information for testing program review. Click on the Annual Summary Reports link to review an example summary report.

After downloading test data, returned diskettes are destroyed.

In summary, all returned JPE diskettes are centrally filed at Behavior Data Systems' offices. This database has many advantages. Database analysis permits ongoing cost efficient research that includes scale alpha coefficients, ANOVA, frequency distributions, correlations and cross-tab statistics, along with reliability, validity and accuracy determinations.

Annual Summary Reports

Behavior Data Systems can access each of its tests' built-in databases for statistical analysis and summarization of all tests administered in a year. Annual Summary Reports are prepared for state, department, agency and even some individual providers -- at no cost. These reports are provided as a professional courtesy to large volume test users. Summary reports include demographics, court-history (when relevant), and test statistics (reliability, validity and accuracy). Has anyone offered to summarize your testing program? Annually? At no additional cost to you? Minimum testing volume for annual reports is 800 tests. There is no maximum limit. Behavior Data Systems' annual reports range in size from 800 tests to over 55,000 tests annually. An example Annual Summary Report can be viewed by clicking on this Annual Summary Reports link.

Staff Member Input

The JPE is to be used in conjunction with review of available records and experienced staff members' judgment. When available, court and adjustment records should be reviewed, as they can contain important information not provided or incorrectly provided by the juvenile. Experienced staff members should also interview the juvenile. For these reasons, the following statement is contained in each JPE report: "JPE results are confidential and should be considered working hypotheses. No decision or diagnosis should be based solely upon JPE results. The JPE is to be used in conjunction with experienced staff judgment."

How Do You Know If the Juvenile Is Lying?

The JPE contains a Truthfulness Scale that determines how truthful the juvenile was while completing the test. This scale detects problem minimization and detects faking. And, the JPE doesn't stop there. Error of measurement due to untruthfulness is measured for each scale and reported as a Truth-Corrected score. Truth-Corrected scores reveal what the juvenile is trying to hide. Truth-Corrected scores are more accurate than raw scores.

Free Examination Kit: A one-test demonstration diskette is available on a 30-day cost free basis. Demo diskettes are in Windows format. The Examination Kit includes a one-test demo diskette, installation CD (with instructions), test booklet, answer sheet and some descriptive materials. Behavior Data Systems, Ltd. does want the test booklet and diskette returned within 30 days.

Selecting a Juvenile Pre-Disposition Test

If you are selecting a pre-Disposition test for juveniles, the following Comparison Checklist should prove helpful. It lists important screening test qualities. The "Other" column represents any other test you might want to compare to the JPE.

Designed specifically for juvenile pre-disposition testing Yes  
Test reliability & validity research provided Yes  
Test completed in 35 minutes Yes  
On-site reports within three minutes Yes  
Truthfulness Scale to detect faking Yes  
Truth-Corrected scores for accuracy Yes  
Three test administration options Yes  
  1. Paper-pencil (English and Spanish) Yes  
  2. On computer screen (English and Spanish) Yes  
  3. Human Voice Audio (English and Spanish) Yes  
Delete Juveniles' Names (insures confidentiality) Yes  
HIPAA (federal regulation) Compliant Yes  
Test data input verification (insures accuracy) Yes  
Available in English and Spanish Yes  
Built-in database at no additional cost Yes  
Alcohol and Drugs Scales Yes  
Suicide Scale Yes  
Self-Esteem Scale Yes  
Violence (Lethality) Scale Yes  
Distress Scale Yes  
Stress Coping Abilities Scale Yes  
Easily understood and helpful reports Yes  
ASAM compatible recommendations Yes  
Staff training (Free) Yes  
Examination kits (Free) Yes  
Thirty-Day money back guarantee Yes  
Very affordable test unit fee Yes  

Unique Features

Truthfulness Scale: Identifies denial, problem minimization and faking. It is now known that most juveniles attempt to minimize their problems. A Truthfulness Scale is a necessary component in contemporary tests. The JPE Truthfulness Scale has been demonstrated to be reliable, valid and accurate.

Truth-Corrected Scores: Have proven to be very important for assessment accuracy. This proprietary truth correction process is comparable to the MMPI K-Scale correction. The JPE Truthfulness Scale has been correlated with the other eight scales. The truth-correction equation then converts raw scores to Truth-Corrected scores. Truth-Corrected scores are more accurate than raw scores. Raw scores reflect what the juvenile wants you to know. Truth-Corrected scores reveal what the juvenile is attempting to hide.

More than just another alcohol or drug test: In addition to alcohol and drugs, the JPE assesses other important areas of inquiry. The JPE is specifically designed for juvenile assessment. It provides the information needed for comprehensive juvenile reinstatement screening.

Three ways to give the JPE: The JPE can be administered in three different ways: 1. Paper-pencil test booklet format, which is the most popular testing procedure. JPE English and Spanish test booklets and answer sheets are available. 2. Tests given directly on the computer screen. Some agencies dedicate computers for JPE testing. And, 3. Human Voice Audio which is available in English or Spanish. This involves a headset. The juvenile uses the up-down arrow keys. As the juvenile goes from question to answer with the arrow keys, the question or answer is highlighted on the monitor and concurrently read to the juvenile. These three test administration modes are discussed in the "JPE: Orientation and Training Manual." Each test administration mode has advantages and some limitations. Behavior Data Systems offers these three test modes so test users can select the administration mode that is optimally suited to their needs.

Reading Impaired Assessment: Reading impaired juveniles represent 20+ percent of the juveniles tested. This represents a serious problem to other assessment tests. In contrast, Behavior Data Systems has developed an alternative for dealing with this problem: Human Voice Audio.

Human Voice Audio: Presentation of the JPE is in English and Spanish. Juveniles' passive vocabularies are often greater than their active vocabularies. Hearing items read out loud often helps reduce cultural and communication problems. This administration mode requires earphones and simple instructions to orient the juvenile to the up-down arrow keys on the computer keyboard. Human Voice Audio is an alternative approach for screening reading impaired juveniles.

Confidentiality: Behavior Data Systems encourages test users to delete juvenile names from diskettes before they are returned to BDS. Once juvenile names are deleted, they are gone and cannot be retrieved. Deleting juvenile names does not delete demographics or test data, which is downloaded into the JPE database for subsequent analysis. This proprietary name deletion procedure involves a few keystrokes and insures juvenile confidentiality and compliance with HIPAA (Federal Regulation 45 C.F.R. 164.501).

Test Data Input Verification: Allows the person that inputs test data from the answer sheet into the computer to verify the accuracy of their data input. In brief, test data is input twice, and any inconsistencies between the first and second data entries are highlighted until corrected. When the first and second data entries match or are the same, the staff person can continue. This proprietary Data Input Verification procedure is optional, yet strongly recommended by Behavior Data Systems.

Orientation and Training Manual: The "JPE: Orientation and Training Manual" (O&T Manual) explains how the JPE works. It is a must-read for staff members that will be using the JPE. O&T Manual content includes, but is not limited to, the following: instructions for testing: an explanation of how scores are derived: clarification of how court-related information is used: a description of unique JPE features and much more.

Computer Operating Guide: Some computer operators want more information than others. Consequently, Behavior Data Systems provides One-Page Quick Start, which includes basic instructions for scoring JPE's, and a more comprehensive "JPE: Computer Operating Guide." The Computer Operating Guide contains instructions for using MS DOS as well as Windows software. This manual discusses hardware, software, scoring, printing reports, unique program features and much more.

Staff Training: Behavior Data Systems' staff members are available to participate in JPE training programs conducted by statewide programs, departments and high volume agencies in the United States. Sometimes, smaller volume providers get together for collective (multiple providers) on-site training. Behavior Data Systems typically participates in four-hour or six-hour JPE training sessions. This training can include hands-on computer scoring, as desired. Behavior Data Systems gives attendees certificates attesting to their JPE training.

Staff training is also provided on Fridays at Behavior Data Systems' Phoenix offices from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. These training sessions are free. To participate, contact Behavior Data Systems at least ten days in advance. Participation is on a first call, first scheduled basis.

How to Order a Test: If you are interested in ordering tests, please fill out the online order form provided on the Order Form page. Current Behavior Data Systems customers can write, call, fax or e-mail their orders to Behavior Data Systems. And if desired, they can read the "Instructions for Current Customers" section on the Order Form page and fill out the online form.


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Within 2½ minutes of data entry, Juvenile Pre-Disposition Evaluation (JPE) reports are scored and printed on-site. These reports summarize a lot of information in an easily understood format. For example, these reports include a JPE profile (graph), which summarizes scale scores at a glance. Also included are the attained scale scores, an explanation of what each score means and specific score-related recommendations. In addition, significant items (direct admissions) are highlighted, and answers to a built-in interview (last sequence of items) are presented. Emphasis is placed on generating meaningful reports that are helpful and easily understood.

Additional information can be provided, upon request, by writing:
Behavior Data Systems, Ltd.
P.O. Box 44256
Phoenix, Arizona 85064-4256

Our telephone number is (602) 234-3506.
Our fax number is (602) 266-8227.
And our e-mail address is

Behavior Data Systems, Ltd. Copyright © 2014. All Rights Reserved.

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