Re-Examination of the Family Law Detection of Overall Risk Screen (FL-DOORS): Establishing Fitness for Purpose

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Conflicted parental separation is associated with escalating risks to wellbeing and safety for all family members. The Family Law DOORS (FL-DOORS, Detection Of Overall Risk Screen) is a three-part framework designed to assist frontline workers to identify, evaluate, and respond to these risks in separated families. The FL-DOORS system includes a 10-domain parent self-report screening measure, covering child and parent wellbeing, cultural and social risks, and safety risks experienced by and initiated by each parent. A first validation study of this screen was conducted with the first 660 separated parents to complete the measure at a frontline community agency, and found robust psychometric properties (McIntosh, Wells, & Lee, 2016). This paper presents a revalidation study of FL-DOORS screening measure with a new cohort of 5,429 separated parents, including 1,642 pairs. Our aim was to evaluate whether FL-DOORS was fit for the purpose of indicating a range of safety and wellbeing risks in separated families. We repeated internal scale reliability and concurrent and external criterion validity analyses. Original subscales were largely confirmed, and validity analyses were extended through a Multi-Trait Multi-Method (MTMM) approach. In this second larger cohort, the FL-DOORS screen was again found fit-for-purpose as an indicator of domestic violence and wellbeing risks in separated families.

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