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Using Integrated Administrative Data to Identify Youth Who Are at Risk of Poor Outcomes as Adults

1.3 Approach to defining the 'at-risk' populations

In order to define target 'at-risk' populations, a multi-stage process was adopted that:

  1. identified the factors most associated with the outcomes of interest, calculated estimated risk scores for each individual and identified an 'at-risk' population
  2. identified groups of people (or 'clusters') with similar identifying characteristics within this 'at-risk' population
  3. defined and described a small set of proposed target populations that broadly matched the identified clusters.

The at-risk groups and associated target populations are then able to be described according to their level and type of risk, key predictors of risk and associated fiscal welfare and corrections costs.

Unless otherwise stated, people were identified on their birthday when they turned 15 to 22, so characteristics for 15-year-olds, for example, covered the time leading up to that birthday when they were 14 or younger. Characteristics at age 22 were used for ages 23 and 24.

A person was considered to be 'at risk' where they were in the top 5% estimated risk group for at least one of the four outcomes identified above. An additional multiple risk measure was also used based on a person having high risk across multiple outcomes measures. This was defined by ranking the estimated risk scores of each of the four outcomes, averaging these ranks for each person and then taking the 15% of the population considered to be most at risk according to their average rank.

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