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by Thomas Grisso & Richard Barnum
by Thomas Grisso & Richard Barnum

MAYSI-2 (2006): Massachusetts Youth Screening Instrument (Version 2) - User's Manual & Technical Report w/CD-ROM

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MAYSI-2 Manual and English/Spanish CD-ROM (European users please read description below) - $140.00
MAYSI-2 Translated Edition CD-ROM (non-European users only/must own MAYSI-2 manual to purchase) - $35.00
• MAYSI-2 Technical Manual (2006)  130pp 8½" x 11" paperback with English/Spanish CD-ROM
• ISBN: 9781568871462

IMPORTANT: For questions about these products or for technical support, please contact the MAYSI Helpdesk at National Youth Screening Assistance Project (NYSAP) by calling (508) 856-8564, or emailing [email protected].

  • NOTE: Use of the MAYSI-2 materials is unlimited for each registered site (allowing photocopying of the questionnaire and scoring materials) with the purchase of the manual and registration of the user with the MAYSI-2 technical assistance office, the National Youth Screening Assistance Project (NYSAP).
  • European users must purchase the translated edition of the MAYSI2 User's Manual & Technical Report by emailing: [email protected]
About the MAYSI-2
The MAYSI-2 is a mental health screening tool to assist juvenile justice facilities in identifying youths 12-17 years old who may have special mental health needs requiring immediate attention.  It can be used at any entry or transitional placement point in the juvenile justice system (e.g., intake probation, pretrial detention, juvenile correctional programs).  Since 2000, the MAYSI-2 has become one of the most widely used mental health screening tools in juvenile justice systems, having been adopted for statewide use in probation, detention, or juvenile corrections programs in 40 states.

The 2006 edition of the manual is consistent with the previous edition (the MAYSI-2 itself has not been revised), but contains the Spanish as well as English version of the MAYSI-2, offers new information on recently completed national norms involving over 70,000 cases, and provides new information and Second Screening Forms for systematic follow-up interviews with youths who score above the cutoff scores on any MAYSI-2 scale. 

The MAYSI-2 (2006) was converted (in 2013) to a paperback edition with a CD-ROM that contains printable versions of ALL of the forms and materials that were previous available in 11 individual sleeves for copying in the original 2006 edition.  All of the content of the 2006 edition has been retained; the only change was the addition of the CD-ROM that permits easier printing of all of the forms (with either one-sided or two-sided copies).  Registered users have unlimited use of the forms in their facility.  All of the Second Screening forms are also available on the CD-ROM.

The MAYSI-2:
  • Can be administered to all youths in probation intake interviews or within the first few hours after admission to detention and corrections facilities.
  • Requires no more than 15 minutes to administer, and can be scored in about 3 minutes.
  • Can be administered in paper-and-pencil form or with a software program called MAYSIWARE, and is available in both English and Spanish.
  • Alerts staff to potential mental/emotional distress and certain behavior problems that might require an immediate response (Alcohol/Drug Use, Angry-Irritable, Depressed-Anxious, Somatic Complaints, Suicide Ideation, Thought Disturbance, Traumatic Experiences).
  • Does not require a mental health professional for scoring and interpretation.
“For the first time, we have a scientifically-sound instrument to identify signs of mental health problems among youth in juvenile justice settings.  Over the past several decades, there has been growing evidence that many justice-involved youth may require mental health services, yet the field has been hampered by the absence of a comprehensive, well-tested and easy to use screening tool.  The MAYSI-2 fills this gap.  The importance of the MAYSI-2 is reflected in its incredibly rapid spread across the country."

"I visit juvenile justice programs and facilities across the country, I am impressed with how often and how well it is being adopted.  More importantly, it is allowing for the identification of youth who may have mental health needs, thus forcing juvenile justice and mental health officials and policy makers to begin to develop the evaluation and treatment services these youth need.  Without doubt, the MAYSI-2 has done more to highlight, in a real and concrete way, the mental health needs of justice-involved youth than any other tool, research or event in the past several decades.”
     -Joseph J. Cocozza, PhD, Director, National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice, Delmar, NY

Table of Contents

History of the MAYSI and MAYSI-2 / National Youth Screening Assistance Project (NYSAP) / Purpose of the Manual/Report / Conditions for Use of the MAYSI-2 / Current Status of the MAYSI-2

Chapter 1: Introduction to the MAYSI-2 Brief Overview / Why Mental Health Screening in Juvenile Justice Programs? / What Guided the Development of the MAYSI-2? / What Should be Considered When Deciding Whether to Use the MAYSI-2?
Chapter 2: The MAYSI-2 Scales Alcohol/Drug Use / Angry-Irritable / Depressed-Anxious / Somatic Complaints / Suicide Ideation / Thought Disturbance (Boys) / Traumatic Experiences
Chapter 3: Administering the MAYSI-2 in Juvenile Justice Screening Completing the Questionnaire / Scoring the MAYSI-2
Chapter 4: Responding to High MAYSI-2 Scores “Caution” and “Warning” Cut-Off Scores / For Administrators: Establishing Policy Regarding Responses to High MAYSI-2 Scores / Second Screening for the MAYSI-2 / For Staff: Interpreting and Responding to High MAYSI-2 Scores
Chapter 5: Development of the MAYSI Prototype Initial Conceptualization and Item Development / Method, Procedures, and Sample for the 1996-1998 MAYSI Study
Chapter 6: Identification of the MAYSI-2 Scales Process for Identifying the MAYSI and MAYSI-2 Scales / Results of the Massachusetts Factor Analysis / Results of the California Factor Analysis
Chapter 7: Psychometric Properties and Reliability Scale Distributions / Scale Analyses / Inter-Scale Correlations / Test-Retest Stability
Chapter 8: Validity MAYSI-2 Inter-Scale Correlations / Relation to Scales in Other Instruments
Chapter 9: Normative Data: The Original Massachusetts Study Age and Gender Norms / Ethnic Groups / Sites and Legal Status / Cut-Off Scores / Other Research on MAYSI-2 Validity
Chapter 10: Data from the 2002-2005 National Norms Study The Method, Case/Site Variables, and Sample / Norms / Cross-Site Consistency of Demographic Differences / Conclusion
Tables Compiled from Original Massachusetts Study - Table 1: Proportion of Youths At or Above the Caution and Warning Cut-Off Scores / Table 2: Sample (Age, Gender, Race) / Table 3: Sample (Sites and Legal Status, by Age, Gender, Race) / Table 4: Factor Loadings for 52 MAYSI-2 Items / Table 5: MAYSI-2 Scale Alphas and Item-Total Correlations / Table 6: Intercorrelations of MAYSI-2 Scales / Table 7: MAYSI-2 Test-Retest Results / Table 8: Correlations of MAYSI-2 Scales With Six Clinical Scales of Millon Adolescent Clinical Inventory / Table 9: Correlations of MAYSI-2 With Scales of Child Behavior Checklist - Youth Self Report / Table 10: MAYSI-2 Means and Standard Deviations for Age by Gender Groups / Table 11: Mean MAYSI-2 Scores and Significant Differences by Gender and by Age (Younger and Older) / Table 12: Comparison of Ethnic Groups on MAYSI-2 Scales (for Boys and Girls) / Table 13: Comparison of Boys and Girls Within Ethnic Group / Table 14: MAYSI-2 Means by Site and by Legal Status / Table 15: Receiver Operating Characteristics (ROC) Analyses, and Results Using Optimal ROC Cut-Off Scores / Table 16: Caution and Warning Cut-Off Scores
Tables Compiled from National Norms Study - Table 17: Geographic Characteristics - Youths by State and Region (n, % within region) / Table 18: Youth Characteristics - Population Density and Gate by State (n, column %) / Table 19: Youth Demographic Characteristics (n, % within row category) / Table 20: Characteristics of Other Ethnic Group (n, % of ethnic group) / Table 21: Youth Demographic Characteristics by Gate (n, % within gate) / Table 22: Gender Comparisons - At or Above the Caution and Warning Cut-Off Scores / Table 23: Age Comparisons - At or Above the Caution and Warning Cut-Off Scores / Table 24: Percent Meeting Caution and Warning Cut-Off Scores by Gender and Age Group / Table 25: Caution and Warning Cut-Off Scores for Race/Ethnicity / Table 26: Percent Meeting Caution and Warning Cut-Off Scores by Gender and Race/Ethnicity
MAYSI-2 Questionnaire / MAYSI-2 Scoring Key / MAYSI-2 Scoring Summary and Profile / Instructions for the Alternative MAYSI-2 Alternative MAYSI-2 Scoring Key / Alternative MAYSI-2 Scoring Summary and Profile / Instructions for the MAYSI-2 Spanish Version MAYSI-2 Spanish Version Questionnaire / Instructions for the MAYSI-2 Second Screening Forms Alcohol/Drug Use / Angry-Irritable / Depressed-Anxious / Somatic Complaints / Suicide Ideation / Thought Disturbance / Summary

A new, optional, web-based version of MAYSI2 is now available.  For more information, please visit or contact Orbis Partners at [email protected] or (888) 682-7720.  Current MAYSIWARE users can still receive MAYSIWARE assistance by contacting the MAYSI Helpdesk at (508) 856-8564 or emailing [email protected].

About the Authors
Thomas Grisso, PhD, ABPP, is Professor of Psychiatry, Director of Psychology, and Director of the Law and Psychiatry Program at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.  His research, teaching, and clinical practice during the past 35 years have focused on legal competencies, forensic clinical evaluations, and developmental psychology applied to juvenile legal issues.  He has authored or co-authored numerous books and evaluation instruments on juvenile forensic issues, including the following titles published by Professional Resource Press: Clinical Evaluations for Juveniles' Competence to Stand Trial (2005), Evaluating Juveniles Adjudicative Competence: A Guide for Clinical Practice (2005), Miranda Rights Comprehension Instruments (MRCI) (2012), Forensic Evaluation of Juveniles - Second Edition (2013).

Richard Barnum, MD
, is a child and adolescent forensic psychiatrist and former Director of the Boston Juvenile Court Clinic.  He has conducted evaluations of thousands of children and families involved in juvenile court, is on the faculty of the University of Massachusetts and Harvard Medical Schools, and has written on issues of forensic assessment of children and families and mental health concerns in the juvenile justice system.  He currently provides consultation and psychiatric assessments to the Massachusetts juvenile correction agency in secure and community settings.

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