Date of Award

Spring 5-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Forensic Psychology



First Advisor or Mentor

Keith A. Markus

Second Reader

William H. Gottdiener

Third Advisor

Rebecca Weiss


In the realm of trial competency evaluations, there are a variety of methods used to evaluate whether an individual is fit to stand trial. Presently, forensic psychologists conduct trial competency evaluations in order to assess one’s ability to stand trial, but for persons with a mental health diagnosis, the generic competency measures are not the most effective means to assess one’s ability to stand trial, as mental health diagnoses impair cognitive functions that are required in judicial proceedings. Forensic psychologists have opted to utilize other assessment methods such as the MacArthur Competence Assessment Tool – Criminal Adjudication [MacCAT-CA] and Fitness Interview Test [FIT] to determine trial competency within this population. This meta-analysis aims to estimate the association between trial competency and mental health among criminal defendants. Within this analysis, two different moderators were studied to estimate if they had an impact on the level of association between trial competency and mental health which were the proportion of females and the total mental health score. Studies that measured the same relationships between trial competency and mental health for samples based in the United States and Canada were reviewed and coded to determine their overall effect.

Previous Versions

May 31 2023


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