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National Youth Screening & Assessment Project

Added Feb 2, 2009

55 Lake Avenue North
University of Massachusetts Law and Psychiatry Program
Worcester, MA 01655

Phone (508) 856-8732

The National Youth Screening & Assessment Project (NYSAP) is a technical assistance and research group based at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Its purpose is to promote sound mental health and forensic screening and assessment practices nationwide through the use of new tools such as the Massachusetts Youth Screening Instrument — Second Version (MAYSI-2). NYSAP’s goal is to improve services to youth with mental health needs who come into the juvenile justice system.

The MAYSI-2 was developed by Thomas Grisso, Ph.D. and Richard Barnum, M.D., at the University of Massachusetts Medical School during the 1990s with assistance from the William T. Grant Foundation, and was made available in 2000 after sufficient research had been done to establish initial reliability and validity. Technical assistance for use of the MAYSI-2 nationwide since 2000 has been provided by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s support of the National Youth Screening Assistance Project (NYSAP) at University of Massachusetts Medical School.

The MAYSI-2 is a paper-and-pencil self-report inventory of 52 questions designed to assist juvenile justice facilities in identifying youths 12 to 17 years old who may have special mental health needs. Youths circle YES or NO concerning whether each item has been true for them "within the past few months." Youths read the items themselves (5th grade reading level) and circle the answers. Administration takes about 10 to 15 minutes and scoring requires approximately 3 minutes. The MAYSI-2 is available in both English and Spanish as well as in software form. The MAYSI-2 software is called MAYSIWARE. For more information about the MAYSI-2 and MAYSIWARE, please view the website:

The MAYSI-2 is currently used in 49 states—(42 use it system-wide) and 11 foreign countries. The MAYSI-2 has also been translated into 13 different languages by various researchers.

Reform areas: Mental/behavioral health

Tags: Research, Statistics, Technical Assistance

Created Feb 02, 2009


Supported by

Models for Change was a juvenile justice systems reform initiative supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, website operated by Justice Policy Institute.