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NCJ Number: 127898 Find in a Library
Title: Psychological Assessment of Sexually Abused Children for Legal Evaluation and Expert Witness Testimony
Journal: Professional Psychology: Research and Practice  Volume:21  Issue:5  Dated:special issue (October 1990)  Pages:344-353
Author(s): L E A Walker
Date Published: 1990
Page Count: 10
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article assists the practitioner to apply data on the short- and long-term psychological symptoms of child sexual abuse to forensic situations.
Abstract: Courts are moving toward using the psychological evidence of the impact of abuse as proof of the acts having occurred even when there is no supporting physical evidence. New techniques in the understanding and identification of posttraumatic stress reactions and disorders and the various subcategories have made the psychological assessment of children who have been sexually abused a more reliable and valid method of confirming the diagnosis. The article discusses the legal standards for evaluations in terms of child abuse report laws, types of legal situations, criminal and dependency and neglect cases, and standards of proof. Forensic evaluations are discussed in the areas of suggestibility and bias, review of corroborating documents, gathering assessment data to answer legal questions, and case examples. The assessment of the sexually abused child, the legal assessment of the alleged perpetrator, the legal assessment of family members, the communication of findings, the expert witness testimony, and the ethical and liability issues are the final issues discussed in the article. 34 references (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Child Sexual Abuse; Psychological victimization effects
Index Term(s): Competency to testify; Juvenile witnesses; Psychiatric testimony; Psychological evaluation
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