skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 151809 Find in a Library
Title: Children Speak for Themselves: Using the Kempe Interactional Assessment to Evaluate Allegations of Parent- Child Sexual Abuse
Author(s): C Haynes-Seman; D Baumgarten
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 208
Sponsoring Agency: Brunner/Mazel, Inc.
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Publication Number: ISBN 0-87630-745-4
Sale Source: Brunner/Mazel, Inc.
Marketing Manager
325 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
United States of America
Type: Issue Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A clinical process that has proven highly effective for evaluating and clarifying child sexual abuse cases is known as the Kempe Interactional Assessment for Parent-Child Sexual Abuse.
Abstract: The process facilitates the compilation of reliable data without the pressure of directly questioning children. It recognizes that even preverbal and nonverbal children can speak for themselves about experiences with important people in their lives. By accurately recognizing, understanding, and translating children's communications, the Kempe assessment technique provides first-hand information for clinical and legal professionals that might otherwise be ignored. The technique is comprised of three parts: (1) clinical interview with each parent in the child's presence; (2) videotaped observations of parent-child interactions; and (3) individual play interview with the child. Case illustrations demonstrate various ways in which children communicate their sexual abuse experiences and show how sexually abusive relationships develop and are maintained within the family system. Case studies also clearly illustrate the Kempe assessment technique's value when other approaches may not be effective in distinguishing sexually and nonsexually abusive family relationships. The authors view parent-child sexual abuse as an attachment disorder and discuss factors that lead to and maintain incestuous relationships. They also cover such topics as the unresolved childhood trauma of parents, behavioral clues to childhood experiences, specific ways in which children communicate, and opportunities for helping professions. 42 references and 16 figures
Main Term(s): Juvenile victims
Index Term(s): Abused children; Abusing parents; Child Sexual Abuse; Child victims; Incest; Sexual assault victims
Note: *This document is currently unavailable from NCJRS.
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.