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NCJ Number: 155552 Find in a Library
Title: Psycholegal Issues in Child Sexual Abuse Evaluations: A Survey of Forensic Mental Health Professionals
Journal: Child Abuse and Neglect  Volume:19  Issue:4  Dated:(April 1995)  Pages:475-490
Author(s): L B Oberlander
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 16
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article presents the results of a survey of Massachusetts child forensic mental health professionals who specialize in conducting evaluations of children in cases involving allegations of sexual abuse. The survey assessed the professionals' normative evaluation and testimony practices with respect to information gathered during clinical interviews and psychosocial assessment of the child.
Abstract: Mental health professionals play a significant role in assessment, rendering expert opinions, and making dispositional recommendations in cases involving allegations of child sexual abuse. Although there have been recent efforts to develop guidelines for practice, little is known about how evaluators actually prefer to proceed in such evaluations, or whether there is consensus with respect to how to proceed. The survey of Massachusetts child forensic mental health professionals assessed evaluators': opinions, reasons for opinions, and typical practices concerning psycholegal issues associated with child sexual abuse evaluations. Survey questions covered three topics: (1) the evaluation process and methods; (2) the limits of expert opinions and testimony; and (3) child advocacy. In addition to presenting the results of the survey, the author discusses implications for child forensic practice. Table, references
Main Term(s): Victims of Crime
Index Term(s): Child abuse; Child Sexual Abuse; Crimes against children; Expert witnesses; Forensic sciences; Juveniles; Massachusetts; Standards implementation; Testimony
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