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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 202235 Find in a Library
Title: Describing Individual Incidents of Sexual Abuse: A Review of Research on the Effects of Multiple Sources of Information on Children's Reports
Journal: Child Abuse & Neglect  Volume:25  Issue:12  Dated:December 2001  Pages:1643-1659
Author(s): Kim P. Roberts; Martine B. Powell
Editor(s): Richard D. Krugman
Date Published: December 2001
Page Count: 17
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article reviews two types of contaminating sources on children’s reports of being sexually abused: the exposure to related events and repeated experience of the same incident or chronic abuse and how the combination of both kinds of sources affects children’s reports.
Abstract: For the successful prosecution of child sexual abuse, children are often required to provide reports about individual, alleged incidents. Before and during investigations of sexual abuse, it is likely that children are exposed to experiences that may affect the length, accuracy, and structure of their allegations, such as multiple incidents of abuse, informal interviews with parents or teachers, conversations with other victims, televisions programs, magazines, dreams, and daydreams. In addition, children may also experience similar, abusive incidents on multiple occasions. Exposure to related events can strengthen children’s memories. However, children’s report of individual incidents can also be contaminated when they experience other events related to the individual incidents and/or when they have similar repeated experiences. This article reviews research on the positive and negative effects of these related experiences on the length, accuracy, and structure of children’s reports of a particular incident. Several recommendations are presented for forensic interviews of children which explore different methods of questioning children. References
Main Term(s): Child abuse investigations
Index Term(s): Child abuse training programs; Children in the courtroom; Police child abuse training; Prosecution; Prosecutor-victim interaction
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