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: 210412 Find in a Library
Title: Criminal Investigation of Child Abuse: The Research Behind "Best Practices"
Journal: Trauma, Violence, & Abuse: A Review Journal  Volume:6  Issue:3  Dated:July 2005  Pages:254-268
Author(s): Lisa M. Jones; Theodore P. Cross; Wendy A. Walsh; Monique Simone
Date Published: July 2005
Page Count: 15
Type: Literature Review
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This literature review focuses on the research findings pertaining to the seven most popular approaches to the investigation of criminal child abuse.
Abstract: Seven main approaches to the investigation of child abuse are considered by many in the field to represent the most progressive approaches available: multidisciplinary team investigations, trained child forensic interviewers, videotaped interviews, specialized forensic medical examiners, victim advocacy programs, improved access to mental health treatment for victims, and Children’s Advocacy Centers (CACs). The review reveals that while these approaches are popular and are supported by preliminary research findings, there has been little outcome research conducted on these approaches. For example, the authors found no outcome research at all on the effectiveness of general victim/witness programs, although preliminary findings from one study have suggested that court preparation can improve outcomes for children. Despite the lack of outcome-based research, the existing research does offer preliminary empirical support for many of the approaches practiced today. On the other hand, more research is needed on some popular practices, such as the use of videotaped testimony and victim advocacy programs, before their impact on child abuse investigations is known. Policy and research implications include the recommendation for researchers to take more responsibility for disseminating their research findings concerning program/strategy effectiveness. References
Main Term(s): Child abuse investigations
Index Term(s): Child victims; Investigative techniques; Literature reviews
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.