Category Archives: Child Abuse

Child Abuse

Rind controversy redux: Psychological sequelae of adult-child sexual contact.

Forensic psy­chol­o­gists may be called upon to ren­der opin­ions con­cern­ing psy­cho­log­i­cal harm fol­low­ing adult-child sex­ual con­tact. Rind et al. (1998) exam­ined assumed prop­er­ties of CSA and found that psy­cho­log­i­cal harm is vari­able. They found that fam­ily envi­ron­ment was con­sis­tently con­founded with CSA, and explained con­sid­er­ably more adjust­ment vari­ance than CSA. CSA-adjustment rela­tions gen­er­ally became nonsignificant […]

Disclosure, denial, delay, recantation, and confirmation in CSA

Despite sev­eral years of high qual­ity research in CSA, courts con­tinue to hear that pat­terns of dis­clo­sure, denial, delay, and recan­ta­tion are (or are not) dis­pos­i­tive of CSA. In their review of these issues in a recent spe­cial issue of Memory, London, Ceci, Wright, and Ceci (2008) draw the fol­low­ing con­clu­sions: “We have argued that, in […]

Psychological Experts in CSA Trials

Back in September 2011, I mused about how help­ful psy­cho­log­i­cal experts are in CSA tri­als. Testimony will inevitably have to address devel­op­ments in sev­eral areas, includ­ing pat­terns of dis­clo­sure, mem­ory, sug­gestibil­ity, qual­ity of foren­sic inter­views, and error rates of CSA decision-making, highly tech­ni­cal stuff. The work of Bruck and Ceci has remained author­i­ta­tive for almost […]

Is the testimony of experts at child sex abuse trials helpful?

The tes­ti­mony of experts in child sex abuse tri­als is con­tro­ver­sial. There are seri­ous legal con­straints on expert tes­ti­mony con­cern­ing cred­i­bil­ity of the wit­ness, prop­erly the domain of the trier of fact (see US vs. Brooks, a court mar­tial, where my tes­ti­mony was rejected by a mil­i­tary court of appeals as cross­ing the line).  Thus, […]

Assessing Parental Risk in Child Custody Cases Involving Internet Sexual Behavior

Abstract: One type of claim in par­ent­ing assess­ment (child custody)1 cases is that one par­ent, typ­i­cally the father, is alleged to be engag­ing in improper or com­pul­sive sex­ual behav­ior via the Internet. The sex­ual behav­ior at issue can range from fre­quent sex­u­ally explicit chats with other adults to com­pul­sive view­ing of adult pornog­ra­phy. In more […]

17,000 Helens agree — Bad Parents are Bad News

But seri­ously, check out http://www.cdc.gov/ace/index.htm. The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study is one of the largest inves­ti­ga­tions ever con­ducted to assess asso­ci­a­tions between child­hood mal­treat­ment and later-life health and well-being. The study is a col­lab­o­ra­tion between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Kaiser Permanente’s Health Appraisal Clinic in San Diego. More than 17,000 Health Maintenance […]