The Evaluation of Child Sexual Abuse Allegations: A Comprehensive Guide to Assessment and Testimony / Edition 1

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The editors of this collection are experienced practitioners and teachers of forensic psychology. They have collected chapters written by nationally and internationally respected experts in applied research and practice to provide others with their best advice and knowledge on conducting evaluations for and testifying in court.

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Gary B Kaniuk, Psy.D.(Cermak Health Services)
Description: This book describes how to evaluate allegations of child sexual abuse, covering both assessment and court testimony and providing specific interview techniques.
Purpose: Recognizing that "the evaluation of children suspected of having been sexually abused is one of the most challenging endeavors in clinical and forensic practice," the editors set out to "assist the mental health evaluator facing the challenges of these assessments," by compiling "a collection of chapters that reflect current knowledge in the field."
Audience: The target audience includes "all mental health professionals working to protect children." Kathryn Kuehnle, research assistant professor at the University of South Florida, is a specialist in the evaluation and treatment of child abuse. Mary Connell is a certified forensic psychologist. The contributors represent the United States, Norway, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand.
Features: The introduction focuses on the McMartin preschool case. The book then details how to use research to accurately identify sexually abused children and spends some time in understanding normative sexual and nonsexual behaviors. One of the most important parts of the book looks at the forensic interview itself and various assessment techniques. The book ends with a description of the role of the mental health professional in court, especially in educating the judge and jury about the whole assessment process, including suggestibility and/or unintentional false reports. The book uses numerous tables and figures to help illuminate the material. At the end of each chapter, there is a box of guidelines, which sums up the most important points of the chapter. An appendix sets out an investigative interview protocol (15 pages) for police interrogators from the National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). There is both an author and a subject index. The chapter on normative memory development and the child witness explores the development of memory and unwarranted assumptions regarding children's testimony.
Assessment: This excellent book integrates research with clinical practice as it teaches mental health professionals the most salient concepts in order to avoid using faulty interview techniques. New clinicians in the field will benefit from the wisdom presented here. This practical book should be in the library of every forensic professional.
From the Publisher
"An excellent volume this is...I conclude that this volume sets a standard with which future work will be compared, and it will serve a huge heuristic function." (PsycCRITIQUES, 7/22/09)

“An excellent volume this is, but it is also a disturbing one. We have had some of the best minds working on the psychology of child sexual abuse consistently telling us that we know little. We don’t know the extent of child sexual abuse (American Psychological Association, 2001b). We don’t know of any psychological indicators that are both valid and practically useful for substantiation of child sexual abuse in specific cases (American Psychological Association, 2001a). We do not have significant data supporting the repressed and/or recovered memory of traumatic events (McNally & Geraerts, 2009). But thanks to the many contributors to The Evaluation of Child Sexual Abuse Allegations: A Comprehensive Guide to Assessment and Testimony, we see that there is much we do know and how we may begin to know more.... I conclude that this volume sets a standard with which future work will be compared, and it will serve a huge heuristic function.”
Richard M. Bloom (PsycCRITIQUES (Journal of the American Psychological Association) July 2009)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470288603
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 12/22/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 600
  • Product dimensions: 7.30 (w) x 9.80 (h) x 1.90 (d)

Meet the Author

KATHRYN KUEHNLE, PhD, is Research Assistant Professor with the Department of Mental Health Law & Policy at Florida Mental Health Institute, University of South Florida, and is in private practice in Florida. She specializes in evaluating and treating cases involving child maltreatment and is the author of Assessing Allegations of Child Sexual Abuse.

MARY CONNELL, EdD, ABPP, is certified as a forensic psychologist by the American Board of Professional Psychology. She is in independent practice in—Texas and provides training on parenting assessment and forensic ethics in workshops sponsored by the American Academy of Forensic Psychology. She is coauthor of Ethical Practice in Forensic Psychology: A Systematic Model for Decision Making.

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Table of Contents



Introduction: Improved Forensic Interviewing: The Legacy of the McMartin Preschool Case (John E. B. Myers).


Chapter 1 Methods for the Identification of Sexually Abused Children: Issues and Needed Features for Abuse Indicators (David Faust, Ana J. Bridges, and David C. Ahern).

Chapter 2 Methods for the Identification of Sexually Abused Children: Reframing the Clinician’s Task and Recognizing Its Disparity with Research on Indicators (Ana J. Bridges, David Faust, and David C. Ahern).

Chapter 3 Methods for the Identification of Sexually Abused Children: Suggestions for Clinical Work and Research (David Faust, Ana J. Bridges, and David C. Ahern).l


Chapter 4 Professional Roles: Key to Accuracy and Effectiveness (Charles R. Clark).

Chapter 5 Ethical Issues in Child Sexual Abuse Evaluations (Gerald P. Koocher).


Chapter 6 Child Development: Normative Sexual and Nonsexual Behaviors That May Be Confused with Symptoms of Sexual Abuse (Debra A. Poole and Michele A. Wolfe).

Chapter 7 The Continuum of Children’s Sexual Behavior: Discriminative Categories and the Need for Public Policy Change (Jessica Gurley, Kathryn Kuehnle, and H. D. Kirkpatrick).


Chapter 8 Normative Memory Development and the Child Witness (J. Zoe Klemfuss and Stephen Ceci).

Chapter 9 Children’s Resistance to Suggestion (LaTonya S. Harris, Gail S. Goodman, Else Marie Augusti, Yoojin Chae, and Deborah Alley).

Chapter 10 Repressed and Recovered Memories during Childhood and Adolescence (Andrea F. Greenhoot and Monica Tsethlikai).


Chapter 11 Forensic Child Sexual Abuse Evaluations: Accuracy, Ethics, and Admissibility (Steve Herman).

Chapter 12 Children’s Suggestibility: Areas of Consensus and Controversy (Lindsay C. Malloy and Jodi A. Quas).

Chapter 13 Forensic Interviews with Children: A Two-Way Street: Supporting Interviewers in Adhering to Best Practice Recommendations and Enhancing Children’s Capabilities in Forensic Interviews (Deirdre Brown and Michael E. Lamb).

Chapter 14 Repeated Interviewing: A Critical Evaluation of the Risks and Potential Benefits (David La Rooy, Michael E. Lamb, and Margaret-Ellen Pipe).


Chapter 15 Dolls, Drawing, Body Diagrams, and Other Props: Role of Props in Investigative Interviews (Margaret-Ellen Pipe and Karen Salmon).

Chapter 16 Unsupported Assessment Techniques in Child Sexual Abuse Evaluations (Daniel Murrie, David A. Martindale, and Monica Epstein).


Chapter 17 The Child Advocacy Center Model (Mary Connell).

Chapter 18 The Extended Forensic Evaluation (Mary Connell).


Chapter 19 The Return of the Ultimate Issue: Talking to the Court in Child Sexual Abuse Cases (Daniel W. Shuman and William G. Austin).

Chapter 20 Jurors and Professionals in the Legal System: What Do They Know and What They Should Know about Interviewing Child Witnesses (Julie A. Buck and Amye R. Warren).

Appendix: Investigative Interview Protocol.

Author Index.

Subject Index.

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