Dimensions of Child Sexual Abuse Allegations: What is Unusual and What is Not?

TitleDimensions of Child Sexual Abuse Allegations: What is Unusual and What is Not?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsO'Donohue, W, Benuto, LT, Fondren, RN, Tolle, L, Vijay, A, Fanetti, M
JournalJournal of Forensic Psychology Practice
Volume13
Pagination456-475
Abstract

Summit claimed via his child sexual abuse accomodation syndrome (CSAAS) that children often (a) recant; (b) make disclosures that are unconvincing (i.e., “illogical” and “incredible”); (c) make contradictory claims; and (d) make delayed claims. In this study, 97 substantiated cases of child sexual abuse were examined for both the key properties outlined by Summit and also for other key properties that have been discussed by experts. Results indicate that some of the key properties of CSASS (recantation and contradictions) are rare in substantiated cases. While delayed claims were common, the delays in this sample were generally shorter than proposed in CSAAS. Results also revealed that allegations rarely contained logistical implausibilities, impoverished details, a stake factor, strange elements in the context of the outcry, fantastical details, or reports of repressed memories.

DOI10.1080/15228932.2013.838103