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Preschoolers’ disclosures of child sexual abuse: Examining corroborated cases from Swedish courts

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift
Författare Mikaela Magnusson
Emelie Ernberg
Sara Landström
Publicerad i International Journal of Child Abuse & Neglect
Volym 70
Sidor 199-209
ISSN 0145-2134
Publiceringsår 2017
Publicerad vid Psykologiska institutionen
Sidor 199-209
Språk en
Länkar dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2017.05...
www.sciencedirect.com/science/artic...
Ämnesord Child sexual abuse; Children’s testimony; Police interview; Case characteristics; Preschoolers
Ämneskategorier Tillämpad psykologi

Sammanfattning

Young victims of child sexual abuse can – for a range of developmental, motivational and contextual reasons – have difficulties disclosing their experiences. In the present study, corroborated court cases concerning 57 preschoolers’ disclosures of sexual abuse were examined using qualitative and quantitative methodologies. Together, the cases involved 53 girls and 4 boys between 2–6 years (M = 4.2, SD = 1.2) during the (first) incident of abuse. The children were between 3–7 years (M = 5.3, SD = 1.2) during their police interview. Analyses showed that many children could provide at least one central detail about the abuse to; i) informal disclosure recipients, and ii) during their police interview. However, the time up until their first disclosure was often delayed. A range of barriers for disclosing were observed in the court cases, and many young victims were assessed as reluctant during their police interview. Repeated sessions, direct questions, and other reassurances could at times facilitate the disclosure process. Other suggestions on actions and future research that may help young child abuse victims are discussed.

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