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Journal Article

Citation

Lindblad F, Kaldal A. Acta Paediatr. 2000; 89(8): 1001-1009.

Affiliation

Division of Psychosocial Factors and Health, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. frank.lindblad@ipm.ki.se

Copyright

(Copyright © 2000, John Wiley and Sons)

DOI

unavailable

PMID

10976847

Abstract

In September 1997, sexual abuse at a Swedish daycare centre was disclosed. The suspect, a male member of the staff, admitted having abused six children. A total of 30 children were included in the police investigation. In this study, these cases were evaluated individually using a child psychiatric method. Information was collected from the police investigation and from interviews with parents. The conclusions--categorized as "abuse likely", "abuse conceivable" or "abuse uncertain"--were compared with the children's own reports, the legal evaluations and the confessions of the suspects. CONCLUSIONS: The correspondence of child reports with child psychiatric evaluations was fairly high, indicating that child reports may serve as a good screening indicator of abuse. There was little agreement between child psychiatric evaluations and legal decisions, which were based on the reports of suspects. Some differences may be explained by varied methodology, definitions and criteria. Others reflect real differences in opinion. Our study illustrates the need to establish legal criteria for statements from pre-schoolers if such evidence is to constitute the basis of a ruling without a confession. Studies comparing professional psychological assessments of children's statements about sexual abuse with independent data stand out as an important line of research for the future.


Language: en

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