PSYC 376 Unit 2

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  1. What may account for mixed findings with respect to the relationship between threats and length of delay to disclosure?
    It could be a problem with definition; if researchers even defined threat, the definition was inconsistent across studies (1). It could also be that there is a complex interaction. For instance, threats from a family member could decrease disclosure rates (1) while threats from others may not (1); or threats to younger children may decrease disclosure rates (1) but threats to older children and adolescents may increase disclosure rates (1).
  2. Explain how sampling bias may affect estimates of denial of CSA from children who had or are being abused and recantation rates among children who had disclosed?
    When studying denial and recantation, the sample of children who can be studied is necessarily restricted; it is not possible to survey thousands or to randomly select children to assess their abuse status and investigate reporting/recantation patterns (2). The only option is to study children who have come under suspicion of having been assaulted (1). This ignores all children who were /are being abused but do not come to the attention of authorities. (1) Because many of these children are involved in an investigation due to a past disclosure, this sample will understate denial rates. (1) One may also argue that the children are in a safe place to disclose and this may decrease recantation rates. (1)
  3. Should we develop programs to encourage children to disclose sexual abuse early? Based on the unit notes, discuss arguments for and against such programs and explain your personal position on the issue.
    Some scholars have reported that CSA can lead to significant problems in adulthood (1) including: higher incidence of depression, problems with parenting, self-destructive behaviors, isolation and stigmatization self-blame and internalizing. (3 points for listing at least 3 consequences) There is some consensus that CSA can lead to adult pathology; it is less clear, however, whether early disclosure ameliorates the effects.


    Some scholars reported that timing of disclosure was unrelated to global measures of current functioning, some reported better functioning among late disclosers, and others reported better functioning among early disclosers. (1) Some of the ambiguity in this literature may be attributed to the reactions to the disclosure. An important mediator in outcome of early disclosure of CSA appears to be the reaction of the confidant. A child who receives a negative reaction from the person to whom the abuse is disclosed may be at greater risk for adult pathology than a child who does not disclose the abuse at all. (1)


    Of children who disclose, some will become involved in the criminal justice system. Goodman et al (1992) followed 218 children who had or had not testified in court about sexual abuse and found that children who had testified evidenced more behavioral disturbances than children who had not testified! (1) This study is dated, but it not irrelevant. Current studies also show that some children find testifying very stressful (1). Importantly, it is not stressful for all children, some find the process empowering and even cathartic (1)


    Notwithstanding the inconsistent findings with respect to clinical symptoms as sequelae of delayed disclosure of CSA, there is general consensus that children who do not disclose the abuse in a timely manner are themselves at risk of continued abuse (1), other children are at risk of being abused (1), and therapy for all affected children is delayed (1)


    In addition to the social and clinical implications of a long delay, there are important forensic implications of delayed disclosure. In some countries, a long delay to disclosure may mean that the case cannot proceed criminally (1) (statute of limitations). Even if there is not a statute of limitations to bar the case from going to criminal court, complications associated with very long delays to trial cannot be avoided including lost evidence, poor memories, and difficulty finding witnesses (1).
  4. How can the definition of CSA affect retrospective survey data on disclosure rates?
    On the one hand, a broad definition may overstate disclosure rates. (1) This is because a very broad definition is going to include more incidents overall and more incidents involving strangers (e.g., lewd comments from strangers on the street); (1) stranger incidents are more likely to be disclosed than non-stranger incidents. (1) On the other hand, a very broad definition of CSA may also mean that some respondents will have forgotten both occurrence (1) and reporting (1) of incidents that were relatively mild, this will understate the rate of disclosing (1).
  5. You have decided to conduct a study of disclosure rates of CSA. Because you want to ensure that all persons in your sample were abused as children, you decide to sample from adults who have a documented history of abuse or a current clinical sample. When you report your results, what should you say about the possible affect of your selected sample on your data? That is, how might the sample you selected overstate or understate disclosure rates? Explain why the disclosure rates may be overstated or understated.
    Surveys that use respondents with a documented history of abuse may overstate disclosure rates. (1) To the extent that there is a relationship between documented evidence of abuse and early disclosure in childhood (1) and to the extent that there is a relationship between disclosure in childhood and disclosure in adulthood, (1) using a sample of persons with documented abuse in childhood may overestimate disclosure rates. Studies that use a clinical population are likely to overstate disclosure rates.(1) That is, respondents’ status as clinical clients is likely associated with disclosure. (1)
  6. A researcher is planning a survey study on university students to estimate the rate of disclosure of child abuse. Define the survey reluctance hypothesis and explain how it might operate with this population.
    Survey reluctance is the reluctance to disclose abuse on a survey. (1) Survey reluctance may overstate disclosure rates in this population. (1) Most who disclosed early will disclose on the survey and will be counted as early disclosers. (1) Some who have not yet disclosed will not disclose on the survey and will not be counted as non-disclosers. (1) In other words, more early disclosers are identified than late disclosers. Related to this, relative to younger adults, older adults are more likely to have disclosed (they simply had more time) and will report themselves as disclosers on surveys. (1) On the other hand, more younger than older adults will not have disclosed and will not report themselves as disclosers on surveys. (1) This leads to the counter-intuitive hypothesis that disclosure rates will be higher among younger than older adults (1)
  7. What can we conclude about delayed disclosure of CSA from the retrospective survey data?
    1) most children do not report their abuse immediately 2) there is reasonable evidence that a closer relationship between the perpetrator and the child may be associated with delay 3) the relationship between age and delayed disclosure is equivocal, it may be that availability of a trusted confidant (non-offending parent or friend) is important. 4) the majority of reports demonstrate that boys are more reluctant to disclose than girls 5) no other clear patterns on predictors of disclosure emerged
  8. London et al. (2005) speculated that the relationship between age and disclosure during a forensic interview may be an inverted-U function. Why? (hint; what pattern of data would result in this kind of a relationship and explain why that pattern might be found)
    Children became more likely to disclose after the age of about four years. (1) There are several reasons for this: first, younger children are less likely to have the linguistic skills needed to disclose abuse in a convincing way (1); second, younger children are less likely to understand what happened and so less able to disclose in a way that could trigger an investigation (1) and; (3) third, younger children are more likely to be assessed for behaviours that are ambiguous and so there may be more unsubstantiated reports among younger children (1). There may be a decline in disclosures among adolescents. (1) This decline in adolescence could be due to a couple of factors: first, adolescents have a greater appreciation for the consequences of disclosure and so may deny they were abused; (1) second, adolescents are more likely to disclose to a peer than to an adult reducing the possibility that the allegation will be investigated by an official organization. (1)
  9. On surveys, the false denial rate will _____ abuse rates and _____ disclosure rates.
    c. Understate, overstate
  10. Based on retrospective studies of adults, approximately what percent of those who report having been sexually abused as children reported the abuse to authorities?
    b. 10%
  11. If a relationship between relationship and length of delay to disclosure is found, what is the direction of the effect?
    a. A closer relationship is associated with longer delay to disclosure
  12. Surveys of adults’ retrospective reports of abuse and disclosure allow us to investigate _______ but not _________
    b. delayed disclosure, denial
  13. When studying recantation and denial rates what was identified as a problem when unsubstantiated cases were included in the study?
    a. denials might be true
  14. Sorenson and Snow reported a very low disclosure rate (and so a very high denial rate) among children they reported had been sexually abused. What was wrong with their study?
    c. They suspected satanic abuse from the beginning
  15. Child sexual abuse accommodation syndrome had been used as a
    a. Diagnostic tool
  16. What is forward telescoping?
    a. Estimating the date of an event to have been more recent than it actually was
  17. Telescoping may skew survey data in a number of ways. Which of the following was not identified as a consequence of telescoping?
    d. Estimate age at the time of abuse to be younger than the respondent actually was
  18. Population surveys may alleviate problems with ___________ and _____________ but will not address problems associated with _____________
    a. Representativeness, false allegations, false denials
  19. According to Lyon (2009) what is “survey reluctance?”
    b. Reluctance to disclose abuse on surveys.
  20. Is there a relationship between severity of abuse and length of delay to disclosure?
    c. The data are mixed
  21. After what age are children more likely to disclose abuse in an interview?
    d. 4-years
  22. When adolescents disclose abuse, it is most likely to be to a ____________
    d. friend
  23. What is one of the strongest predictors of disclosure during a formal interview?
    a. Prior disclosure
  24. Based on retrospective surveys of adults’ reports of childhood abuse, what is the modal disclosure rate in childhood?
    c. One-third
  25. Helplessness is a state described in
    b. Child sexual abuse accommodation syndrome
  26. Studies of denial and recantation rates must necessarily exclude which of the following populations?
    b. Children who have not yet disclosed
  27. If a study of denial and recantation rates includes children who falsely report abuse and then recant the false allegation, denial rates will _______ and recantation rates will ______
    d. decrease, increase
  28. Of studies that include only substantiated cases of child abuse, denial rates are ____ and recantation rates are _____ relative to studies that do not report substantiation evidence.
    a. lower, lower
  29. In a study of denial and recantation rates, what is the probable effect of only including children who have previously disclosed abuse?
    c. Decrease denial rates
  30. What is the general pattern of data with respect to disclosure of CSA in a forensic interview and the relationship between the child and the alleged perpetrator?
    b. A closer relationship between the child and the alleged perpetrator is associated with lower disclosure rates in a forensic interview.
  31. In the context of a formal interview, what is the general conclusion about denial and recantation of CSA?
    b. Most children disclose and do not recant the allegation.
  32. According to Summit (1983) children often delay disclosure and when they do, disclosure is unconvincing. Summit offered several reasons for this. Which of the following in not a reason?
    c. The child would prefer to forget it
  33. What is the most recent statement from Canadian courts on Child Sexual Abuse Accommodation Syndrome?
    d. It has been debunked
  34. Which stage of CSAAS has not been the subject of extensive inquiry?
    b. Entrapment and accommodation
  35. What is the most common methodology used to study disclosure patterns?
    c. Surveys
  36. Surveys that use respondents with a documented history of abuse are likely to _____ disclosure rates. Studies that use a clinical population are likely to _____disclosure rates.
    a. overstate, overstate
  37. To the extent that respondents falsely remember that they had disclosed the abuse, estimates of disclosure rates will be ________. To the extent that respondents forget that they had disclosed the abuse, estimates of disclosure rates will be ___________.
    b. overstated, understated
  38. According to Lyon’s (2009) survey reluctance hypothesis, a survey that samples a younger population is likely to ________disclosure rates.
    b. Overstate
Card Set:
PSYC 376 Unit 2
2017-04-14 22:09:39

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