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Is There a Place for Extended Assessments in Addressing Child Sexual Abuse Allegations?: How Sensitivity and Specificity Impact Professional Perspectives

NCJ Number
247590
Journal
Journal of Child Sexual Abuse Volume: 23 Issue: 2 Dated: 2014 Pages: 179-197
Author(s)
Javonda Williams; Debra Nelson-Gardell; Kathleen C. Faller; Amy Tishelman; Linda Cordisco-Steele
Date Published
2014
Length
19 pages
Annotation
Using data from a survey of perceptions of 932 child welfare professionals about the utility of extended assessments, the researchers constructed a scale to measure respondents' views about sensitivity (ensuring sexually abused children are correctly identified) and specificity (ensuring nonabused children are correctly identified) in child sexual abuse evaluations.
Abstract
Using data from a survey of perceptions of 932 child welfare professionals about the utility of extended assessments, the researchers constructed a scale to measure respondents' views about sensitivity (ensuring sexually abused children are correctly identified) and specificity (ensuring nonabused children are correctly identified) in child sexual abuse evaluations. On average, respondents scored high (valuing sensitivity) on the sensitivity versus specificity scale. Next, the researchers undertook bivariate analyses to identify independent variables significantly associated with the sensitivity versus specificity scale. Then those variables were entered into a multiple regression. Four independent variables were significantly related to higher sensitivity scores: encountering cases requiring extended assessments, valuing extended assessments among scarce resources, less concern about proving cases in court, and viewing the goal of extended assessments as understanding needs of child and family (adjusted R2 = .34). Abstract published by arrangement with Taylor Francis.