|| True and False Allegations of Child Sexual Abuse
|| Tara Ney
||Brunner/Mazel, Inc. ©1995
19 Union Square West
New York, NY 10003
This 371-page book consists of 20 chapters by different researchers and
practioners, including Jon Conte, William Friedrich, Betty Gordon, Elizabeth Loftus, Peter Ornstein, Nancy Walker Perry, Amye Warren, Michael
Yapko, and John Yuille. The chapters are organized into five major sections: an introduction, child development issues, the interview, assessment issues, and legal and ethical issues. Topics covered include child development, statement assessment in interviews of children, the cognitive interview, the recovery of repressed memories, medical evaluations, assessment in divorce and custody disputes, young children's sexual behaviors, assessment of adolescents, family considerations and case management, phallometric assessment of sexual preference, assessment of ritual abuse allegations, and ethical and legal issues. Each chapter ends with a conclusion and list of recommendations. References follow each chapter and there is a name index and a subject index at the end.
Many of the chapters provide useful information, but, as is expected in an edited volume, the contributions are uneven in quality. The research in most of the contributions is up to date, although the last two chapters on legal issues are dated. Compared to books several years ago, the problem of false allegations is treated seriously by the contributors.
The book clearly acknowledges that there is no "magic bullet" for differentiating between true and false
allegations of sexual abuse. A careful case by case evaluation is still required. The book is recommended to therapists, researchers, attorneys, investigators, and child protective workers.
Reviewed by LeRoy G. Schultz, Emeritus Professor, West Virginia University.