Monday, February 19, 2007
More than 20 percent of sexually abused children who disclose abuse, later deny the allegations, according to a study by researchers at USC Gould School of Law and the University of California-Irvine; such as USC Psych and CrimProf Thomas Lyon.
The study, published in the February issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, found that denials were especially likely among younger children, children abused by someone living in the home, and children whose mothers were unsupportive.
“The results suggest that sexually abused children are highly vulnerable to various pressures to deny their abuse, particularly when those pressures come from people close to them” said Thomas Lyon, a professor of law and psychology at USC who co-authored the study.
The study, which looked at a large group of Los Angeles juvenile court cases, is among the first to look at recantations among children who are sexually abused.
“Some researchers have begun to question the assumption made by clinicians and others who work with sexually abused children that children are reluctant to disclose abuse,” said Lyon. “This study supports the classical view - even when children overcome barriers to disclosure, they are still susceptible to pressures.”
The researchers did not find any evidence to support the belief that retraction is a sign that the original allegations were false. Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]