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Anatomically Detailed Dolls and the Evaluation of Child Sexual Abuse Allegations: Psychometric Considerations

Linda J. Skinner and Kenneth K. Berry
Law and Human Behavior
Vol. 17, No. 4 (Aug., 1993), pp. 399-421
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1394225
Page Count: 23
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Anatomically Detailed Dolls and the Evaluation of Child Sexual Abuse Allegations: Psychometric Considerations
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Abstract

Although anatomically detailed dolls are becoming the most commonly used tool in the validation of sexual abuse allegations, their use is not without significant problems. This evaluation of the psychometric properties of the dolls using the existing empirical literature reveals that there is considerable difficulty in the standardization of the dolls, administration and scoring procedures, and training in the dolls' use. Furthermore, appropriate norms have not been developed. Although good interobserver reliability has been reported, the construct and criterion-related validity has not been demonstrated consistently. The current lack of an empirically based psychometric foundation does not support the use of the dolls in validation interviews, nor the admissibility of doll-based evidence in legal proceedings.

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