Measuring Child Sexual Abuse in Children and Youth
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Asking children and adolescents directly about their experience of sexual victimization overcomes some of the methodological weaknesses inherent in other approaches. Yet complex legal, ethical, and methodological issues remain. This paper reviews the psychometric properties of those questions or instruments that have measured exposure to child sexual abuse directly. A search of four electronic databases using descriptors "child sexual abuse" and "measurement" or "instrumentation" yielded four telephone administered tools, 13 face-to-face interviews, and 32 self-administered questionnaires. Few instruments had been subjected to rigorous evaluation. Establishing the validity and reliability of instruments measuring child sexual abuse and other forms of victimization are critical for the growth and expansion of the field.
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