Validation of the child sexual abuse knowledge questionnaire

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Abstract

A validation study of the Child Sexual Abuse Knowledge Questionnaire (CSA-KQ) was conducted on a sample of 1712 non-empanelled jurors in the greater Sydney area, Australia. The CSA-KQ contains nine items derived from empirical findings on common misconceptions about typical features of abuse offences, children’s responses to child sexual abuse, and their ability to give reliable evidence. Study 1 tested the factor structure of the questionnaire in a sample of 843 non-empanelled jurors. The best model indicated by exploratory factor analysis had two factors: the Impact of Sexual Abuse on Children and Contextual Influences on the Report. Study 2 cross-validated the findings and tested the predictive validity of the CSA-KQ in a realistic simulated trial in which an 11-year-old complainant alleged abuse by her grandfather. Confirmatory factor analysis replicated the findings of Study 1, showing strong reliability for each of the factors (ρy = 0.70 to ρy = 0.80) and for the CSA-KQ (ρy = 0.76). CSA-KQ scores were significantly correlated with the perceived credibility of the complainant (r = 0.23). Moreover, the CSA-KQ scores predicted verdict: jurors with greater knowledge about CSA were more likely to convict the defendant than jurors who knew less about CSA.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)391-412
Number of pages22
JournalPsychology, Crime and Law
Volume23
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2017

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