The effect of victim age on police authorisation of charges in cases of child sexual abuse

Leach, Chelsea Louise, Powell, Martine B. and Anglim, Jeromy 2016, The effect of victim age on police authorisation of charges in cases of child sexual abuse, Psychiatry, psychology and law, vol. 23, no. 2, pp. 302-316, doi: 10.1080/13218719.2015.1055048.

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Title The effect of victim age on police authorisation of charges in cases of child sexual abuse
Author(s) Leach, Chelsea Louise
Powell, Martine B.ORCID iD for Powell, Martine B.
Anglim, JeromyORCID iD for Anglim, Jeromy
Journal name Psychiatry, psychology and law
Volume number 23
Issue number 2
Start page 302
End page 316
Total pages 15
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2016
ISSN 1321-8719
Keyword(s) case characteristics
child sexual abuse
victim age
Summary In the study, a cohort of 440 child sexual abuse cases were used to model the effect of victim age on police authorisation of charges. Linear and quadratic effects of age were modelled in a logistic regression that controlled for case characteristics and evidence. The quadratic effect of victim age was strengthened when control variables were included in the model and the linear effect of age was not significant in the final model. The results indicated that cases involving victims in middle childhood had a higher proportion of suspects charged than cases involving victims in early childhood and adolescence. Possible mediators of the relationship between victim age and charges were explored and it was found that cases with older victims had a higher prevalence of extra-familial abuse and suspect confessions, and these factors had a positive effect on the proportion of suspects charged. Possible explanations for the quadratic effect of victim age and mediation are discussed.
Language eng
DOI 10.1080/13218719.2015.1055048
Field of Research 170199 Psychology not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 929999 Health not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2015, The Australian and New Zealand Association of Psychiatry, Psychology and Law
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Psychology
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