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Assessment training for investigation of child sexual abuse: validation of NICHD protocol

Grant number: 13/06690-9
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2013
Effective date (End): March 31, 2015
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Psychology - Psychological Treatment and Prevention
Principal Investigator:Lúcia Cavalcanti de Albuquerque Williams
Grantee:Chayene Hackbarth
Host Institution: Centro de Educação e Ciências Humanas (CECH). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil


The issue of child abuse has attracted national attention. However, there is no efficient standardized protocol for investigation in cases of suspected child sexual abuse in Brazil. The NICHD protocol (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development) supports forensic interviews with children in cases of sexual abuse and consists mostly of open questions, which are conducted according to the child reports. The Protocol contributes to bridge the gap between theory and practice in assessments of sexual abuse and helping children to remember and recount the experiences analyzing possible deficits in communication and memory. This study is part of a series of initiatives in three Brazilian states to validate the NICHD Protocol to Brazil. For this, the tutor of this project has partnered with the first author of the Protocol. Thus, the aim of this project is to evaluate the effectiveness of a training that will be offered for forensic psychologists in a paulistana midsize city, comparing the forensic interviews conducted before the training and after. Six psychologists from the Legal System of the city will undergo a training process during seven days. Additionally, two judges and a public defender will also participate in the study. The NICHD protocol training and data collection will be conducted in the Civil and Children and Youth Forums of the city. From one to three reports issued by each psychologist will be analyzed before and after training. Judges and the Public Defender will answer a questionnaire with qualitative issues about the Psychological Reports produced by the six psychologists before and after training. Finally, an instrument will be administered to analyze the social acceptance of the protocol by professionals who performed the training. The results found in the reports will be cataloged both quantitatively and qualitatively. This work may prove the effectiveness of the NICHD protocol in the context in which it appears, facilitate its administration by research participants and detect more quickly the violence. (AU)

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