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A Behavioral Approach to the Assessment of Child Sexual Abuse

2 hours, 38 minutes
3.0 BACB
W. Joseph Wyatt, PhD

“[This course] deals with a very important problem in our culture and other cultures.”

W. Joseph Wyatt, PhD, while discussing the importance of assessment of child abuse 


A very real situation in which BCBAs will encounter is evidence of abuse. As a result, it is important that clinicians be aware of the content surrounding child sexual abuse. However, clinicians must consider various factors when researching allegations of abuse. This course focuses on factors that influence false abuse allegations, focusing on three major cases, and the implications of the allegations. The end of the course outlines the guiding assumptions when researching allegations and recommendations for practice when investigating abuse allegations. 

 Learning Objectives

What you’ll learn in the course and be able to do afterward

  1. Explain how a functional analysis describes how a child reports sexual abuse has occurred 
  2. State the percentage range of true and false allegation rate 
  3. List the consequences to false allegations for the child who reported the allegation and the individual accused 
  4. Describe the common factors in what went wrong in three key cases discussed in the lecture 
  5. Describe the “tunnels dive” in behavior analytic terms 
  6. Explain the implications of two pediatric studies mentioned 
  7. List some of the linguistic characteristics to consider when investigating abuse allegations 
  8. Explain the influence of negative stereotyping and give a study example of the phenomenon 
  9. State the various reactions children who have been sexually abused may exhibit 
  10. List the guiding assumptions in determining if abuse has occurred 
  11. Describe the recommendations for practice when investigating allegations of abuse 


This course is delivered through Florida Tech. Clicking "Enroll Now" will take you to Florida Tech’s website where you can Add to CartCheckout, and complete the course. Come back to our website for podcasts, blogs, courses, and content.


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