Effects of context and question type on endorsement of childhood sexual abuse



Use of contextual information and behaviorally specific questions have been found to detect higher rates of child sexual abuse (CSA); however, no study has examined the use of contextual information or question type within 1 study. This study examined 236 college students randomly assigned to 1 of 4 conditions: noncontext/label questions, noncontext/specific question, context/label questions, context/specific questions. Reported history of CSA did not differ across presentation of videotaped contextual information. However, respondents endorsed behaviorally specific questions significantly more (32%) than label questions (9%). Results suggest that researchers and clinicians attempting to detect childhood victimization history should utilize multiple behaviorally specific screening questions.