Characteristics of False Allegation Adult Crimes
Article first published online: 11 JAN 2012
© 2012 American Academy of Forensic Sciences. Published 2012. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the U.S.A.
Journal of Forensic Sciences
Volume 57, Issue 3, pages 643–646, May 2012
How to Cite
McNamara, J. J., McDonald, S. and Lawrence, J. M. (2012), Characteristics of False Allegation Adult Crimes. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 57: 643–646. doi: 10.1111/j.1556-4029.2011.02019.x
- Issue published online: 19 APR 2012
- Article first published online: 11 JAN 2012
- Received 10 Sept. 2010; and in revised form 25 Jan. 2011; accepted 6 Mar. 2011.
- forensic science;
- forensic psychology;
- false allegation crime;
- false victimization;
- false report;
- factitious disorder
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to identify common factors in false allegation adult crimes, by examining the dynamics involved in 30 confirmed false allegation cases. The authors conducted a comprehensive review of these adjudicated cases and then completed a collection instrument to capture offender demographics, offense characteristics, and motive. The results indicated that most false allegation crimes were committed by women (73.3%) and Caucasians (93.3%). Data indicated that more interpersonally violent allegations were primarily motivated by attention/sympathy needs (50.0%), whereas more impersonal offenses involved other motivations such as providing an alibi (16.7%) or profit (13.3%). Offenders tended to be younger, high school graduates with no higher education (43.3%). A total of 23.3% of offenders had a prior criminal history. Male offenders appeared as likely as women to be motivated by attention/sympathy; however, men tended to select more violent, nonsexual offenses (e.g., attempted murder) than women.