Attitudes related to child sexual abuse: scale construction and explorative study among psychologists

K Finnilä-Tuohimaa, Pekka Santtila, L Björnberg, N Hakala, P Niemi, Kenneth Sandnabba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


A Child Sexual Abuse Attitude and Belief Scale was constructed and then answered by 242 child psychologists. Four CSA related attitude and belief subscales were identified through confirmatory factor analysis: (1) The Disclosure subscale reflecting favouring a disclosure at any cost; (2) The Pro-Child subscale reflecting unconditional belief in children's reports; (3) The Intuition subscale reflecting favouring an intuitive approach to CSA investigations; and (4) The Anti Criminal Justice System subscale reflecting negative attitudes towards the legal system. Beliefs that were erroneous according to empirical research were analyzed separately. The results suggest that some psychologists hold extreme attitudes and many erroneous beliefs related to CSA. Some misconceptions are common. Female participants tended to have stronger attitudes than male participants. The more training in interviewing children the participants had had, the more erroneous beliefs and stronger attitudes they had. Experience did not affect attitudes and beliefs.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)311–323
JournalScandinavian Journal of Psychology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2008
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Cite this