IPT Book Reviews

Title: The Child Sexual Abuse Custody Dispute Annotated Bibliography
Authors: Wendy Deaton, Suzanne Long, Holly A. Magaña, and Julie Robbins
Publisher: Sage Publications, Inc., ©1995

Sage Publications, Inc.
2455 Teller Road
Newbury Park, CA 91320
(805) 499-0721
$27.50 (c)

This 188-page annotated bibliography came out of The Child Abuse Custody Dispute Task Force of the California Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (CAPSAC). CAPSAC, recognizing that sexual abuse cases involving custody disputes were of major concern to professionals, had the goal of developing a protocol and policy recommendations. The task force first embarked on a literature search of the legal, social, and behavioral sciences. This search resulted in this book.

The book contains 137 summaries of literature regarding children's testimony, false allegations, research commentaries, and other information in custody disputes. Obviously, many important sources are missing. Although there is a summary of a medical article dated 1987, none of John McCann's work is mentioned. Also, the selection is dated — many articles are from the 1980s and the most current are from 1992. There have been important developments in the field within the past few years that are not reflected in these summaries.

Although comprehensive, the summaries are not entirely objective; many reflect the biases of the task force. For example, all of the work by Boat and Everson is "rigorously done and carefully argued" (p. 33) and an article by Kathleen Faller is singled out to be read by judges. On the other hand, Richard Gardner is harshly criticized.

The book provides an sampling of earlier literature that mental health professionals and attorneys should be aware of. However, it is dated and must be supplemented with more recent literature. The reader must also be aware of its lack of objectivity.

Reviewed by Hollida Wakefield, Institute for Psychological Therapies.

Order this book: Hardcover

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