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Temas em Psicologia

Print version ISSN 1413-389X


PELISOLI, Cátula  and  DELL'AGLIO, Débora Dalbosco. Decision-making of psychologists in suspected sexual abuse situations. Temas psicol. [online]. 2016, vol.24, n.3, pp. 829-841. ISSN 1413-389X.

Decision making in sexual abuse situation is a complex task involving different sources of information as well as non-obvious or subjective influences. The decision made by a professional can produce relevant consequences for the people involved. An online survey with 95 Brazilian bachelors in Psychology was conducted and it evaluated the decision-making in a fictitious case of sexual abuse and its relations with cognitive, sociodemographic and professional variables. In addition, the influence of the presence of representative characteristics of cases of sexual abuse in decision-making by professionals was evaluated from the Decision Making Scale in Child Sexual Abuse, an instrument developed for this study. The results indicated that the professionals have different opinions about the case, even if exposed to the same information. Age, gender, time of graduation and time of practice did not correlate with the decision made about the case. However, representative characteristics of sexual abuse had significant relations with the evaluated probability of the case. This result means that the probability of the case being considered true is higher when more representative characteristics has the case. Decision-making in these situations, despite being carried out by professionals every day, is still unknown and deserves further investigations.

Keywords : Sexual abuse; decision-making; Forensic Psychology; Psychological Evaluation.

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