Expectancies for sexually abused children: Evidence of perceiver bias

Tara Saathoff-Wells, Rex E. Culp, Candace T. Yancey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


We investigated perceiver bias in relation to children labeled as sexually abused. Building on recent research indicating that adults perceive children with such a label as having more behavioral problems and lower achievement, we replicated and expanded upon an earlier study. We tested undergraduate students (N = 699), who judged a six-year old child's aggressive behavior in vignettes that varied on severity of the aggressive behavior, child gender, and family history (sexually abused, mother dying of cancer, normal). Perceiver bias was related to family history label for internalizing behavior problems and competence issues and child gender for internalizing behavior problems and externalizing behavior problems. Implications for educators and practitioners are discussed as well as routes for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)487-503
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Child and Family Studies
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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