Faculty Colloquium: Meredy Goldberg Edelson

Please join us on Thursday, February 4, at 4:10 p.m. at this URL:


for our second Faculty Colloquium of the semester.

Title: Sexual abuse and child maltreatment: The role of Child Abuse Assessment Centers on legal outcomes, biases that may limit their effects, and their role in a coordinated community response
Presenter: Meredy Goldberg Edelson, Professor of PsychologyMeredy Edelson


Abstract:  When there are cases of sexual abuse or child maltreatment broadly that come to the attention of the authorities, it is important to understand what the legal and systemic responses might be. With regard to sexual abuse specifically, research suggests that the use of child abuse assessment centers (CAACs) result in positive legal outcomes for children. However, even with the use of CAACs, not all children have the same legal advantage. I will present my research that shows that the use of CAACs results in better legal outcomes for sexual abuse cases with female victims than male victims. I will then discuss my research examining potential biases that might account for why the CAAC advantage in legal outcomes seems to only hold for females. Finally, I will discuss my current research examining the role of a CAAC as part of a broad community response to child maltreatment.

Bill Kelm and Kathryn Nyman
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators