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Coming Soon: APSAC and ISPCAN Joint Webinar - "A Meta-Analysis of the Prevalence of Child Sexua

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The International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN) and the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC) are pleased to present our May Journal Club webinar featuring APSAC’s Outstanding Research Article of the Year. Presented by authors Sheri Madigan, Corry Azzopardi, and Rachel Eirich, this webinar will highlight their important work, “A Meta-Analysis of the Prevalence of Child Sexual Abuse Disclosure in Forensic Settings.”

This article offers a comprehensive meta-analysis of the vast body of research investigating the prevalence of sexual abuse disclosure during forensic interviews with children. Using a large sample of 45 studies comprised of well over 31,000 children, the study uses meta-analytic techniques to examine rates of abuse disclosure, as well as a range of variables associated with likelihood of disclosure. It concludes that approximately a third of suspected victims do not report abuse when asked, with those who are younger and male being most at risk for nondisclosure. The findings have advanced understanding of child sexual abuse disclosure and highlight important implications for approaches to forensic interviewing that aim to overcome potential barriers to telling.

About the Authors

Dr. Sheri Madigan, a clinical psychologist, holds a Canada Research Chair in Determinants of Child Development. She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Calgary, a member of the Owerko Centre at the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute, and an associate member of the Mathison Centre for Mental Health Research and Education. Her research focuses on understanding how social stressors and adversities can influence children’s’ early social, emotional, and cognitive development. She is also interested in understanding why some children show resilience to these stressors and adversities while others remain vulnerable. Her research is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the Canada Research Chairs program, and the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation.

Dr. Corry Azzopardi holds a PhD and MSW from the University of Toronto, Canada. She is a health systems research scientist with the Hospital for Sick Children’s Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect Program in Toronto, and sessional lecturer at the University of Toronto’s Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work. Supported by the SickKids Foundation, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, and Department for Women and Gender Equality, Government of Canada, Corry’s program of research concentrates in the areas of gender-based violence, child maltreatment, and paediatric health.

Rachel Eirich is an incoming Master’s student in Clinical Psychology with support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Canada Graduate Scholarship. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Calgary and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Painting from the Alberta University of the Arts. Her research interests include parent-child interaction, the determinants of child socioemotional development, and early childhood adversity. Specifically, she is interested in the risk and resilience factors that influence the effect of early adversity on children’s socioemotional development with an emphasis on maladaptive and adaptive parenting behavior.


The International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN) is a multidisciplinary, non-profit organization focused on helping professionals who work with children to prevent and treat child abuse and neglect in all its forms. Since our founding more than 40 years ago, ISPCAN has connected thousands of professionals from the fields of psychiatry, psychology, medicine, nursing, social work, education, law, public health, and government through our conferences and Congresses, trainings, forums and Working Groups, a monthly peer-reviewed journal, and other key publications and resources. We believe that through education, collaboration, and a multidisciplinary approach, we can end the preventable tragedy of abuse and neglect for children everywhere.


The American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC), now in partnership with The New York Foundling, was founded in 1986 and is a nonprofit, national organization focused on meeting the needs of professionals engaged in all aspects of services for maltreated children and their families. Especially important to APSAC is the dissemination of state-of-the-art practice in all professional disciplines related to child abuse and neglect. On October 1, 2016, APSAC partnered with The New York Foundling, whose mission offers an expansive array of services for under-served children, families, and adults with developmental disabilities. The Foundling provides the resources necessary to rebuild lives and rebuild families.

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