The Portrayal of Child Sexual Assault in Introductory Psychology Textbooks

Elizabeth J. Letourneau, Tonya C. Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


In this article, we assess the presentation of child sexual assault (CSA) in introductory psychology textbooks. We reviewed 24 recently published textbooks and found that 20 (83%) presented information on some aspect of CSA. All 20 texts included discussion of false and repressed memory issues. Our objective was to determine the manner in which textbooks covered this controversial area as well as the extent to which textbooks covered CSA issues unrelated to the memory debate, such as prevalence rates and psychological sequelae of CSA. We found that a substantial portion of authors (75%) made unsupported claims or overgeneralizations when discussing memory issues and less than half of the authors (45%) included information on other areas of CSA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)253-258
Number of pages6
JournalTeaching of Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Psychology(all)


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