Parental capacity assessments (PCAs) remain common during child abuse investigations, and “best practice” approaches to evaluations consist of using a comprehensive assessment (Budd et al. 2011). The Child Abuse Potential Inventory (CAP; Milner 1986) is one risk assessment measure used during PCAs, but results may be confounded by faking-good behavior. Currently, there is a small amount of literature examining the characteristics and implications of parents who fake good on the CAP. The present study examined differences between physically abusive parents with a faking or non-faking profile on the CAP by demographic information, psychopathology, behavioral observation data, and abuse recidivism. Parents differed significantly by IQ and depression scores, but no significant differences were found on any other variable including recidivism rates at posttreatment. Implications of study outcomes, and the emphasis for a multimethod approach to PCAs will be discussed.
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The data used in this publication were made available by the National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, and have been used with permission. Data from Physical Abuse Treatment Outcome Project: Application of Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) to Physically Abusive Parents were originally collected by Mark Chaffin. Funding for the project was provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, The Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Children’s Bureau, Office on Child Abuse and Neglect (Award Number: 90CA1633). The collector of the original data, the funder, NDACAN, Cornell University and their agents or employees bear no responsibility for the analyses or interpretations presented here. We also wish to thank Dr. Mark Chaffin for his support in allowing us to utilize his dataset for secondary analyses.
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Costello, A.H., McNeil, C.B. Differentiating Parents with Faking-Good Profiles from Parents with Valid Scores on the Child Abuse Potential Inventory. J Fam Viol 29, 79–88 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10896-013-9557-2