Psychological science and the use of anatomically detailed dolls in child sexual-abuse assessments

Gerald P. Koocher*, C. Sue White, Abigail B. Sivan, Gail S. Goodman, William N. Friedrich, Cecil R. Reynolds

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Many devices are used in child assessment and treatment as communication aids, projective tools, and symbolic means of interaction. None are as hotly debated in their application among mental health professionals as dolls with genital details. Anatomically detailed (AD) dolls are often used in sexual-abuse evaluation and treatment with children, but such applications are controversial. This article is the product of a working group formed to review AD doll research and practice. This article reviews historical use of dolls in clinical inquiry and research on sexual behaviors in children, normative use of AD dolls in nonreferred children, differences in children's play behavior and emotional reactions to AD dolls, and memory and suggestibility issues relating to AD-doll use. Recommendations for future research are provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)199-222
Number of pages24
JournalPsychological bulletin
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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