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Letter to the Editor
Clarification
Psychiatric News
Volume 38 Number 17 page 26-26

Regarding the article in the June 20 issue on the Guttmacher Award speech I presented at APA’s annual meeting in May, I wish to call attention to the statement, "Judges in federal courts are largely responsible for determining the admissibility of testimony," which is misleading.

Federal court judges did indeed outline, in Daubert v. Merrell Dow, the factors to be considered regarding the admissibility of expert testimony. As noted in my presentation, Daubert standards apply to all federal courts and have been adopted by many state courts. Thus, judges who are not federal judges also determine admissibility and are most likely to be the ones hearing cases of alleged child sexual abuse.

I would add to the comments made about the long-term studies on the impact of childhood sexual abuse that several recent studies stress the role of confounding variables, such as aversive and stressful life circumstances, in outcomes.

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