Informational Brief: The Use of the Polygraph with Juveniles Who Have Engaged in Sexually Abusive Behavior
The "Informational Brief: The Use of the Polygraph with Juveniles Who Have Engaged in Sexually Abusive Behavior," published by ATSA in 2018, provides a critical overview of the use of polygraphs in the assessment and treatment of juveniles who have engaged in sexually abusive behavior. The brief highlights significant limitations in the existing body of research on the application of polygraph testing for adolescents in this context. It notes the absence of evidence suggesting that polygraph use in assessment or treatment reduces the risk of sexual recidivism or enhances treatment goals and outcomes.
ATSA points out that the polygraph is primarily designed for adults and lacks established norms for adolescent populations. The use of polygraph with minors is also considered potentially coercive and harmful, with the practice not being widely adopted outside the United States. ATSA's position is against the use of polygraphs with juveniles, based on the current research and ethical considerations. The brief calls for more nuanced and developmentally appropriate methods in handling cases of juvenile sexual abuse.
Download : Informational Brief Juvenile Polygraph.pdf