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NCJ Number: 126388 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Children in Court: Emotional Effects of Criminal Court Involvement
Author(s): G S Goodman; D P H Jones; E Pyle-Taub; P England; L Port; L Rudy; L Prado-Estrada
Date Published: Unknown
Page Count: 18
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
US Dept of Justice NIJ Pub
Washington, DC 20531
Type: Presentation
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The paper presents the final findings of the research on the emotional effects on child sexual abuse victims of testifying in criminal court.
Abstract: The study investigated three main issues. The first issue was whether testifying in criminal court is associated with increased disturbance or whether it is cathartic and empowering for children. The second issue explored children's specific likes and dislikes about testifying. The third issue assessed children's experiences on the stand by observing the children in court. The study took three years to complete, with two years devoted to data collection, and was designed with five phases. The five phases were: (1) soon after the cases were referred for prosecution, the families were contacted, the child's disturbance was measured using Achenbach and Edelbrock's CBCL, and the Conte and Berliner's Sexual Assault Profile was filled out by the researchers; (2) the children were interviewed about their feelings about testifying before the preliminary hearings as the pre-court measure; (3) after testifying, the children were interviewed about how they felt about testifying as the post-court measure; (4) after a wait of three months, a post-testimony measure of the children's behavioral disturbance was done; and (5) a second post-court measure of disturbance was done after 7 months and then again after the case closed. The results are presented in six tables. In sum, the findings indicate that, at least for a subset of children, testifying is associated with continued disturbance whereas the well-being of other testifiers as well as control children is more likely to improve.
Main Term(s): Children in the courtroom; Juvenile witnesses
Index Term(s): Child Sexual Abuse; Child victims; Courtroom decorum; Psychological victimization effects
Note: Paper presented at the 97th American Psychological Association Convention, New Orleans, LA, August, 1989.
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