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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 148247 Find in a Library
Title: Truth in Content Analysis of a Child's Testimony; Credibility of Children as Witnesses and the Social Denial of the Incestuous Abuse of Children (From Psychology and Law: International Perspectives, P 335-351, 1992, Friedrich Losel, Doris Bender, et al., eds. -- See NCJ-148224)
Author(s): D A Bekerian; J L Dennett; H E M Baartman
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 17
Sponsoring Agency: Walter de Gruyter & Co
1 Berlin 30, Germany United
Sale Source: Walter de Gruyter & Co
Genthiner Str 13
1 Berlin 30,
Germany (Unified)
Type: Survey
Language: English
Country: Germany (Unified)
Annotation: Psychological assessment procedures for use in determining the reliability of child witness testimony are described, and the credibility of child witnesses is discussed in the context of incest and abuse.
Abstract: Psychological assessment procedures require several stages and rely on information from various sources. In content analysis of a child's testimony, consideration must be paid to general characteristics, specific content, content pecularities, motivation-related content, and offense-specific elements. Proponents of content analysis suggest that truthful accounts can be differentiated from untruthful accounts by the presence or absence of specific features. As a procedural category, content analysis makes assumptions about the nature of reality, memory, and the relation between language and memory. The authors contend that content analysis criteria will be effective in getting at the truth only to the extent that they are considered in relation to real evidential interviews and empirical findings. Although some studies emphasize the unreliability of child witnesses in sexual abuse cases, the credibility of child witnesses is conditioned by social attitudes toward abuse and incest and by the legal system's response to children's competence. 61 references
Main Term(s): Child victims
Index Term(s): Abused children; Child Sexual Abuse; Courts; Eyewitness testimony; Incest; Juvenile witnesses; Sexual assault victims; Witness credibility
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