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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 149471 Find in a Library
Title: Handbook on Questioning Children: A Linguistic Perspective
Author(s): A G Walker
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 125
Sponsoring Agency: American Bar Assoc.
Washington, DC 20036
Publication Number: ISBN 0-57073-000-8
Sale Source: American Bar Assoc.
1800 M Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
United States of America
Type: Training (Handbook/Manual)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This book is directed at judges, lawyers, police officers, and other professionals who interview children so that they may not only give children an opportunity to understand the language of legal proceedings, but also have an opportunity to make themselves understood.
Abstract: Some of the basic principles around which this book is organized are that one must question children individually; language is shaped by experience so that adults and children do not speak in the same way; while inconsistency in children's language is normal, they take a literal approach to language; and children will not necessarily say they do not understand something. Furthermore, interviewers need to understand that children's responses are not necessarily answers to the questions posed, the ability to recite a list is not the same as the ability to understand its contents, culture affects children's responses and understanding, and even very young children can be competent witnesses in court. The book discusses problems to look out for in one's questioning and problems to look out for in children's answers. The final chapter discusses reasons for language- based inconsistencies in children's testimony. 92 references and 6 appendixes
Main Term(s): Victims of Crime
Index Term(s): Child victim interviews; Juvenile witnesses; Juveniles; Police interview/interrogation of juvenile
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