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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 153605 Find in a Library
Title: Improving Children's Testimony With Preparation (From Child Victims, Child Witnesses, P 117-145, 1996, Gail S. Goodman and Bette L. Bottoms, eds.)
Author(s): K J Saywitz; L Snyder
Date Published: 1993
Page Count: 29
Sponsoring Agency: Guilford Publications, Inc.
New York, NY 10012
Sale Source: Guilford Publications, Inc.
Marketing Manager
72 Spring Street
New York, NY 10012
United States of America
Type: Survey
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This chapter focuses on efforts to minimize the gap between children's ability to testify and the demands of the legal system.
Abstract: A task analysis of testifying suggests that juvenile witnesses' communication, memory, cognitive, social, and emotional proficiencies all influence the credibility of their testimony. A child's ability to meet the legal demands of testifying depends on various developmental, situational, and individual factors. Three sample studies, that are based on the literature in developmental psychology for direction in developing and testing methods for preparing child witnesses, are described here. The ability of a child to provide competent testimony depends not only on the child's strengths and weaknesses but also on the court system's formal and informal procedures, and the training and sensitivity of the professionals involved. Two paths for closing this gap involve top down (adult to child) solutions, including additional professional training and statutory reform, and bottom down (child to adult) solutions, including the systematic preparation of children to meet the challenges of testifying. 3 tables and 99 references
Main Term(s): Courts
Index Term(s): Child abuse and neglect hearings; Children in the courtroom; Juvenile witnesses; Juveniles; Witness credibility
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