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NCJ Number: 155886 Find in a Library
Title: Jeopardy in the Courtroom: A Scientific Analysis of Children's Testimony
Author(s): S J Cedi; M Bruck
Corporate Author: American Psychological Assoc
United States of America
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 333
Sponsoring Agency: American Psychological Assoc
Washington, DC 20002-4242
American Psychological Assoc Order Dept
Washington, DC 10090-2984
Publication Number: ISBN 1-55798-282-1
Sale Source: American Psychological Assoc Order Dept
P.O. Box 92984
Washington, DC 10090-2984
United States of America
Type: Survey
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Based on a literature review and analysis of seven cases involving child witnesses, this document examines the issues involved in evaluating the accuracy of children's statements made in forensic interviews, during preliminary hearings, and in trials.
Abstract: Focusing disproportionately on cases where children's testimony is questionable and cases involving allegations of child sexual abuse, the analysis considers the positive and negative factors that influence children's testimony and emphasizes the complexity of assessing this testimony. The discussion focuses on research on suggestibility, the structure and dynamics of daily conversations between children and adults, the dynamics of forensic and therapeutic interviews, the use of anatomically detailed dolls, the recovery of repressed memories of early childhood sexual abuse, and age differences in the reliability of reports. Professional conduct is also examined, with emphasis on how experts testify in court and how professionals interact with children. The analysis concludes that to avoid jeopardizing the truth-seeking goal of the courtroom, professionals' behavior must rest on scientifically grounded research and that the accuracy of children's reporting can be influenced by a number of different interviewing techniques. Figure, footnotes, and over 300 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile witnesses
Index Term(s): Child Sexual Abuse; Child victim interviews; Children in the courtroom; Competency to testify; Criminal Justice System Response to Victims; Juvenile victims; Witness credibility
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