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NCJ Number: 157012 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Children's Testimony and Their Perceptions of Stress In and Out of the Courtroom
Journal: Child Abuse and Neglect  Volume:17  Dated:(1993)  Pages:613-622
Author(s): K J Saywitz; R Nathanson
Date Published: 1993
Page Count: 10
Sponsoring Agency: US Dept of Health and Human Services
Washington, DC 20447
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examines the premise that courtroom environment affects the quality of children's evidence and children's perceptions of their own stress.
Abstract: Modifications of the courtroom environment have been proposed to reduce stress and enhance truth-telling of child witnesses. Thirty-four 8- to 10-year-olds participated in an activity and two weeks later their memory for the activity was tested. Half the children were questioned in a mock courtroom in the law school of a major university, and half at their school, both by the same interviewer. Children questioned at court showed impaired memory performance when compared with agemates questioned at school. They also rated certain court-related experiences as more stressful than peers interviewed at school. Furthermore, children's perceptions of courtroom stress were negatively correlated with completeness of accurate free recall, suggesting a relation between court-related stress and eyewitness memory worthy of further study. Tables, references
Main Term(s): Juveniles
Index Term(s): Children in the courtroom; Competency to testify; Courts; Juvenile witnesses; Stress assessment; Victims of Crime; Witness credibility
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