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Judges', lay judges', and police officers' beliefs about factors affecting children's testimony about sexual abuse
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2007 (English)In: Journal of Psychology, ISSN 0022-3980, E-ISSN 1940-1019, Vol. 141, no 4, 341-357 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The authors examined Swedish judges', lay judges', and police officers' beliefs about factors that may complicate or facilitate children's reports of sexual abuse. Participants (N = 562) rated potential complicating and facilitating factors and freely reported which criteria they considered important when assessing the reliability of child witnesses. The groups had similar opinions regarding which factors are complicating and facilitating. Furthermore, the groups tended to regard emotional factors as more complicating than cognitive factors. When freely reporting criteria that are important when assessing reliability, judges and police officers reported criteria pertaining mainly to the child, whereas lay judges reported mainly criteria pertaining mainly to the police interview. Results indicate that participants believe that children have the capacity to remember and report about abuse but are hindered in doing so by emotional factors. Results also suggest that police officers may underestimate their own influence on the reliability of children's reports.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 141, no 4, 341-357 p.
Keyword [en]
beliefs, child witnesses, judges, police officers, sexual abuse
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-55887DOI: 10.3200/JRLP.141.4.341-358ISI: 000248417600001OAI: diva2:407604
authorCount :4Available from: 2011-03-31 Created: 2011-03-30 Last updated: 2011-03-31Bibliographically approved

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Christianson, Sven Å.
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