Children's testimony : a handbook of psychological research by Helen L. Westcott

By Helen L. Westcott

Kid's Testimony bargains a complete and up to date overview of matters in relation to kid's proof. beginning with mental underpinnings and baby defense concerns, the reader is taken via a in actual fact based and well timed choice of chapters from the world over well known participants. tips for practitioners are basically highlighted all through and a different, jargon-free word list of mental phrases encountered in baby witness study is integrated making this a hugely sensible textual content. An obtainable evaluation of latest wisdom and preview of latest and up to date advancements in mental learn and forensic perform. a great crew of overseas individuals deals a wide scope that considers all of the key components of analysis and perform

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Extra info for Children's testimony : a handbook of psychological research and forensic practice

Example text

Of course, sometimes teens arrive ready to talk. Having felt like a helpless victim in an out-ofcontrol situation, they perceive the legal process as an opportunity to reclaim a sense of self-agency and control. In such cases, less time may need to be spent developing rapport. Maltreated and neglected children and children exposed to violence may require even greater attention to issues of rapport than other groups of children (Eltz, Shirk, & Sarlin, 1995). Empirical studies confirm that maltreated children are a t risk for problems in interpersonal relationships (Aber, Allen, Carlson, & Cicchetti, 1989; Cicchetti, 1987; Shirk, 1988).

As children mature, they develop a greater ability to resist distraction, t o focus attention, and to function independently across settings of varied familiarity and complexity levels (Plude, Enns, & Brodeur, 1994). Before a child has fully mastered a skill, such as telling the time, s/he can employ the skill in some contexts (supportive, easy) but not others (difficult, complex). Performance of a newly learned skill can be fragile and vulnerable to context effects; once the skill is mastered, its application is more robust.

Questions often call for sophisticated reasoning skills and a fairly well-elaborated knowledge base. Often, the events that bring individuals into contact with the system are of a stressful, if not traumatic, nature, necessitating emotional maturity characterized by a facility with advanced coping strategies. Unfortunately, children are still developing many of these capabilities. The result is a mismatch between the requirements of the legal system and the capabilities of young children. ’, creates confusion and misunderstanding when asked of a four-year-old with immature language and numerical skills.

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