Jeopardy in the Courtroom: A Scientific Analysis of Children's Testimony

Pages: 336
Item #: 4318351
ISBN: 978-1-55798-632-0
List Price: $19.95
Member/Affiliate Price: $19.95
Copyright: 1995
Format: Softcover
Availability: In Stock
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For individuals in the U.S. & U.S. territories


The credibility of children's testimony is a hotly debated topic in America's courtrooms, universities, and professional organizations. Are children more suggestible than adults, and if so, what are the implications for those who work with child witnesses?

Using rigorous techniques of analysis, the authors examine real-life cases in which children were key witnesses in criminal child abuse trials. Written in lively, accessible language by acknowledged experts in the field, this book will be an invaluable guide for expert witnesses and all those who work with child witnesses, including therapists, social workers, law enforcement personnel, and lawyers.

Table of Contents


  1. Introduction
  2. Children as Witnesses: Seven Case Descriptions
  3. Assessing the Scope and Characteristics of Child Sexual Abuse
  4. Defining Memory and Suggestibility
  5. Legal and Behavioral Approaches to Children's Suggestibility: 1900–1985
  6. The Recent Past: Changes in Legal and Behavioral Approaches
  7. The Architecture of Interviews With Children
  8. The Role of Interviewer Bias
  9. The Effects of Repeated Questioning
  10. Stereotype Induction: A Suggestive Interviewing Technique
  11. Other Suggestive Interviewing Techniques
  12. The Pros and (Mostly) Cons of Using Anatomically Detailed Dolls
  13. The Evidence for Delayed Recall of Childhood Sexual Abuse
  14. The Role of Suggestion in Delayed Recall of Child Sexual Abuse
  15. Age Differences in the Reliability of Reports
  16. Mechanisms That May Account For Age Differences in Suggestibility
  17. Ethical and Professional Issues
  18. In Conclusion


Author Index

Subject Index

About the Authors

Reviews & Awards

This book is, by a wide margin, the best available volume of its kind.
—C. J. Brainerd and D. Hill, reviewed in Contemporary Psychology

We believe that this book would be useful reading for any lawyer who practices family law or prosecutes or defends child abuse cases. It deals with several highly publicized cases which were based on children's testimony…This is an often fascinating book. It is a careful, thoughtful study. The authors appreciated the jurisprudential difficulties of their subject. They demonstrate the wisdom, compassion, and ethical sensitivity which their subject demands. The book is rich in useful information, insight, and astuteness. It is both scholarly and highly readable.
—Appellate Practice Journal, American Bar Association, Vol. XVIV, No. 3