Children & the Law: Courtroom Research Basics for Busy Practitioners


The research literature on children’s testimony in the courtroom, and the factors that either help or hinder consistent and accurate accounts, is a vast one. This short booklet, will benefit child services training and self study.

Benefit of this resource and how to make the best use of it

This short booklet takes a look at landmark findings on the subject of children’s disclosure of abuse and procedural factors that affect their testimony. The research findings, from the psychology of law literature, are detailed for the reader in a light and accessible way.

The booklet attends to key behavioural research findings on the following:

1. Case in point: Telling in abuse cases
2. Disclosing abuse: Some findings about why children tell and why they remain silent
3. Non-disclosure and disclosure delay
4. Disclosing abuse: A model of children’s disclosure
5. Factors associated with delay of disclosure (Goodman-Browne et al. 2003)
6. Age and gender: Some criticisms
7. Intrafamilial v. extrafamilial abuse
8. Fear of negative consequences
9. Perceptions of responsibility
10. Testimonial procedures and the reluctance to come forward
11. Improving child witnesses’ memory and minimising the reluctance to testify
12. Testifying via CCTV
13. The presence of a support person

Finally, the booklet ends with a critical evaluation of the topic, and tags notes of reference for further supplementary reading.

Related OER

In the denouement of the COVID-19 pandemic, talk of a return to “normalcy” in higher education belies the great challenges and ongoing disruptions that yet lie ahead for many institutions. Public perceptions of the value of postsecondary education continue their downward slide, placing institutions in the position of having to demonstrate their worth and find solutions to declining enrollments. Data and analytics capabilities continue to evolve, introducing new opportunities and new risks to the institution. Chief among these capabilities, generative AI promises to change teaching and learning in ways many of us have yet to fully understand or prepare for.

For this year’s teaching and learning Horizon Report, expert panelists’ discussions highlighted and wrestled with these present and looming challenges for higher education. This report summarizes the results of those discussions and serves as one vantage point on where our future may be headed.

MAFAPS is a courses dealing with the issues related to de-carbonisation of merchant shipping worldwide. The subject matter includes the handling, storage and combustion of alternative fuels and the use of alternative power systems such as fuel cells.

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