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Title: The interviewing and preparation of child witnesses for legal purposes.
Author: Sattar, Ghazala Roohi.
Awarding Body: University of Portsmouth
Current Institution: University of Portsmouth
Date of Award: 2000
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The thesis focused on three areas in the child eyewitness literature that have received limited research attention: (1) the use of props to facilitate children's recall; (2) the effect of individual differences (in particular ethnicity) on children's recall; and (3) the preparation of children for court. Three recently developed prop-based techniques designed to facilitate children's recall were evaluated. The felt board technique did not significantly increase children correct (and erroneous) free recall, thus supporting the previous limited research (Poole, 1992). The auditory feedback technique also did not significantly increase children's correct (and erroneous) additional recall, though descriptive analyses suggested this technique to be most beneficial for older children. The pictorial cue cards technique did not significantly increase children's correct (and erroneous) free recall. Descriptive analyses revealed that children who were instructed in how to use the cue cards provided more correct free recall and less erroneous free recall than children who practised using the cue cards before the interview. Children'S ethnicity and interviewer's ethnicity were not found to significantly effect children's recall but did have some effect on children's response to questioning. The findings of the interview studies suggested that greater attention needs to be given to the examination of how individual differences affect children's recall. Professionals who were surveyed about their views and experience of preparation of child witnesses for court were found to be aware of the systeminduced trauma suffered by child witnesses and thus the need to support them with preparation. Overall, professionals' experience suggested that child witnesses received preparation that was often insufficient and variable in quality. The survey findings highlighted the need for further research in this neglected area and for better training and greater resources for professionals tasked with supporting child witnesses.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Eyewitness Psychology Law Law enforcement Prisons