Archive | Forensic Services

Forensic interviewing guidelines: Is the “something else” option appropriate in child forensic interviews?

A forensic interviewing guideline exists that directs child forensic interviewers to include a something else option as a response choice to closed questions. This response option is based on the premise that a child will select the something else option if the other response options are false, and when prompted, will self-generate the correct answer.

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The Nuts and Bolts of a Child Forensic Interview

What is a Forensic Interview? A child forensic interview can be conceptualized as a structured conversation that is designed to obtain information from a child about an event the child may have experienced. The interview should be “developmentally sensitive,” meaning questions should be phrased based on a child’s level of cognitive development and linguistic skills. […]

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Juror Knowledge of Child Sexual Abuse and The Role of Expert Witness Testimony

Overview Accurate knowledge regarding the dynamics of child sexual abuse and the reliability of children’s eyewitness testimony is crucial for juror decision-making. However, if jurors harbor mistaken beliefs about how children respond to sexual abuse or are not aware of children’s ability to accurately describe their experiences, the likelihood of reaching a fair verdict is reduced. […]

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Reliability of Hearsay Testimony

What is hearsay testimony? There are numerous circumstances where adults provide information about their conversations with children. In informal settings, one parent may report to the other a child’s statement, or a teacher may report a conversation with a child to the child’s parent. In a legal proceeding, statements made by a child to a […]

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Therapeutic and Forensic Role Conflicts

Psychologists and other mental health professionals who provide therapy to patients involved in litigation are sometimes asked by attorneys to provide expert witness testimony. It may be appropriate for a therapist to testify when there are questions involving the nature of a patient’s symptoms, response to therapy, diagnosis, or prognosis. However, in other proceedings, such […]

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