Suggestibility and the Child Witness

  • Mary Ann King
  • John C. Yuille


Until recently, children were generally viewed as unable to supply trustworthy testimony. Legal authors dating back to the Middle Ages have voiced concerns about children’s abilities as witnesses, citing their proneness to invention, their inability to distinguish fact from fantasy, and their incompetence for accurately recalling events uncontaminated by suggestion (Goodman, 1984). Legal rulings on the admissibility of children’s testimony reflect these long-standing assumptions about children. In Canada, for instance, the law states clearly that the testimony obtained from “witnesses of tender years” is subject to special conditions and particular scrutiny (Canada Evidence Act, R.S.C. 1970, c E-10, S.16).


Interview Situation Eyewitness Testimony Child Witness Developmental Literature Bicycle Theft 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mary Ann King
  • John C. Yuille

There are no affiliations available

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