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Changed Responses Under Cross-examination: The Role of Anxiety and Individual Differences in Child Witnesses

Bettenay, C; Ridley, AM; Henry, LA; Crane, L; (2015) Changed Responses Under Cross-examination: The Role of Anxiety and Individual Differences in Child Witnesses. Applied Cognitive Psychology , 29 (3) pp. 485-491. 10.1002/acp.3125. Green open access

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Abstract

The present study explored whether levels of anxiety, and a range of individual differences measures (age, IQ and suggestibility), could predict performance during cross‐examination questioning. Eighty‐three children (aged 4–11 years) witnessed a staged event before being interviewed (3–6 days later) and cross‐examined (10 months later). Results demonstrated that cross‐examination induced a significant rise in anxiety levels. Further, recall of unchallenged details (based on children's initial testimony, which they reviewed prior to cross‐examination) and anxiety levels were the only significant predictors of cross‐examination performance. Further research is needed to explore the interrelationship between anxiety and other individual difference measures on cross‐examination performance, and to determine how to alleviate the anxiety of child witnesses (to enable them to achieve their best evidence in court). Preparation to ensure children understand the importance of attending to the recording of their original evidence may improve children's resilience under cross‐examination and reduce anxiety levels. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Type: Article
Title: Changed Responses Under Cross-examination: The Role of Anxiety and Individual Differences in Child Witnesses
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1002/acp.3125
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1002/acp.3125
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Psychology and Human Development
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1548900
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