Considerations for experts in assessing the credibility of recovered memories of child sexual abuse: the importance of maintaining a case-specific focus

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Title Considerations for experts in assessing the credibility of recovered memories of child sexual abuse: the importance of maintaining a case-specific focus
Author Alison, L.J.; Kebbell, Mark Rhys; Lewis, Penney
Journal Name Psychology, Public Policy, and Law
Year Published 2006
Place of publication USA
Publisher American Psychological Association
Abstract In this article, the authors argue that a variety of psychological factors stand in the way of providing expert advice to the courts in terms of assessing the credibility of a complainant's account of sexual abuse when there is a significant delay in reporting. These include difficulties in assessing (a) the complainant's account of how he or she claims to have remembered or forgotten the abuse, (b) whether (and how) the claim of abuse originated within a therapeutic setting, and (c) the difficulty of generalizing from empirical evidence. It is argued that all of these issues can be more easily avoided if experts maintain a case-specific focus. In this article, the authors review both the psychological and legal controversies surrounding the false-recovered memory debate, discuss how courts approach the admissibility and use of recovered memory testimony, and conclude that expert witnesses should carefully consider the above points before drawing general conclusions from the literature and applying them to individual cases.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Publisher URI http://www.apa.org/journals/law/
Alternative URI http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/1076-8971.12.4.419
Volume 12
Issue Number 4
Page from 419
Page to 441
ISSN 1076-8971
Date Accessioned 2007-01-11
Date Available 2009-11-05T06:05:34Z
Language en_AU
Research Centre ARC Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security
Faculty Griffith Health Faculty
Subject PRE2009-Jurisprudence and Legal Theory; PRE2009-Learning, Memory, Cognition and Language
URI http://hdl.handle.net/10072/14214
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1

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