Children as Victims, Witnesses, and Offenders

Psychological Science and the Law

Edited by Bette L. Bottoms, Cynthia J. Najdowski, and Gail S. Goodman

Hardcovere-bookprint + e-book
Hardcover
August 10, 2009
ISBN 9781606233320
Price: $56.00
412 Pages
Size: 6" x 9"
order
e-book
March 1, 2011
ePub ?
Price: $56.00
412 Pages
order
print + e-book
Hardcover + e-Book (ePub) ?
Price: $112.00 $61.60
412 Pages
order

Grounded in the latest clinical and developmental knowledge, this book brings together leading authorities to examine the critical issues that arise when children and adolescents become involved in the justice system. Chapters explore young people’s capacities, competencies, and special vulnerabilities as victims, witnesses, and defendants. Key topics include the reliability of children’s abuse disclosures, eyewitness testimony, interviews, and confessions; the evolving role of the expert witness; the psychological impact of trauma and of legal involvement; factors that shape jurors’ perceptions of children; and what works in rehabilitating juvenile offenders. Policies and practices that are not supported by science are identified, and approaches to improving them are discussed.

“Provides both academics and legal professionals with an accessible resource that educates the reader about contemporary research and policy, providing an organized summary of the psychological research and the implications of these scientific findings for legal and social service offices and courtrooms around the world....Bottoms and colleagues' book is written by widely respected legal and social science scholars, and allows the reader to recognize that the difficulties faced as victim, witness, and offender are at times distinct, but at other times, very similar....Goes beyond covering the critical issues and presenting the latest psychological science on each topic. In addition to including an international perspective in both the sections on child victims and child offenders, the authors also place all of the issues and the many questions raised throughout the book in the context of cited legal cases that illustrates the need for the legal system to make use of the psychological literature to address these issues using sound scientific evidence. For anyone in the field who strives to create a system that meets the needs of children as victims, witnesses, or offenders, whether a researcher, lawyer, judge, investigator, social worker, educators at the undergraduate or graduate level in any number of related disciplines, or anyone studying to become involved in the field, this book will review the most current scientific research and make clear all of the critical issues on which to focus in the classroom, in the lab, and throughout the legal system. All of this is accomplished in chapters that are very well written and in a book that clearly presents the challenges faced when children become involved in the legal system.”

American Psychology-Law News


“Offers a balanced, up-to-date review and critique of issues imperative to children's involvement in the legal system. The editors have brought together a renowned group of legal and social science scholars to address questions central in contemporary debates: When, and under what conditions, can researchers and practitioners believe children? What are children's competencies or vulnerabilities as victims, witnesses, and offenders? How are children treated within a legal context, and what accommodations are necessary?....Throughout this volume, the editors deliver on their promise to support a holistic approach to research and practice with child victims and offenders....Perhaps most important, the contributors urge professionals to consider new paradigms and collaborations to create a deeper understanding of how the justice system can better serve children and youth.”

Law and Society Review


“Presents current research by leading authorities with important implications for the legal procedures, laws, and policies that determine children's experiences in court, identifying legal strategies and procedures that are not informed by research and additionally provides more appropriate alternatives....The Editors have assembled the most relevant information from a large research base....A major strength of this book is the high quality of the empirical evidence presented and how the chapters synthesize a considerable body of research....The authors expand on different themes, answer multiple questions, and offer sound recommendations. The scholars offer critiques of past and current approaches to accommodating children, provide a clear rationale relating to why certain practices are problematic for children and present viable alternatives for better serving youth within the legal context....Vital for professionals committed to helping youth navigate the legal justice system in any capacityincluding investigators, child advocates, psychology and legal researchers, lawyers, forensic evaluators, social workers, medical professionals, psychiatrists, and judges. Additionally, this book would be an important addition to forensic clinical psychological graduate programs' curricula.”

Child and Family Behavior Therapy


“Each chapter of this book covers a crucial aspect in working with this at-risk population. It should be required reading by any clinician, forensic interviewer, attorney, student, or expert witness who works with children and families involved in our legal system. This comprehensive reference book covers topics in two areas: children as victims and witnesses, and children as offenders. The attempt made by its editors to cover research in both areas is what makes this book especially crucial reading....The editors have done an excellent job gathering a group of prominent clinicians and researchers to summarize the important topics related to children in the crossroads of the legal system. The book's strength is in its ability to clearly and succinctly summarize the up to date research necessary for any individual working in this multifaceted field. The book is clearly state of the art and should be a resource book to every student and professional working with children involved in the legal system.”

Journal of Child and Adolescent Trauma


“Provides both academics and legal professionals with an accessible resource that educates the reader about contemporary research and policy, providing an organized summary of the psychological research and the implications of these scientific findings for legal and social service offices and courtrooms around the world....Bottoms and colleagues' book is written by widely respected legal and social science scholars, and allows the reader to recognize that the difficulties faced as victim, witness, and offender are at times distinct, but at other times, very similar....Goes beyond covering the critical issues and presenting the latest psychological science on each topic. In addition to including an international perspective in both the sections on child victims and child offenders, the authors also place all of the issues and the many questions raised throughout the book in the context of cited legal cases that illustrates the need for the legal system to make use of the psychological literature to address these issues using sound scientific evidence. For anyone in the field who strives to create a system that meets the needs of children as victims, witnesses, or offenders, whether a researcher, lawyer, judge, investigator, social worker, educators at the undergraduate or graduate level in any number of related disciplines, or anyone studying to become involved in the field, this book will review the most current scientific research and make clear all of the critical issues on which to focus in the classroom, in the lab, and throughout the legal system. All of this is accomplished in chapters that are very well written and in a book that clearly presents the challenges faced when children become involved in the legal system. -American Psychology”

Law News


“This scholarly book provides the clinician with essential background information about children who appear in court proceedings as a victim, a witness, or a defendant....All chapters are well referenced, with research data juxtaposed with courtroom vignettes....A useful comprehensive reference book for child and adolescent psychiatrists. The book provides a developmental perspective regarding children's capacities as they relate to the expectations of a victim, witness, or offender in the justice system. It also provides a clear understanding of what the psychiatrist needs to know in order to work effectively within the justice system.”

Journal of the Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry


“Chapters, written by widely respected legal and social science scholars, examine several key questions associated with children's involvement in the legal system….I urge all practitioners, legal, forensic, and lay, to read the chapter on Police Interrogation and False Confessions, digest it, assimilate it, and use the knowledge to advocate for our youthful charges. I anticipate that readers of this chapter will be seduced into reading other chapters in this book that will advance their knowledge and skills.”

Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law


“This excellent resource provides a wealth of information. Reviewing critical themes such as methods of disclosure, trauma, memory suggestibility, and the evolution of forensic interviewing, the contributors promote a more holistic approach for child victims and offenders. There are few texts that address child offenders in as comprehensive and thoughtful a fashion. Including international perspectives and visions for best practices in the future, this book is a key addition to the toolkits of psychological, medical, and legal professionals serving children involved in any aspect of the justice process.”

—Sharon W. Cooper, MD, FAAP, Consultant, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children; Department of Pediatrics, University of North Carolina School of Medicine


“Few topics in psychology and law have attracted as much attention as the challenging conflicts posed when children encounter the legal system as victims or offenders. This volume is both comprehensive and nuanced, assembling experts in the field to describe what we know and what we have yet to learn.”

—Shari Seidman Diamond, JD, PhD, Howard J. Trienens Professor of Law and Professor of Psychology, Northwestern University School of Law; Research Professor, American Bar Foundation


“Bottoms, Najdowski, and Goodman have called on world-class colleagues to put together this definitive volume. Each state-of-the-science chapter addresses the application of research findings in legal contexts. This book will be indispensable for mental health experts in child maltreatment as well as lawyers involved in child advocacy.”

—Kathleen Coulborn Faller, PhD, ACSW, Marion Elizabeth Blue Professor of Children and Families and Director, Family Assessment Clinic, School of Social Work, University of Michigan


“The editors have assembled an internationally renowned group of experts to craft an authoritative volume that integrates the best behavioral science with important case law decisions. The resulting chapters do not disappoint. Readers will find the essentials they need regarding child victims and offenders, linked closely to key legal decisions and packed with valuable recommendations. Faculty teaching upper-level undergraduate seminars and graduate courses across disciplines that deal with crimes against children will want to consider adopting this book. Child protection professionals, many attorneys, and students planning to work in this arena will find it essential reading.”

—Gerald P. Koocher, PhD, ABPP, Professor and Dean, School of Health Sciences, Simmons College


“The fields of law and psychology have been moving toward a restructuring of justice for children—as victims and as offenders—that makes use of new, scientifically informed perspectives on child development. This volume is a definitive milestone in the progress of that movement. Above all, it is authoritative. Leading researchers have written succinct reviews of their respective areas of expertise, in a style that will be understandable to practitioners and policymakers. Offering updates on questions that have been asked for decades, the chapters also provide new information on issues addressed nowhere else. This book promises to both inform and organize our thinking about how law can best respond to children who are harmed or who harm others.”

—Thomas Grisso, PhD, Department of Psychiatry (Emeritus), University of Massachusetts Medical School


“Although much has been written about child abuse victims and juvenile offenders in the last two decades, these literatures have not previously been presented together in such an authoritative, comprehensive, and accessible way. This book is both a resource for established scholars and a well-written introduction for students in applied developmental, forensic, and clinical psychology, as well as social work and juvenile and family law.”

—Michael E. Lamb, PhD, Head, Department of Social and Developmental Psychology, University of Cambridge, UK

Table of Contents

1. Children as Victims, Witnesses, and Offenders: An Introduction through Legal Cases, Jillian N. Ducker, Jessica M. Salerno, Cynthia J. Najdowski, Bette L. Bottoms, and Gail S. Goodman

I. Children as Victims and Witnesses

2. Abuse Disclosure: What Adults Can Tell, Thomas D. Lyon

3. Trauma and Memory, Andrea Follmer Greenhoot and Sarah L. Bunnell

4. Children’s Memory in Forensic Contexts: Suggestibility, False Memory, and Individual Differences, Iris Blandón-Gitlin and Kathy Pezdek

5. Child Sexual Abuse Investigations: Lessons Learned from the McMartin and Other Daycare Cases, James M. Wood, Debbie Nathan, M. Teresa Nezworski, and Elizabeth Uhl

6. Contemporary Child Forensic Interviewing: Evolving Consensus and Innovation Over 25 Years, Karen J. Saywitz and Lorinda B. Camparo

7. Child Victims in Dependency Court, Jodi A. Quas, Alexia Cooper, and Lindsay Wandrey

8. Child Witnesses in Criminal Court, Natalie R. Troxel, Christin M. Ogle, Ingrid M. Cordon, Michael J. Lawler, and Gail S. Goodman

9. Expert Psychological Testimony in Child Sexual Abuse Trials, John E. B. Myers

10. Jurors’ Perceptions of Children’s Eyewitness Testimony, Jonathan M. Golding, Emily E. Dunlap, and Emily C. Hodell

11. An International Perspective on Child Witnesses, Kay Bussey

12. Child Victim Research Comes of Age: Implications for Social Scientists, Practitioners, and the Law, Bradley D. McAuliff

II. Children as Offenders

13. How Victims Become Offenders, Cathy Spatz Widom and Helen W. Wilson

14. Police Interrogation and False Confessions: The Inherent Risk of Youth, Allison D. Redlich and Saul M. Kassin

15. Challenging Juvenile Transfer: Faulty Assumptions and Misguided Policies, N. Dickon Reppucci, Jaime L. Michel, and Jessica O. Kostelnik

16. Therapeutic Jurisprudence in Juvenile Justice, Patrick H. Tolan and Jennifer Anne Titus

17. Girl Offenders: Special Issues, James Garbarino, Kathryn Levene, Margaret Walsh, and Sacha M. Coupet

18. Understanding Adults’ Perceptions of Juvenile Offenders, Margaret C. Stevenson, Cynthia J. Najdowski, Bette L. Bottoms, and Tamara M. Haegerich

19. An International Perspective on Juvenile Justice Issues, John Petrila

20. Different Visions of Juvenile Justice, Christopher Slobogin


About the Editors

Bette L. Bottoms, PhD, is Professor of Psychology and Dean Emerita of the Honors Collegeat the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has published numerous articles and books about child abuse, children's eyewitness testimony, and jurors' perceptions of child victims and offenders. A past president of the American Psychological Association's Society for Child and Family Policy and Practice, she is a recipient of the American Psychology–Law Society Early Career Award and eight awards for teaching excellence.

Cynthia J. Najdowski, BA, is a doctoral student in social and personality psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her research focuses on understanding how childhood sexual abuse and rape victims cope with their experiences. She also studies perceptions of juvenile offenders. She has received several competitive grants and awards in recognition of her work.

Gail S. Goodman, PhD, is Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Director of the Center for Public Policy Research at the University of California, Davis. She has received numerous awards and federal grants for research, and her studies have been cited in U.S. Supreme Court decisions. Her psycholegal research focuses on child maltreatment, trauma and memory, forensic interviewing, and juvenile delinquency.

Contributors

Iris Blandón-Gitlin, PhD, Department of Psychology, California State University, Fullerton, Fullerton, California

Bette L. Bottoms, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

Sarah L. Bunnell, MA, Department of Psychology, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas

Kay Bussey, PhD, Department of Psychology, Macquarie University, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Lorinda B. Camparo, PhD, Department of Psychology, Whittier College, Whittier, California

Alexia Cooper, MA, Department of Psychology and Social Behavior, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, California

Ingrid M. Cordon, PhD, Center for Public Policy Research, University of California, Davis, Davis, California

Sacha M. Coupet, PhD, JD, Civitas ChildLaw Center, Loyola University Chicago School of Law, Chicago, Illinois

Jillian N. Mongetta, BA, Center for Public Policy Research, University of California, Davis, Davis, California

Emily E. Dunlap, MS, Department of Psychology, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky

James Garbarino, PhD, Department of Psychology, Loyola University Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

Jonathan M. Golding, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky

Gail S. Goodman, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of California, Davis, Davis, California

Andrea Follmer Greenhoot, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas

Tamara M. Haegerich, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

Emily C. Hodell, MA, Department of Psychology, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky

Saul M. Kassin, PhD, Department of Psychology, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York, NY

Jessica O. Kostelnik, MS, Department of Psychology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia

Michael J. Lawler, PhD, Center for Human Services, University of California, Davis, Davis, California

Kathryn Levene, MSW, Child Development Institute, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Thomas D. Lyon, JD, PhD, University of Southern California, Gould School of Law, Los Angeles, California

Bradley D. McAuliff, JD. PhD, Department of Psychology, California State University, Northridge, Northridge, California

Jaime L. Michel, MSW, Department of Psychology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia

John E. B. Myers, JD, McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific, Sacramento, California

Cynthia J. Najdowski, BA, Department of Psychology, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

Debbie Nathan, MA, Freelance journalist, New York, NY

M. Teresa Nezworski, PhD, United States Air Force, Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas

Christin M. Ogle, MA, Department of Psychology, University of California, Davis, Davis, California

John Petrila, JD, LLM, Department of Mental Health Law and Policy Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida

Kathy Pezdek, PhD, Department of Psychology, Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, California

Jodi A. Quas, PhD, Department of Psychology and Social Behavior, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, California

Allison D. Redlich, PhD, School of Criminal Justice,

University at Albany, State University of New York, Albany, New York

N. Dickon Reppucci, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia

Jessica M. Salerno, BA, Department of Psychology

University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

Karen J. Saywitz, PhD, Department of Pediatrics, University of California School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California

Christopher Slobogin, JD, LLM, Vanderbilt University Law School, Nashville, Tennessee

Margaret C. Stevenson, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Evansville, Evansville, Indiana

Jennifer Anne Titus, MPH, Institute for Juvenile Research, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

Patrick H. Tolan, PhD, Institute for Juvenile Research, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

Natalie R. Troxel, BA, Department of Psychology, University of California, Davis, Davis, California

Elizabeth Uhl, MA, Department of Psychology, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, Texas

Lindsay Wandrey, BA, Department of Psychology and Social Behavior, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, California

Margaret Walsh, BA, Child Development Institute, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Cathy Spatz Widom, PhD, Department of Psychology, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York, NY

Helen W. Wilson, PhD, Department of Psychology, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, North Chicago, Illinois

James M. Wood, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, Texas

Audience

Child and adolescent psychologists and psychiatrists, social workers, forensic psychologists, and other clinical professionals who work with children and adolescents in the legal system; social psychologists. Also of interest to criminologists, judges, and child advocates.

Course Use

May serve as a text in graduate-level courses such as Psychology and Law, Forensic Psychology, Child Abuse and Law, Juvenile Delinquency, and Children in the Legal System.