ERIC Number: ED326828
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Preparing Child Witnesses: The Efficacy of Memory Strategy Training.
Saywitz, Karen J.; And Others
An intervention to prepare children for pretrial interviews and testimony was tested. The goal of the intervention was to increase the completeness of young children's eyewitness accounts because their free recall is typically less complete than that of older children or adults. Seven- and 10-year-old children (N=132) were randomly assigned, within age groups, to one of three treatment conditions: (1) training with retrieval strategies using schema based categories and visual cues with practice, feedback, and self-monitoring; (2) instructions to be complete, but no strategy training; and (3) a control group receiving no instructions and no strategy training. The children participated in a staged event followed, 2 weeks later, by a 30 minute, individual training or control session. One day later, there was a booster session after which they were interviewed about the event with free and cued recall tasks. The results validated the assumption that the completeness of children's eyewitness accounts can be enhanced without the risk of an increased rate of error. Moreover, instructing children in this age range to be more complete was not effective. (A discussion focuses on implications for the forensic context, limits on generalization, and directions for future research.) (Author)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Court Witnesses; Eyewitnesses; Testimony
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (98th, Boston, MA, August 10-14, 1990). Thick type throughout. Drawing may not reproduce well.