Child witness research and forensic interviews of young children: A review

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Abstract

In this article, we provide an introduction to child eyewitness memory issues that are frequently discussed and debated, both within the research and practice communities. We review several of the central areas of research on child eyewitness memory and some of the most promising protocols aimed at standardizing and improving child forensic interviews. We focus primarily on memory in young children, because they pose particular challenges. Research on the use of props and external cues to prompt young children's memory is discussed. We also review research on professionals' knowledge and attitudes about children as witnesses. It is concluded that we must guard against overly negative or overly optimistic views of children's abilities.

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