This research was supported in part by The California Wellness Foundation. The authors acknowledge Gail S. Goodman and Hans Steiner for their support of the study. We also thank Kyle Tupaz and Marisa Agima for their assistance with data collection.
Perceptions of Children During a Police Interview: A Comparison of Alleged Victims and Suspects1
Version of Record online: 21 FEB 2008
© 2008 Copyright the Authors
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume 38, Issue 3, pages 705–735, March 2008
How to Cite
Redlich, A. D., Ghetti, S. and Quas, J. A. (2008), Perceptions of Children During a Police Interview: A Comparison of Alleged Victims and Suspects. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 38: 705–735. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.2007.00323.x
- Issue online: 21 FEB 2008
- Version of Record online: 21 FEB 2008
The present study investigated jury-eligible undergraduates’ perceptions of alleged child victims vs. child suspects. Participants read a transcript of a police officer questioning a child who was a victim or a suspect of a crime. The child's age (7, 11, or 14 years) and whether the child admitted involvement in the incident were systematically varied. Results indicated that, under certain conditions, individuals viewed suspects as less credible and less suggestible than victims of the same age. Also, those who viewed the police as fair were particularly likely to perceive that the child, regardless of victim or suspect status, was involved in the crime. Findings have implications for the treatment of child victims and defendants in the U.S. legal system.