Mock jury attitudes towards credibility, age, and guilt in a fictional child sexual assault scenario

Tabak, Samantha J. and Klettke, Bianca 2014, Mock jury attitudes towards credibility, age, and guilt in a fictional child sexual assault scenario, Australian journal of psychology, vol. 66, no. 1, pp. 47-55, doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12035.

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Title Mock jury attitudes towards credibility, age, and guilt in a fictional child sexual assault scenario
Author(s) Tabak, Samantha J.
Klettke, BiancaORCID iD for Klettke, Bianca
Journal name Australian journal of psychology
Volume number 66
Issue number 1
Start page 47
End page 55
Total pages 9
Publisher John Wiley & Sons
Place of publication Chichester, England
Publication date 2014-03
ISSN 0004-9530
Keyword(s) attitudes
child sexual assault
jury decision-making
victim blame
Summary Low conviction rates of child sexual assault (CSA) remain a persistent social problem in Australia. One reason for this may be the impact of attitudes regarding the victims when the evidence is weak. This article examines the effects of victim age on perceptions of credibility and verdict in a CSA case. Eleven electronic focus groups deliberated a fictional CSA case, in which the age of the child was systemically varied between 6 and 15 years. Deliberation transcripts were analysed with NVivo (Version 9, QSR International Pty Ltd., Burlington, MA, USA), from which thematic clusters were derived. Results showed that as the child's age increased, credibility and guilty verdicts decreased. In addition, testimony alone had little impact in influencing the verdict. These findings suggest that in lieu of corroborating evidence, increasing supporting information, such as expert testimony, and providing structured deliberation for the jury may reduce the influence of victim blame, particularly when the child victim is older.
Language eng
DOI 10.1111/ajpy.12035
Field of Research 170104 Forensic Psychology
Socio Economic Objective 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2014, John Wiley & Sons
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Psychology
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