Coaching, Truth Induction, and Young Maltreated Children's False Allegations and False Denials


79 Child Development 914 (2008) The paper can be downloaded at http://works.bepress.com/thomaslyon/54/


This study examined the effect of coaching (encouragement and rehearsal of false reports) and truth induction (a child-friendly version of the oath or general reassurance about the consequences of disclosure) on 4- to 7-year-old maltreated children's reports (N = 198). Children were questioned using free recall, repeated yes/no questions, and highly suggestive suppositional questions. Coaching impaired children's accuracy. For free recall and repeated yes/no questions, the oath exhibited some positive effects, but this effect diminished in the face of highly suggestive questions. Reassurance had few positive effects, and no ill-effects. Neither age nor understanding of the meaning and negative consequences of lying consistently predicted accuracy. The results support the utility of truth induction in enhancing the accuracy of child witnesses' reports.


Criminal Law | Criminal Procedure | Evidence | Family Law | Juvenile Law | Law and Psychology

Date of this Version

May 2009

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