Monia Vagni, Tiziana Maiorano, Daniela Pajardi, Manuela Berlingeri

Interrogative suggestibility: the role of forensic context and posttraumatic stress in children and adolescents witnesses of suspected sexual abuse

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Suggestibility; Sexual Abuse; Witness; Stress; Social Influence.

Various factors of social suggestibility may influence minors who are heard in court as witnesses, particularly because of the effect of pressure from the forensic context and of the 128 Monia Vagni, Tiziana Maiorano, Daniela Pajardi, Manuela Berlingeri specific .nature. of the questions asked. The aim of this study is to investigate the immediate and delayed effects of interrogative suggestibility on children that are witnesses and victims of suspected sexual abuse. In particular, we explored the effect of forensic context and eventual presence of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder under the assumption that these factors may enhance the levels of immediate and delayed suggestibility as measured by GSS2 (Gudjonsson, 1997). To this aim, we studied 100 witness minors, 58 with and 42 without Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and a sample of 100 age-matched controls. Results showed that minors with post traumatic stress are more suggestible than peers without post-traumatic stress disorder. These results are discussed in the light of the main theoretical models available in the international literature.

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