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Perceived Credibility of Sexual Abuse Victims' Statements

Description: The present study identifies structural aspects of victimization stories told by adult survivors of child sexual abuse that indicate truth-telling to potential jurors and increase the stories' believability. Jury-eligible undergraduate students (n = 175) were asked to indicate how believable they found six different stories about prior victimization using the Narrative Believability Scale (NBS-12; Yale, 2013). Partial support was found for the hypothesis that stories that include an ending to the abuse will be more believable than stories that are unclear regarding how/if the abuse ended. The findings of the present study have implications for the ways in which victims speak in court, the questions attorneys ask, and the multifaceted nature of what makes a story believable.

Suggested Citation:
Wilinsky, C.L., McCabe, A. (2022). Perceived Credibility of Sexual Abuse Victims' Statements [Electronic Version]. Applied Psychology in Criminal Justice, 16(2), 157-180.

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Date: Feb 07, 2022 | File Size: 475.92 Kb | Downloads: 96

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