Consequences of criminal court involvement for child victims

[7-720] Article

J Quas and G Goodman, “Consequences of criminal court involvement for child victims” (2012) 18(3) Psychology, Public Policy, and Law 392.


This paper reviews research on the links between child victims’ involvement in criminal prosecutions and subsequent outcomes. The complex ways in which children can participate in the criminal justice system are discussed, including single interviews, multiple interviews or evaluations and court appearances. The review falls into two sections: first, the emotional and mental health consequences for children following legal involvement; and second, legal involvement by children and justice attitudes. The authors conclude that the evidence supports children being directly involved in criminal proceedings. It is also suggested that children in many circumstances will not suffer any significant long-term emotional harm from such involvement. Appropriate support before, during and after testimony is necessary.