Perceptions of Elder Physical Abuse in the Courtroom: The Influence of Hearsay Witness Testimony
A community sample of 226 participants (41% men, 59% women) who answered questions about a trial summary that manipulated what type of witness (a 45-year-old hearsay [second-hand information based on the report of a crime victim] witness, a 75-year-old hearsay witness, or the 75-year-old victim) presented an allegation of elder physical abuse. Overall, participants who read the testimony of a 45-year-old hearsay witness had higher conviction rates than participants who read the testimony of the 75-year-old hearsay witness or the elder victim. Additionally, participants who had previously been victims of abuse and/or who had positive attitudes toward elderly people rendered more pro-prosecution verdicts. Finally, as the age of the participant increased so did conviction rates.
Journal of Elder Abuse & Neglect
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)