Competency to be a witness: a major child forensic issue

Bull Am Acad Psychiatry Law. 1986;14(4):311-21.


Competency of a child witness is a changing area of case law and forensic psychiatry practice. This article summarizes the basic legal and clinical aspects of determination of competency of the child witness to testify. Guidelines for such forensic examinations are detailed. Case examples are described that highlight major clinical issues in these examinations.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Child
  • Child Abuse, Sexual
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cognition
  • Female
  • Forensic Psychiatry* / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Homicide
  • Humans
  • Intellectual Disability / psychology
  • Male
  • Memory
  • Truth Disclosure
  • United States