Individuals with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) are more likely to be involved with the criminal justice system (CJS) than neurotypical individuals. Interrogative suggestibility is theorised to be a weakness in this population; this is the first experimental evidence of interrogative suggestibility in adolescents with FASD. Fifty‐two participants (aged 11–16 years) completed the Gudjonsson Suggestibility Scale immediately and after 1 week; the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children; and the Behavioural Rating of Executive Function. Compared to the control group, individuals with FASD were more vulnerable to leading questions, negative feedback and evidenced significantly higher suggestibility, immediately and after 1 week. A significant correlation was found between immediate and repeat suggestibility at 1‐week follow‐up. Poorer memory recall, lower intelligence quotient and higher impulsivity were also observed in the FASD population. The results indicate the importance for the CJS to establish whether suspects, witnesses, and victims of crimes may have been impacted by prenatal alcohol exposure since this is a significant source of vulnerability that could lead to false confessions or miscarriage of justice.
Gilbert, D. J., Gudjonsson, G., Cook, P., Mukherjee, R. A. S., & Allely, C. (2024). Immediate and repeat interrogative suggestibility in a sample of adolescents with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. Diversity & Inclusion Research, 1(1), e12007. https://doi.org/10.1002/dvr2.12007