CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Monday, July 22, 2019

Williams et al. on Questioning Children

Shanna WilliamsKelly McWilliams and Thomas D. Lyon (University of Southern California, City University of New York - John Jay College of Criminal Justice and University of Southern California Gould School of Law) have posted Children's Concealment of a Minor Transgression: The Role of Age, Maltreatment, and Executive Functioning (Forthcoming, Journal of Experimental Child Psychology) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
This study examined the role of age, maltreatment status, and executive functioning (EF) on 752 4- to 9-year-old maltreated and non-maltreated children’s recall disclosure of a transgression in which they appeared to have broken toys while playing with a stranger. Interviewers used narrative practice rapport-building and then questioned children with free recall and cued recall questions. Younger and maltreated children were more likely to disclose during rapport-building, whereas older and non-maltreated children were more likely to disclose in response to recall questions. Working memory deficits appeared to mediate the relation between children’s characteristics and disclosure during rapport, but not during recall. The results demonstrate that how children are questioned affects the relations between deception and age, maltreatment, and executive functioning.

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