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Psychol Public Policy Law. 2012 Feb 1;18(1):79-104.

MALTREATED CHILDREN'S ABILITY TO ESTIMATE TEMPORAL LOCATION AND NUMEROSITY OF PLACEMENT CHANGES AND COURT VISITS.

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  • 1Department of Psychology and Social Behavior, University of California, Irvine.

Abstract

Research examining children's temporal knowledge has tended to utilize brief temporal intervals and singular, neutral events, and is not readily generalizable to legal settings in which maltreated children are asked temporal questions about salient, repeated abuse that often occurred in the distant past. To understand how well maltreated children can describe temporal location and numerosity of documented, personal experiences, we assessed 167 6- to 10-year-old maltreated children's temporal memory for changes in their living arrangements and prior visits to court. Small percentages of children were capable of providing exact temporal location information (age, month, or season) regarding their first or last placement or court experience, or numerosities for placements or court visits. Greater knowledge of current temporal locations did not predict better performance. However, older children's performance for several temporal judgments was better than chance, and their reports were not largely discrepant from the truth. Findings suggest caution when questioning maltreated children about when and how many times prior events occurred.

PMID:
22347789
[PubMed]
PMCID:
PMC3280883
Free PMC Article
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