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Dev Psychol. 2006 Mar;42(2):332-44.

The influence of prior knowledge and repeated questioning on children's long-term retention of the details of a pediatric examination.

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1
Department of Psychology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3270, USA. pao@unc.edu

Abstract

Children's recall of the details of pediatric examinations was examined over the course of a 6-month interval. Although the 83 4- to 7-year-old participants reported a substantial amount of information at each assessment, performance declined over time, dropping sharply over the course of 3 months but then remaining constant out to the final interview at 6 months. As expected, older children provided more total information than younger children did and reported a greater proportion of the event components in response to general rather than specific questions. However, comparable patterns of remembering and forgetting over time were observed at each age level. In addition, no effects of repeated questioning--in the form of an interview at 3 months for half of the children--were observed on performance at the 6-month assessment. Moreover, children's prior knowledge about routine doctor visits was assessed before the checkup for half of the participants at each age and was associated with initial but not delayed recall. Although knowledge increased with age as expected, it nonetheless affected recall over and above the influence of age.

PMID:
16569171
DOI:
10.1037/0012-1649.42.2.332
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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