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Law Hum Behav. 2008 Feb;32(1):92-112. Epub 2007 Jan 26.

Perceptions and predictors of children's credibility of a unique event and an instance of a repeated event.

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Department of Psychology, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Dr., Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada V5A 1S6.


Perceptions of children's credibility were studied in two experiments wherein participants watched a videotape of a 4- to 5- or a 6- to 7-year old child report details of a play session that had been experienced once (single-event) or was the last in a series of four similar play sessions (repeat-event). The child's report was classified as high or low accurate. In Experiments 1 and 2, reports of repeat-event children were judged to be less believable on several measures. In Experiment 1, younger children were viewed as less credible than older children. In both experiments, neither undergraduates nor community members correctly discriminated between high- and low-accurate reports. Content analysis in Study 3 revealed the relationship between age and event frequency and children's credibility ratings was mediated by the internal consistency of children's reports. Recent research on children's reports of instances of repeated events has identified several challenges facing children who report repeated abuse. These data bring to light another potential difficulty for these children.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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