This study tested the effects of narrative practice rapport building (asking open-ended questions about a neutral event) and a putative confession (telling the child an adult “told me everything that happened and he wants you to tell the truth”) on 4- to 9-year-old maltreated and nonmaltreated children’s reports of an interaction with a stranger who asked them to keep toy breakage a secret (n = 264). Only one third of children who received no interview manipulations disclosed breakage; in response to a putative confession, one half disclosed. Narrative practice rapport building did not affect the likelihood of disclosure. Maltreated children and nonmaltreated children responded similarly to the manipulations. Neither narrative practice rapport building nor a putative confession increased false reports.
Child Psychology | Criminal Law | Criminal Procedure | Developmental Psychology | Evidence | Family Law | Juvenile Law | Law | Law and Psychology
Date of this Version
Thomas D. Lyon, Lindsay Wandrey, Elizabeth C. Ahern, Robyn Licht, Megan P.Y. Sim, and J A. Quas, "Eliciting Maltreated and Nonmaltreated Children's Transgression Disclosures: Narrative Practice Rapport Building and a Putative Confession" (December 2015). University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series. Working Paper 190.