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Article
51. Maltreated children’s ability to make temporal judgments using a recurring landmark event.
Journal of Interpersonal Violence (In Press) (2016)
  • Kelly McWilliams, University of Southern California
  • Thomas D. Lyon, University of Southern California Law
  • Jodi A. Quas, University of California, Irvine
Abstract
This study examined whether maltreated children are capable of judging the location and order of significant events with respect to a recurring landmark event. 167 6- to 10-year-old maltreated children were asked whether the current day, their last court visit, and their last change in placement were "near" their birthday and "before or after" their birthday. Children showed some understanding that the target event was "near" and "before" their birthday when their birthday was less than three months hence, but were relatively insensitive to preceding birthdays. Hence, children exhibited a prospective bias, preferentially answering with reference to a forthcoming birthday rather than a past birthday. The results demonstrate that the recurring nature of some landmark events make questions about them referentially ambiguous and children’s answers subject to misinterpretation.
Keywords
  • child abuse,
  • child neglect,
  • child witness,
  • mal-treated children,
  • temporal judgments
Publication Date
April 5, 2016
Citation Information
McWilliams, K., Lyon, T.D., & Quas, J.A. (in press). Maltreated children’s ability to make temporal judgments using a recurring landmark event. Journal of Interpersonal Violence.