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Children's ability to estimate the frequency of single and repeated events

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journal contribution
posted on 2011-01-01, 00:00 authored by Stefanie SharmanStefanie Sharman, Martine Powell, K Roberts
Although it is extremely important when interviewing children about alleged abuse to determine whether the abuse was a single or a repeated occurrence, we have little information about how children judge the frequency of events. The aim of the current study was to examine children's accuracy in providing estimates of event frequency that were numerical (that is, 1, 2, 3, . . .) and qualitative (that is, once, a few times, or many times). Younger (4- to 5-year-old) and older (6- to 8-year-old) children took part in a single event or an event that was repeated 6 or 11 times. They were interviewed after a short or long delay; some were interviewed a second time. Overall, children were very accurate at judging the frequency of a single event, but much less so for repeated events. Based on our findings, we make two recommendations for professionals trying to establish the frequency of events when interviewing young children.

History

Journal

International journal of police science & management

Volume

13

Issue

3

Pagination

234 - 242

Publisher

Vathek Publishing

Location

Dalby, Isle of Man

ISSN

1461-3557

eISSN

1478-1603

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2011, Vathek Publishing

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