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Can rapport building strategies, age, and question type influence preschoolers’ disclosures of adult wrongdoing?

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift
Författare Mikaela Magnusson
Emelie Ernberg
Sara Landström
Malin Joleby
Lucy Akehurst
Publicerad i Scandinavian Journal of Psychology
Volym 61
Nummer/häfte 3
Sidor 393-401
ISSN 0036-5564
Publiceringsår 2020
Publicerad vid Psykologiska institutionen
Sidor 393-401
Språk en
Länkar https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi...
Ämnesord children's testimony; child witnesses; police interviewing techniques; rapport building; preschoolers
Ämneskategorier Tillämpad psykologi

Sammanfattning

In the present experiment, we examined preschoolers’ disclosures of a secret as a function of rapport building strategies used in Scandinavian field settings (verbal rapport building vs. prop rapport building), age in months (33–75 months) and question type (open‐ended free recall invitation vs. suggestive questions). Fifty‐three preschoolers (M = 60.5 months old, SD = 11.4) witnessed a researcher break a toy and were asked to keep the toy breakage a secret. The children were thereafter interviewed about the incident. Overall, 18.9% of the children disclosed the secret after an open‐ended free recall invitation. The disclosure rate rose to 83% after the final phase of the interviews when questions containing suggestive details were asked of the children. Notably, we did not observe any significant effects as a function of manipulating rapport building strategy. A linear regression model showed that child age (in months) significantly predicted the amount of reported details, with younger preschoolers reporting fewer details compared to older preschoolers. Age also predicted the amount of correct details, but not the amount of incorrect details. No age differences were found with regard to children’s disclosure tendencies or proportion of central details about the secret. Methodological limitations and practical implications will be addressed.

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