Children’s memory reports over time: Getting both better and worse

Peterson, Carole (2011) Children’s memory reports over time: Getting both better and worse. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 109 (23). pp. 275-293. ISSN 1096-0457

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Injured children (N = 145 between 2 and 13 years of age) were recruited from a hospital emergency room and were interviewed about the injury event soon afterward and then twice more at yearly intervals. Their transcripts were coded three ways: completeness of overall structural components of a prototypical injury event (e.g., who, when, where), amount of narrative detail (specifically unique units of information), and the accuracy of both types of information. Completeness components were also categorized as central or peripheral, and narrative details were coded as pertaining to persons, objects, attributes, locations, or activities. Over time, children maintained consistent completeness scores; that is, the overall structure of the event stayed the same. However, they provided more elaborative detail of all types and especially about attributes and activities. Only accuracy (of both types of information) deteriorated. Thus, different aspects of their interviews changed in different ways over 2 years. Implications for assessing changes over time in child witness reports are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Item ID: 9757
Keywords: Child memory, Eyewitness memory, Memory, Accuracy, Narrative detail, Reminiscence, Hypermnesia
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Psychology
Science, Faculty of > Psychology
Date: July 2011
Date Type: Publication
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