Children's memory and suggestibility about a distressing event: The role of children's and parents' attachment

Yoojin Chae, Gail S. Goodman, Rakel P. Larson, Else Marie Augusti, Deborah Alley, Kirsten M. VanMeenen, Michelle Culver, Kevin P. Coulter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Our goal was to identify individual difference predictors of children's memory and suggestibility for distressing personally experienced events. Specifically, we examined children's and parents' attachment orientations and children's observable levels of distress, as well as other individual difference factors, as predictors of children's memory and suggestibility. Children (N=91) aged 3 to 6. years were interviewed about inoculations received at medical clinics. For children whose parents scored as more avoidant, higher distress levels during the inoculations predicted less accuracy, whereas for children whose parents scored as less avoidant, higher distress levels predicted greater accuracy. Children with more rather than less positive representations of parents and older rather than younger children answered memory questions more accurately. Two children provided false reports of child sexual abuse. Implications for theory, research, and practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90-111
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Experimental Child Psychology
Volume123
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2014

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Keywords

  • Attachment
  • Avoidance
  • Child abuse
  • Children
  • Memory
  • Suggestibility

Cite this

Chae, Y., Goodman, G. S., Larson, R. P., Augusti, E. M., Alley, D., VanMeenen, K. M., Culver, M., & Coulter, K. P. (2014). Children's memory and suggestibility about a distressing event: The role of children's and parents' attachment. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 123(1), 90-111. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jecp.2014.01.005