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

Yoojin Chae, Gail Goodman, Rakel Larson, Else-Marie Augusti, Deborah Alley, Kirsten VanMeenen, Michelle Culver, Kevin Coulter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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 of parents who scored as less avoidant, higher distress levels predicted greater accuracy. Children with more versus less positive representations of parents and older compared to 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
JournalJournal of Experimental Child Psychology
StatePublished - Jul 2014

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