Maltreated Children's Ability to Make Temporal Judgments Using a Recurring Landmark Event

12 Pages Posted: 9 Apr 2016 Last revised: 6 Jan 2019

See all articles by Kelly McWilliams

Kelly McWilliams

USC Gould School of Law

Thomas D. Lyon

University of Southern California Gould School of Law

Jodi Quas

University of California, Irvine - Department of Criminology, Law and Society

Date Written: January 2, 2019

Abstract

This study examined whether maltreated children are capable of judging the location and order of significant events with respect to a recurring landmark event. 167 6- to 10-year-old maltreated children were asked whether the current day, their last court visit, and their last change in placement were “near” their birthday and “before or after” their birthday. Children showed some understanding that the target event was “near” and “before” their birthday when their birthday was less than three months hence, but were relatively insensitive to preceding birthdays. Hence, children exhibited a prospective bias, preferentially answering with reference to a forthcoming birthday rather than a past birthday. The results demonstrate that the recurring nature of some landmark events make questions about them referentially ambiguous and children’s answers subject to misinterpretation.

Suggested Citation

McWilliams, Kelly and Lyon, Thomas D. and Quas, Jodi, Maltreated Children's Ability to Make Temporal Judgments Using a Recurring Landmark Event (January 2, 2019). 34 Journal of Interpersonal Violence 873-883 (2019); USC CLASS Research Paper No. CLASS16-12; USC Legal Studies Research Papers Series No. 16-14 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2759631

Kelly McWilliams

USC Gould School of Law ( email )

699 Exposition Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

Thomas D. Lyon (Contact Author)

University of Southern California Gould School of Law ( email )

699 Exposition Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States
213-740-0142 (Phone)
213-740-5502 (Fax)

Jodi Quas

University of California, Irvine - Department of Criminology, Law and Society ( email )

2340 Social Ecology 2, RM
Irvine, CA 92697

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
22
Abstract Views
297
PlumX Metrics