Maltreated Children's Ability to Make Temporal Judgments Using a Recurring Landmark Event
34 Journal of Interpersonal Violence 873-883 (2019)
12 Pages Posted: 9 Apr 2016 Last revised: 6 Jan 2019
Date Written: January 2, 2019
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.
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