Children's Concealment of a Minor Transgression: The Role of Age, Maltreatment, and Executive Functioning

Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 191, 104664

USC CLASS Research Papers Series No. CLASS19-18

43 Pages Posted: 11 Jul 2019 Last revised: 5 Dec 2019

See all articles by Shanna Williams

Shanna Williams

University of Southern California Gould School of Law

Kelly McWilliams

City University of New York - John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Thomas D. Lyon

University of Southern California Gould School of Law

Date Written: December 3, 2019

Abstract

This study examined the role of age, maltreatment status, and executive functioning (EF) on 752 4- to 9-year-old maltreated and non-maltreated children’s recall disclosure of a transgression in which they appeared to have broken toys while playing with a stranger. Interviewers used narrative practice rapport-building and then questioned children with free recall and cued recall questions. Younger and maltreated children were more likely to disclose during rapport-building, whereas older and non-maltreated children were more likely to disclose in response to recall questions. Working memory deficits appeared to mediate the relation between children’s characteristics and disclosure during rapport, but not during recall. The results demonstrate that how children are questioned affects the relations between deception and age, maltreatment, and executive functioning.

Suggested Citation

Williams, Shanna and McWilliams, Kelly and Lyon, Thomas D., Children's Concealment of a Minor Transgression: The Role of Age, Maltreatment, and Executive Functioning (December 3, 2019). Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 191, 104664; USC CLASS Research Papers Series No. CLASS19-18. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3417899

Shanna Williams (Contact Author)

University of Southern California Gould School of Law ( email )

Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

Kelly McWilliams

City University of New York - John Jay College of Criminal Justice ( email )

524 W 59th St
New York, NY 10019
United States

Thomas D. Lyon

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)

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