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Disclosing adult wrongdoing: Maltreated and non-maltreated children’s expectations and preferences

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dc.contributor.author Malloy, L. C., Quas, J. A., Lyon, T. D., & Ahern, E. C.
dc.date.accessioned 2015-01-26T17:21:17Z
dc.date.available 2015-01-26T17:21:17Z
dc.date.issued 2014
dc.identifier.citation Malloy, L. C., Quas, J. A., Lyon, T. D., & Ahern, E. C. (2014). Disclosing adult wrongdoing: Maltreated and non-maltreated children’s expectations and preferences. Journal of experimental child psychology, 124, 78-96. en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://works.bepress.com/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1105&context=thomaslyon
dc.identifier.uri http://works.bepress.com/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1105&context=thomaslyon
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11212/2108
dc.description.abstract Little is known about the process by which children disclose adult wrongdoing, a topic of considerable debate and controversy. In the current study, we investigated children’s evaluations of disclosing adult wrongdoing by focusing on children’s preferences for particular disclosure recipients and perceptions of the consequences of disclosure in hypothetical vignettes. We tested whether children thought that disclosure recipients would believe a story child as a truth teller and what actions the recipients would take against the ‘‘instigator’’ who committed the transgression. Maltreated and non-maltreated 4- to 9-year-olds (N=235) responded to questions about vignettes that described a parent’s or stranger’s transgression. Older children preferred caregiver recipients over police officer recipients when disclosing a parent’s transgression but not a stranger’s transgression. Maltreated children’s preference for caregiver recipients over police officer recipients developed more gradually than that of non-maltreated children. Older children expected disclosure recipients to be more skeptical of the story child’s account, and older children and maltreated children expected disclosure recipients to intervene formally less often when a parent, rather than a stranger, was the instigator. Results contribute to understanding vulnerable children’s development and highlight the developmental, experiential, and socio-contextual factors underlying children’s disclosure patterns. (Author Abstract) en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher Journal of experimental child psychology en_US
dc.subject child abuse en_US
dc.subject disclosure en_US
dc.subject credibility en_US
dc.subject research en_US
dc.title Disclosing adult wrongdoing: Maltreated and non-maltreated children’s expectations and preferences en_US
dc.type Article en_US


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