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Children exposed to obscene phone calls: What they remember and tell.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2005 (English)In: Child Abuse & Neglect, ISSN 0145-2134, Vol. 29, no 8, 871-888 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objective: This case study examined children's reports from an obscene phone call (i.e., a verbal sexual abuse). We investigated which type of information the children reported, the completeness and accuracy of the children's statements, and whether there were systematic patterns in terms of memory distortions and omissions. Method: The completeness and the accuracy of the children's statements were examined by matching 64 children's statements given during police interviews with a detailed documentation of each phone call, made by the perpetrator during the actual phone calls. Results: All children remembered the phone call per se, but they were found to omit almost all of the sexual and sensitive information (perpetrator's questions and statements) and about 70% of the neutral information given by the perpetrator. However, the children were accurate in the information they did report. Conclusions: The fact that the children did remember more of the neutral information suggests that they actually remembered the sexual information as well, but that they chose not to report it. Results indicate that children who have been sexually abused may remember more than they report in an initial interview. One possible underlying reason is that children experience shame or embarrassment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. Vol. 29, no 8, 871-888 p.
Keyword [en]
recall richness, recall completeness, recall accuracy, children, reporting sexual abuse, obscene phone calls
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-13491DOI: doi:10.1016/j.chiabu.2004.12.012OAI: diva2:180011
Available from: 2008-04-09 Created: 2008-04-09 Last updated: 2011-01-12Bibliographically approved

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Christianson, Sven Å
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Department of Psychology

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