Ozbeck, Irene Nichols; Weathington, Bart L.
College of Arts and Sciences
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Place of Publication
A child witness’s credibility has been defined along two dimensions, honesty and cognitive competence (Ross, Jurden, Lindsay, & Keeney, 2003). In cases where cognitive competence (e.g., memory strength) is more salient to an allegation, then older children are typically viewed as more believable than younger children, whereas in cases where honesty is more salient, then younger children are viewed as more believable than older children. The present research examined whether these perceptions of the child witness held true for repeated allegations of abuse and across types of repeated abuse reported. Two hundred seventy participants were recruited from undergraduate psychology courses. Participants read a scenario of a child sexual abuse allegation made by a 5-, 10-, or 15-year-old child w. Overall participants rated a child reporting a single allegation of abuse and a repeated allegation of a different type of abuse as significantly more believable and more likely to be accurately telling the truth than a child reporting a second allegation of the same type of abuse. Results also indicated that the 5- and 10-year-old children were rated significantly more believable than the 15- year-old child despite the frequency or type of abuse reported.
M. S.; A thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Science.
Child sexual abuse -- Investigation; Child witnesses
Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences
x, 47 leaves
Henley, Anna, "Credibility of first versus second child sexual abuse allegations" (2012). Masters Theses and Doctoral Dissertations.