The effect of multiple childhood sexual assaults on mock-jurors' perceptions of repressed memories.

TitleThe effect of multiple childhood sexual assaults on mock-jurors' perceptions of repressed memories.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1999
AuthorsGolding, JM, Sego, SA, Sanchez, RP
JournalBehav Sci Law
Volume17
Issue4
Pagination483-93
Date Published1999
ISSN0735-3936
KeywordsAdolescent, Adult, Child, Child Abuse, Sexual, Deception, Female, Humans, Male, Repression, Psychology, Students
Abstract

The effect of multiple childhood sexual assaults on the believability of a repressed memory of the assault was assessed using mock jurors. Participants read a fictional civil trial summary about a child sexual assault case presented in one of three reporting conditions: (a) immediate condition-the alleged victim testified immediately after the assault(s); (b) repressed condition-the alleged victim reported the assault(s) 20 years later, after remembering it/them for the first time; or (c) no-repressed condition-the alleged victim reported the assault(s) 20 years later, but the memory of the assault(s) had been present for those years. The number of assaults was either one or 30. The results showed that for all reporting conditions 30 alleged assaults led to relatively more decisions for the plaintiff than the defendant, and greater believability of the plaintiff. The increases in decisions rendered and believability were also generally true for the immediate condition compared to when there was a delay in reporting. The results are discussed in terms of mock jurors' perceptions of child sexual assault, both those reported immediately and those reported after many years.

Alternate JournalBehav Sci Law
PubMed ID10653996