How Children Report True and Fabricated Stressful and Non-Stressful Events.

Research paper by Megan K MK Brunet, Angela D AD Evans, Victoria V Talwar, Nicholas N Bala, Rod C L RC Lindsay, Kang K Lee

Indexed on: 25 Mar '14Published on: 25 Mar '14Published in: Psychiatry, psychology, and law : an interdisciplinary journal of the Australian and New Zealand Association of Psychiatry, Psychology and Law


As children can be victims or witnesses to crimes and may be required to testify about their experiences in court, the ability to differentiate between children's true and fabricated accounts of victimization is an important issue. This study used automated linguistic analysis software to detect linguistic patterns in order to differentiate between children's true and false stressful bullying reports and reports of non-stressful events. Results revealed that children displayed different linguistic patterns when reporting true and false stressful and non-stressful stories, with non-stressful stories being more accurately discriminated based on linguistic patterns. Results suggest that it is difficult to discriminate accurately and consistently between children's true and false stories of victimization.