The purpose of the article by Gail S. Goodman is to study the effect, in regards to behavior, of maltreatment and child abuse in adolescents ages 3 to 16. In this article 322 children were interviewed by adults that they did not know. This experiment, through many different types of methods, shows not only the effect that child abuse has on children, but also shows the capability for adults to determine whether the accounts made by these children are true memories. This compares sexual and/or psychically abused children to neglected children and their overall dissociation. The adolescents who produced more correct information with less memory errors were the older children and the children who were able to process their thoughts better.
This experiment included 322 children with there being 178 girls and 144 boys. These children ranged from three to sixteen years old; all of which were from an inpatient hospital whose purpose was to evaluate children who were abused and/or neglected. With the information obtained from Child Protective Services, this large group of children were then split into 5 groups: sexually abused children, physically abused children, both sexually and physically abused children, neglected children, and a control group with non-abused/neglected children. The children who were place in the control group were 38 children whose hospital assessments and/or records were missing. Various types of methodical measures were used in this experiment. The majority of these measures pertained to a specific age group. In most of the assessments the age groups were spit to ages 3-5 years old, 6-10years old, 11-16 years old. Children 6 years and older were given a self-report assessment and they had to rate on a scale of 1 to 10, how often they experienced experiences that happen to them. This is used to measure dissociation between different children. The Dissociative Experiences Scale for Adolescents is another self-reporting measure, but was given specifically to 11years and older children and the Child Dissociative Checklist were given to children 4 years and older. All of these are self-assessments to measure dissociative tendencies among children and are similar to the first. They were also tested on their general psychological functioning through clinical psychology. Clinical psychologist rated their psychological, social, and educational functioning using a 100point scale. Other trauma related measures were measured for children 7 and older to describe the way they felt over a series of two weeks. As well, as a checklist for children 8-15 to measure how often they experience trauma. The studies procedures consisted of three parts: a play session, memory interviews and individual assessments. The play session was a session that was taped, that allowed interaction between the children and the researcher. After the session, the researcher analyzed the stress level of each of the children; all children showing signs of happiness without crying. On a separate day the children were put through videotaped interviews to test them on their memory. They were interviewed about the previous event by an adult that was not present when it occurred. All of these children all went through a series of different assessments to test them individually. They were asked question about abuse experienced and their mental status was reviewed, as well as their level of emotional and cognitive functions.
Results and Conclusion The results of this study, overall, were divided into four categories: abuse-related differences in psychopathology and cognitive functioning, children’s memory and suggestibility as linked to individual difference factors, children memory and suggestibility as related to age and abuse status controlling for individual factors, and event memory in children who…