ERIC Number: EJ923047
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Mar
Abstractor: As Provided
The Effect of Event Repetition on the Production of Story Grammar in Children's Event Narratives
Feltis, Brooke B.; Powell, Martine B.; Roberts, Kim P.
Child Abuse & Neglect: The International Journal, v35 n3 p180-187 Mar 2011
Objective: This study examined the effect of event repetition on the amount and nature of story-grammar produced by children when recalling the event. Method: Children aged 4 years (N=50) and 7 years (N=56) participated in either 1 or 6 occurrences of a highly similar event where details varied across the occurrences. Half the children in each age and event group recalled the last/single occurrence 5-6 days later and the other half recalled the last/single occurrence after 5-6 weeks (the final and single occurrence was the same). Children's free recall responses were classified according to the number and proportion of story-grammar elements (Stein & Glenn, 1979-setting, initiating event, internal response, plan, attempt, direct consequence, and resolution) as well as the prevalence of causal links between the individual story-grammar elements. Results: More story-grammar detail and more links between individual story-grammar elements were reported about the final compared to single occurrence. The amount of story-grammar increased with age and decreased over time. Further, an interaction was revealed such that the effect of retention interval on the production of story-grammar was negligible for older children who experienced the repeated event. Conclusions: Event repetition has a beneficial effect on the production of children's story-grammar content in situations where event details varied from occasion to occasion. This study highlights the importance of eliciting free recall when conducting evidential interviews with child witnesses about repeated events.
Descriptors: Story Grammar, Recall (Psychology), Repetition, Story Telling, Young Children, Age Differences, Time
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A