Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Factors which influence children's disclosure of secrets
Author: Don, Jacqueline Linda
ISNI:       0000 0001 3428 1443
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2007
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
This thesis presents five studies investigating factors which influence children's disclosure of secrets. It is the largest investigation on this subject, to date, and has important implications for forensic interviewing and future research. The first, and central, theme of this thesis concerns the circumstances that influence children's disclosure of secrets, this was addressed in all five studies. The second theme explores the understanding of the concept of secrecy, and the third theme, . children's flexible thinking about secrets, and were considered in Studies 1 and 2. The fourth theme, about children's categorisation of secrets was addressed in Studies 1 to 4. Previous research has methodological limitations and therefore this thesis identified more rigorous and reliable methodology for investigating children's actual disclosures of secrets. Study 1 included focus groups of children aged 6-, 8- and lO-years, whilst Study 2 used vignettes and a short interview with children aged 5- to lO-years, to investigate factors influencing children's disclosure of secrets. Studies 3 and 4 incorporated improved methodology to investigate disclosures of positive and negative secrets by children aged 4 to 7 years. Study 5 looked at the effect of delay and secret imposition on disclosures of a negative event by children aged 5 to 7 years. The results offer a variety offactors which potentially influence children's disclosure of secrets. It is apparent that children do diffe~entiate between types of secrets, and this can effect their disclosure decisions. Additional factors influencing disclosure include: the nature of the imposition of the secret; identity of the imposer; emotional effect of secrecy imposition; the identity of the receiver of the disclosure, and delay in questioning. The conclusions of this thesis were consistent with previous research in that it was found that older children are able to think flexibly about secrets, and consider multiple factors in their disclosure decisions. In a forensic context implications for children's eyewitnesses testimony, and potential focus and methodology for future research are identified.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available