The principal aim of this study is to investigate the interplay between the reported experience of physical/psychological trauma and disturbances involving parents within the home, latent stress-sensitivity, and the likelihood of reporting false confessions in females. This study also investigates gender differences by fitting the hypothesised partial mediation model to the male data. A multiple group structural equation model was fitted to data obtained from both female (N= 5426) and male (N= 5394) further education students in Iceland. The direct effect from reported physical/psychological trauma to reported false confessions emerged as the only significant effect in females. In males, the direct effect of latent stress-sensitivity on false confessions is significant, but also the indirect effect from both reported experience of physical/psychological trauma and disturbances involving parents through latent stress-sensitivity to false confessions is significant. This study has solidified the notion that a history of physical violence in particular at home may be a critical susceptibility factor amongst females. In males, self-report stress-sensitivity may be the critical susceptibility factor, both explaining the effect of physical/psychological trauma in the home on false confessions, and increasing sensitivity to exogenous interview pressure.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd.
- False confessions
- Gender differences
- Parental disturbances
- Physical/psychological trauma