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March 20, 2019

Are Retrospective Self-reports Accurate Representations or Existential Recollections?

Author Affiliations
  • 1Psychology Department, John Jay College, City University of New York, New York
  • 2Graduate Center, City University of New York, New York
JAMA Psychiatry. 2019;76(6):567-568. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2018.4599

Child maltreatment is a serious public health problem that has substantial behavioral, clinical, social, and economic ramifications. In the United States, 3.5 million children were referred to child protection agencies for possible maltreatment in 2016 alone, and almost 700 000 were found to have experienced maltreatment.1 These cases represent documented cases. Because not all cases come to the attention of the authorities, there is a clear need to identify child maltreatment through other means, and that typically involves relying on retrospective self-reports.