Theses and Dissertations


Morgan Colley

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Haynes, Stacy H.

Committee Member

May, David C.

Committee Member

Johnson, Kecia R.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access



Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Sociology


Each year, hundreds of thousands of children fall victim to child abuse in the United States, most often perpetrated by a parent or legal guardian (Children’s Bureau – An Office of the Administration for Children and Families, 2015). The current project used secondary data from a Children’s Advocacy Center to explore abuse disclosure rates in forensic interviews. The three main objectives of this project were as follows: 1) to determine whether children with certain demographic characteristics (i.e., race, gender, and age) were more likely to disclose abuse, 2) to determine whether interviewers with certain demographic characteristics (i.e., race and age) were more likely to elicit a disclosure from a child, and 3) to determine whether children were more likely to disclose abuse when they were matched with an interviewer of the same race, or a similar age. This research found that females, older children, victims of physical abuse and those who witnessed a violent crime, and children referred from the police department were the most likely to disclose abuse. Additionally, when the child and the interviewer were similar in age, the child was more likely to disclose abuse.