The main aim of the study was to investigate the rate of claimed false confession during police questioning and identify variables that best discriminate between false confessors and non-false confessors. The participants were 24 627 high school students in seven countries in Europe.
Out of 2726 who had been interrogated by the police as a suspect, 375 (13.8%) claimed to have made false confessions to the police. Logistic regression analyses showed that for both boys and girls, having attended substance abuse therapy, been attacked and bullied, and having committed a burglary,
significantly discriminated between the false confessor and non-false confessor. In addition for boys, having been sexually abused by an adult outside the family was the single best predictor. The study shows the importance of history of victimization and substance misuse among adolescents
in relation to giving a false confession to police during interrogation.
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Document Type: Research Article
Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology, London, United Kingdom
Faculty of Medicine, University of Iceland/Landspitali-University Hospital, Reykjavik, Iceland
Reykjavik University, Reykjavik, Iceland
October 1, 2009