How well does the Gudjonsson Suggestibility Scale for Children, version 2 predict the recall of false details among children with and without intellectual disabilities?


Correspondence should be addressed to Martine Powell, School of Psychology, Deakin University, 221 Burwood Hwy, Burwood, 3125, Australia (e-mail:


Purpose. This study explored the effectiveness of the Gudjonsson Suggestibility Scale for Children, version 2 in predicting the tendency of older school-aged children (with and without intellectual disabilities) to generate errors in an independent suggestibility paradigm.

Method. Sixty-nine children with an intellectual disability (aged 9–14 years) and 50 mainstream children matched for chronological age participated in a 30-minute magic show that was staged at their school. Three days later, the children participated in a separate biasing interview that provided seven true and seven false details about the magic show. The following day, the children participated in a second interview where they were required to recall the magic show in their own words and answer a series of cued-recall questions. Between 1 and 2 weeks later, the children were administered the Gudjonsson Suggestibility Scale-2 (GSS-2).

Results. While there was no significant association between performance on the GSS-2 and the independent suggestibility paradigm for the children with an intellectual disability, the chronological age-matched children's yield scores predicted their reporting of both false-new details and false-interviewer suggestions for the independent event.

Conclusion. When predicting children's recall of false details, the GSS-2 appears to be more useful with mainstream school-aged children compared with children who have an intellectual disability.