Investigative Interviews with Victims of Child Sexual Abuse: The Relationship between Question Type and Investigation Relevant Information

Emma Phillips, Gavin Oxburgh, Amanda Gavin, Trond Myklebust

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Abstract

This study examined the influence of question type during investigative interviews with victims of child sexual abuse on the number of items of Investigation Relevant Information (IRI) obtained during the interview. Twenty-one police interview transcripts from an English police force were analysed across different age groups. As predicted, more IRI was elicited from appropriate questions (e.g., open, probing, and encouragers) than from inappropriate questions (e.g., echo probes, closed, forced choice, leading, multiple and opinion/statement). Also as predicted, the number of items of IRI elicited increased with the age of the child witness, with older children disclosing the most items of IRI, regardless of whether the abuse was recent or historic.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-54
JournalJournal of Police and Criminal Psychology
Volume27
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012

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