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Children's Reports of Verbal Sexual Abuse: Effects of Police Officers' Interviewing Style
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2009 (English)In: Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, ISSN 1321-8719, E-ISSN 1934-1687, Vol. 16, no 3, 340-354 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The purpose of the present study was to assess how individual differences in interviewing style affected children's reports of verbal sexual abuse. Specifically, individual differences were analysed with regard to establishing rapport and type of questions, between four police officers (that in sum interviewed 61 children) and their effects on the richness and accuracy of children's reports. The children's reports were coded by counting all informative details (richness) and by matching the children's statements with transcripts made by the perpetrator (accuracy). The interviewers' utterances were coded into two categories corresponding to either establishing rapport or the question phase. A positive association was found between (a) the number of rapport-establishing utterances and the number of questions asked, as well as between (b) the number of questions asked and the richness of the children's reports. More specifically, a stronger association was found between specific questions and richness, than between open-ended questions and richness. This study points to the importance of interviewing style in elicitation of information from children reporting about sexual abuse. The interviews that included a well-established rapport also included a high frequency of questions, which in turn resulted in rich reports from the children.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 16, no 3, 340-354 p.
Keyword [en]
child interviews, children's testimony, interviewing style, verbal sexual abuse
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-59393DOI: 10.1080/13218710902930226ISI: 000272512400002OAI: diva2:428919
authorCount :3Available from: 2011-07-01 Created: 2011-06-27 Last updated: 2011-07-01Bibliographically approved

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Christianson, Sven A.
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