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Prosecution Rate and Quality of the Investigative Interview in Child Sexual Abuse Cases

Journal article
Authors Johan Melander Hagborg
Leif Strömwall
Inga Tidefors
Published in Journal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling
Volume 9
Issue 2
Pages 161-173
ISSN 1544-4759
Publication year 2012
Published at Department of Psychology
Pages 161-173
Language en
Keywords child sexual abuse, investigative interviewing, prosecution rate, child interviews, age differences, witnesses, memory
Subject categories Applied Psychology, Criminology


One suggested reason for the low prosecution rate in child sexual abuse cases is the poor quality of the interviews. The present study examined the extent to which a number of aspects of interview quality were used by interviewers at a Children's Advocacy Centre in Sweden. Furthermore, the relationship between aspects of interview quality and the prosecution rate was examined. Transcripts of investigative interviews with 3-year-old to 16-year-old children who all reported on sexual abuse were assessed (n?=?32). There were no effects found concerning the relationship between prosecution rate on the one hand, and interview quality, age, and the child's relationship with the suspected offender on the other. The interviews with older children were, on several aspects, scored as higher in quality. The relationships between these findings and child sexual abuse investigations and interviews are discussed. Copyright (c) 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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