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Asking Children to Talk About Abuse: Can Research Help Improve Police Interviewer Skills?

Journal article
Authors Mikaela Magnusson
Emelie Ernberg
Sara Landström
Published in In-Mind
Volume 3
Issue 33
ISSN 1877-5306
Publication year 2017
Published at Department of Psychology
Language en
Keywords child testimony; investigative interviewing; legal psychology
Subject categories Applied Psychology


Child abuse cases often lack corroborative evidence in the form of injuries, DNA or direct witness observations. Instead, the most important source of information about the alleged crime is typically the child’s testimony. A wide range of factors can influence children’s capability and willingness to disclose abuse during a police interview. Hence, the child interviewer needs to elicit reliable information from children without influencing their testimony. The National Institute of Child Health and Development (NICHD) protocol is a well-researched standardized method for interviewing children. Research shows that field training in the protocol can improve police interviewer skills, but some challenges remain. Revisions of the original protocol and other solutions may provide promise for cases where children are reluctant to talk. Recent technological advances also provide ways forward for research on child interviewing.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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