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An examination of the limitations in investigative interviewer's use of open-ended questions

Powell, Martine B. and Guadagno, Belinda 2008, An examination of the limitations in investigative interviewer's use of open-ended questions, Psychiatry, psychology, and law : an interdisciplinary journal of the Australian and New Zealand Association of Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, vol. 15, no. 3, Special Issue: The Contribution to Forensic Psychology by Professor Donald Thomson, pp. 382-395, doi: 10.1080/13218710802101621.

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Title An examination of the limitations in investigative interviewer's use of open-ended questions
Author(s) Powell, Martine B.ORCID iD for Powell, Martine B. orcid.org/0000-0001-5092-1308
Guadagno, Belinda
Journal name Psychiatry, psychology, and law : an interdisciplinary journal of the Australian and New Zealand Association of Psychiatry, Psychology and Law
Volume number 15
Issue number 3
Season Special Issue: The Contribution to Forensic Psychology by Professor Donald Thomson
Start page 382
End page 395
Total pages 14
Publisher Australian Academic Press
Place of publication [Melbourne, Vic.]
Publication date 2008
ISSN 1321-8719
1934-1687
Keyword(s) child sexual abuse
investigative interviewer training
investigative interviewing
Summary Best-practice guidelines in the area of investigative interviewing of children specify the importance of using open-ended questions. However, use of open-ended questions per se does not maximise interview outcome; open-ended questions can vary markedly in quality. The aim of this study was to identify the nature of investigative interviewers' limitations when using open-ended questions, and to compare how representative these limitations are in three distinct interview paradigms. These interview paradigms include: (a) interviews in which trained actors played the role of a 5-6-year-old child; (b) interviews where 5-6-year-old children recalled an innocuous event that was staged in their school; and (c) actual field interviews where child witnesses aged 5 to 7 years recalled an abusive event. Overall, several common problems that would restrict children's opportunity to provide elaborate and accurate narrative accounts of events were identified and described. Our identification of these problems (using a dichotomous rating scale) was found to be consistent with an independent expert, and their presence was not limited to those interviewers who used a low frequency of open-ended questions. The implications of the findings for researchers and trainers in the area of investigative interviewing of children are discussed.
Language eng
DOI 10.1080/13218710802101621
Field of Research 170199 Psychology not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
HERDC collection year 2008
Copyright notice ©2008, Australian Academic Press
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30017281

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Psychology
Higher Education Research Group
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