Getting the story from child witnesses : exploring the application of a story grammar framework

Snow, Pamela C., Powell, Martine B. and Murfett, Romana 2009, Getting the story from child witnesses : exploring the application of a story grammar framework, Psychology, crime and law, vol. 15, no. 6, pp. 555-568, doi: 10.1080/10683160802409347.

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Title Getting the story from child witnesses : exploring the application of a story grammar framework
Author(s) Snow, Pamela C.
Powell, Martine B.ORCID iD for Powell, Martine B.
Murfett, Romana
Journal name Psychology, crime and law
Volume number 15
Issue number 6
Start page 555
End page 568
Total pages 14
Publisher Routledge
Place of publication London, England
Publication date 2009-07
ISSN 1068-316X
Keyword(s) abuse
child witnesses
Summary Investigative interviews with children about alleged abuse were analysed to determine the degree to which the child's responses adhered to a story grammar framework, and whether the presence of story grammar elements was associated with interviewers' adherence to best-practice (i.e. open-ended) questioning. The sample included 51 interviews with child witnesses from across Australia. The interviews were administered by a police officer with children (37 girls and 14 boys) aged 3-16 years (M age = 103.82 months, SD = 34.21 months). The interviewers' questions were categorised as open-ended or specific and the children's responses were classified as a story grammar element, context/background information, or 'don't know' responses. The majority of interviewer questions were specific in nature and the majority of children's responses were context/background details. Open-ended questions were more successful in eliciting story grammar from children. Of the story grammar elements, the interviewers' specific questions usually targeted setting and attempt details. These findings suggest that improvement in the narrative coherence of children's reports of abusive events can potentially be achieved by increasing interviewers' use of open-ended questions.
Language eng
DOI 10.1080/10683160802409347
Field of Research 170104 Forensic Psychology
Socio Economic Objective 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2009, Taylor & Francis
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