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Enhancing narrative coherence in simulated interviews about child abuse

Powell, Martine B., Feltis, Brooke B. and Hughes-Scholes, Carolyn H. 2011, Enhancing narrative coherence in simulated interviews about child abuse, Policing : an international journal of police strategies & management, vol. 34, no. 2, pp. 198-210.

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Title Enhancing narrative coherence in simulated interviews about child abuse
Author(s) Powell, Martine B.ORCID iD for Powell, Martine B. orcid.org/0000-0001-5092-1308
Feltis, Brooke B.
Hughes-Scholes, Carolyn H.
Journal name Policing : an international journal of police strategies & management
Volume number 34
Issue number 2
Start page 198
End page 210
Total pages 13
Publisher Emerald Group Publishing Ltd
Place of publication Bingley, England
Publication date 2011
ISSN 1363-951X
1758-695X
Keyword(s) Interviews
Research
Narratives
Role play
Witnesses
Children (age groups)
Summary Purpose – Simulated child interviews, where adults play the role of a child witness for trainee investigative interviewers, are an essential tool used to train investigators to adhere to non-leading, open-ended questions. The aim of this study is to examine whether the use of a training procedure that guides persons playing the role of a child in simulated interviews results in interviewees producing more coherent narratives (measured by the number of story grammar details).

Design/methodology/approach – A total of 80 police officers individually engaged in ten-minute interviews, whereby an untrained (colleague), or trained respondent, played the role of the child interviewee. For each child respondent condition, the interviews varied according to child age (five or eight years).

Findings – As predicted, trained respondents reported a higher proportion of story grammar elements and a lower proportion of contextual information than the untrained respondents, as well as more story grammar elements in response to open-ended questions. However, there were limitations in how well both groups tailored their story grammar to the age of the child they were representing.

Originality/value – These findings demonstrate that our training procedure promotes a more coherent interviewee account, and facilitates a response style that is more reinforcing of open-ended questions.
Notes Reproduced with the kind permission of the copyright owner.
Language eng
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 ©2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30041551

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.