An examination of police officers' beliefs about how children report abuse

Hughes-Scholes, Carolyn H., Powell, Martine B. and Sharman, Stefanie J. 2014, An examination of police officers' beliefs about how children report abuse, Psychiatry, psychology and law, vol. 21, no. 1, pp. 127-138, doi: 10.1080/13218719.2013.793153.

Attached Files
Name Description MIMEType Size Downloads

Title An examination of police officers' beliefs about how children report abuse
Author(s) Hughes-Scholes, Carolyn H.
Powell, Martine B.ORCID iD for Powell, Martine B.
Sharman, Stefanie J.ORCID iD for Sharman, Stefanie J.
Journal name Psychiatry, psychology and law
Volume number 21
Issue number 1
Start page 127
End page 138
Total pages 12
Publisher Routledge
Place of publication Abingdon, England
Publication date 2014
ISSN 1321-8719
Keyword(s) child sexual abuse
interviewer training
investigative interviewing
Summary The aim of this study was to examine police officers’ beliefs about how children report abuse. Fifty-two officers read transcripts of nine interviews, which were conducted with actual children or adults playing the role of the child witness. Officers indicated whether they thought the interviews were with an actual child and justified their decisions. In-depth interviews were conducted to determine the reasons behind their decisions. Overall, officers’ decisions were no better than chance. When making these decisions, officers focused on three areas: whether they considered the child's language to be age-appropriate, whether they thought that the content of the statement was plausible, and whether they thought that the child had acted in a manner consistent with recollecting a traumatic event. The findings suggest that the characteristics officers rely on when evaluating children's statements of abuse are not reliable indicators. They suggest that officers’ beliefs about these statements need to be challenged during training to reduce the effects of those beliefs on their later decisions.
Language eng
DOI 10.1080/13218719.2013.793153
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 ©2013, The Australian and New Zealand Association of Psychiatry, Psychology and Law
Persistent URL

Connect to link resolver
Unless expressly stated otherwise, the copyright for items in DRO is owned by the author, with all rights reserved.

Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 2 times in TR Web of Science
Scopus Citation Count Cited 2 times in Scopus
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Access Statistics: 481 Abstract Views, 13 File Downloads  -  Detailed Statistics
Created: Fri, 05 Jul 2013, 16:36:37 EST by Barb Lavelle

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