Does extensive free narrative prompting minimise the effect of mental reinstatement on children's recall of events?

Darwinkel, Elli C., Powell, Martine B. and Sharman, Stefanie J. 2014, Does extensive free narrative prompting minimise the effect of mental reinstatement on children's recall of events?, Psychiatry, psychology and law, vol. 21, no. 3, pp. 351-359, doi: 10.1080/13218719.2013.817290.

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Title Does extensive free narrative prompting minimise the effect of mental reinstatement on children's recall of events?
Author(s) Darwinkel, Elli C.
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 3
Start page 351
End page 359
Total pages 9
Publisher Routledge
Place of publication Abingdon, England
Publication date 2014
ISSN 1321-8719
Keyword(s) child witness
investigative interviewing
mental reinstatement
sexual abuse
Summary The effect of mental reinstatement on children's recall is unclear. One factor that may impact its effectiveness is the degree to which interviewers prompt children during an interview. We examined whether interviewers’ degree of narrative prompting moderated the effect of mental context reinstatement during children's recall of a staged event. Younger and older children were interviewed 7–10 days after the event. Half were told to mentally reinstate the context and half were not. In a fully crossed design, half also received extended narrative prompting during the interview and half did not. We predicted that extensive narrative prompting should reduce any observable benefit of mental reinstatement, especially for older children. However, mental reinstatement had no beneficial effect on recall performance. It is possible that methodological differences, low statistical power, and a small effect size may have reduced the observable benefit of mental reinstatement in comparison to other studies. Overall, the findings of this study suggest that until further research can clearly define the parameters in which mental reinstatement is useful, and therefore produce findings with greater consistency across studies, there is little support for its use in investigative interviews with child witnesses.
Language eng
DOI 10.1080/13218719.2013.817290
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
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School of Psychology
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