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Children's performance on ground rules questions: implications for forensic interviewing

Dickinson, Jason J., Brubacher, Sonja P. and Poole, Debra A. 2015, Children's performance on ground rules questions: implications for forensic interviewing, Law and Human Behavior, vol. 39, no. 1, pp. 87-97, doi: 10.1037/lhb0000119.

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Title Children's performance on ground rules questions: implications for forensic interviewing
Author(s) Dickinson, Jason J.
Brubacher, Sonja P.
Poole, Debra A.
Journal name Law and Human Behavior
Volume number 39
Issue number 1
Start page 87
End page 97
Total pages 11
Publisher American Psychological Association
Place of publication Washington, D.C.
Publication date 2015-02-01
ISSN 1573-661X
Keyword(s) children
forensic interviewing
Ground rules
interview instructions
Summary Ground rules, also called interview instructions, are included in investigative interviews with children around the world. These rules aim to manage the expectations of children who are typically unaccustomed to being questioned by adults who are naïve to the children's experiences. Although analog research has examined the efficacy of ground rules instruction, a systematic analysis of children's ability to respond appropriately to each of the rules has not been reported. In the current study, we scored the accuracy of children's (N = 501, 4 to 12 years) responses to 5 ground rules practice questions (e.g., "What is my dog's name?") and 2 questions that asked whether they would follow the rules, and then assigned inaccurate responses to 1 of several error categories. Few children answered every question correctly, but their performance on individual questions was encouraging. As expected, there were marked differences in children's understanding across ground rules questions (especially among the younger children), with "Don't guess" and "Tell the truth" rules being the easiest to comprehend. Together with evidence that ground rules instruction takes little time to deliver (typically 2 to 4 min) and is associated with improved accuracy in previous research, these findings support the use of ground rules in investigative interviews of children 4 years and older.
Language eng
DOI 10.1037/lhb0000119
Field of Research 170104 Forensic Psychology
170102 Developmental Psychology and Ageing
Socio Economic Objective 940105 Children's/Youth Services and Childcare
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2015, Springer
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30072189

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Psychology
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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.