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Differential effects of general versus cued invitations on children’s reports of a repeated event episode

journal contribution
posted on 01.01.2017, 00:00 authored by Meaghan DanbyMeaghan Danby, Stefanie SharmanStefanie Sharman, Sonja Brubacher, Martine Powell, K P Roberts
The ability to describe individual episodes of repeated events (such as ongoing abuse) can enhance children’s testimony and assist the progression of their cases through the legal system. Open-ended prompts have been advocated as a means to assist children in accurately retrieving information about individual episodes. In the current study, two subtypes of open-ended prompts (cued and general invitations) were compared for their effects on five- to nine-year-olds’ (n = 203) reports about individual episodes of a repeated event. Interviews occurred 1–2 weeks after the last of 4 event sessions. Cued invitations assisted children to provide specific details about individual episodes of a repeated event, while general invitations were useful to elicit more broad happenings of the episodes. The accuracy of responses to general invitations was similar for children of all ages up to one week after the event, but at a longer interview delay younger children were less accurate than older children. There were no differences in the accuracy of responses to cued invitations as a function of age or interview delay. Results suggest that interviewers tasked with eliciting accounts of individual episodes from a repeated event, such as ongoing abuse, should consider the differential efficacy of each prompt-type on children’s reports.

History

Journal

Psychology, crime & law

Volume

23

Issue

8

Pagination

794 - 811

Publisher

Taylor & Francis

Location

Abingdon, Eng.

ISSN

1068-316X

eISSN

1477-2744

Language

eng

Publication classification

C Journal article; C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2017, Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group