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Testing an Evaluation Tool to Facilitate Police Officers’ Peer Review of Child Interviews
journal contributionposted on 29.09.2022, 22:58 authored by Meaghan DanbyMeaghan Danby, Stefanie SharmanStefanie Sharman, Belinda GuadagnoBelinda Guadagno
Providing child forensic interviewers with ongoing opportunities for feedback is critical to maintaining their interviewing skills. Given practical difficulties with engaging experts to provide this feedback (such as costs and workloads), the current paper explores whether a structured evaluation tool can assist police interviewers to accurately peer review interviews. A structured checklist of best practice skills was created, and participants in two studies used it to evaluate mock transcripts of child interviews that ranged in quality. Transcripts were manipulated to present the opening, transitional, and substantive interview phases as a strong, poor, or mixed performance of best practice skills. In Study 1, 57 police participants from one jurisdiction evaluated the opening and substantive phases of the transcript less accurately when the transcript contained a mixed performance of best practice and the transitional phase less accurately when it contained poor performance. In Study 2, a similar pattern of results was replicated with a sample of 37 police interviewers from a separate jurisdiction with shorter interview training. Results suggest that structured tools are helpful to inform peer review of child interviews, but tools that are too rigid might not be helpful when nuanced improvements are required.