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Abstract

Forty-three victims of sexual abuse averaging 9.78 years of age and 52 youths who admitted abusing them were interviewed about the abusive incidents. Forensically relevant details provided by the victims were categorised as confirmed, contradicted or ignored by the perpetrators. Most (66.6%) of the details were ignored, but details were more likely to be confirmed when they were elicited using invitations (open-ended free-recall prompts) rather than focused prompts. However, similar effects were not evident with respect to contradictions. The results support predictions that information elicited using free-recall prompts is more likely to be accurate than information elicited using focused prompts. Published in 2007 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.