Use of a structured investigative protocol enhances the quality of investigative interviews with alleged victims of child sexual abuse in Britain


  • This article is a US Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.


One hundred alleged victims of child sexual abuse (aged 4–13; M = 9.3 years) were interviewed by police investigators about their alleged experiences. Half of the children were interviewed using the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) structured interview Protocol, whereas the other children, matched with respect to their age, relationship with the alleged perpetrator, and seriousness of the alleged offenses, were interviewed by investigators following the Memorandum of Good Practice. Protocol-guided interviews elicited more information using free-recall invitations and less information using directive, option-posing and suggestive questions than did standard Memorandum interviews. There were no age differences in the proportion of total information provided in response to open-ended invitations in either condition, but there was a significant increase with age in the proportion of central information provided in response to open-ended invitations. Published in 2008 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.