Children's episodic and generic reports of alleged abuse
Article first published online: 1 DEC 2010
Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Applied Cognitive Psychology
Volume 25, Issue 6, pages 862–870, November/December 2011
How to Cite
Schneider, L., Price, H. L., Roberts, K. P. and Hedrick, A. M. (2011), Children's episodic and generic reports of alleged abuse. Appl. Cognit. Psychol., 25: 862–870. doi: 10.1002/acp.1759
- Issue published online: 14 NOV 2011
- Article first published online: 1 DEC 2010
With the present data, we explored the relations between the language of interviewer questions, children's reports, and case and child characteristics in forensic interviews. Results clearly indicated that the type of questions posed by interviewers—either probing generic or episodic features of an event—was related to the specificity of information reported by children. Further, interviewers appeared to adjust their questioning strategies based on the frequency of the alleged abuse. Children alleging single instances of abuse were asked more episodic questions than those alleging multiple abuses. In contrast, children alleging multiple incidents of abuse were asked a greater proportion of generic questions. Given that investigators often seek forensically relevant episodic information, it is recommended that training for investigators focus on recognition of prompt selection tendencies and developing strategies for posing non-suggestive, episodically focused questions. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.