The Effects of Practice on Children's Ability to Apply Ground Rules in a Narrative Interview

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Danby, Meaghan C
Brubacher, Sonja P
Sharman, Stefanie J
Powell, Martine B
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2015
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Abstract

Despite the widespread use of ground rules in forensic interview guidelines, it is unknown whether children retain and apply these rules throughout narrative interviews. We evaluated the capacity of 260 five‐ to nine‐year‐olds to utilize three ground rules. At the beginning of the interview all children heard the rules; half also practiced them. Children then responded to open‐ended prompts about a repeated laboratory event and were assessed for their application of the rules. Logistic regressions revealed that practice only benefitted the use of the “don't know” rule. Although the children accurately answered “don't understand” and “correct me” practice questions, practice appeared to give no greater benefit than just hearing the rules. Results suggest that the current format of ground rule practice in interview guidelines is appropriate for the “don't know” rule, but the other rules may require more extensive practice with this age group. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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Behavioral Sciences & the Law

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33

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4

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Criminology

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Psychology, Applied

Government & Law

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Danby, MC; Brubacher, SP; Sharman, SJ; Powell, MB, The Effects of Practice on Children's Ability to Apply Ground Rules in a Narrative Interview, Behavioral Sciences & the Law, 2015, 33 (4), pp. 446-458

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