Recommendations for Interviewing Children About Repeated Experiences

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Brubacher, Sonja P
Powell, Martine B
Roberts, Kim P
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2014
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Abstract

For just over 2 decades, researchers have been conducting empirical studies devoted to understanding children's memory for, and ability to describe, individual occurrences of events they have experienced repeatedly. This knowledge is critical because children making allegations of repeated abuse are required to provide details particular to an individual incident in many jurisdictions internationally. Much of this work has thus far been conducted in rigorously controlled analog settings, and empirical study of their generalizability to the context of field interviews is urgently needed. We outline in detail the empirical and theoretical foundations that underlie a set of specific suggestions that practitioners might consider when assisting children to report as much information as possible about individual occurrences of repeated abuse. Our recommendations cover both presubstantive (i.e., "practice") and substantive phases of the interview. The particular challenges involved with describing individual incidents of repeated events are discussed, followed by evidence-based guidelines aimed at overcoming these difficulties. We highlight research that has included comparisons between lab and field data, and draw attention to areas of understanding that require further validation in forensic interviews. The inaugural guidelines we present are not meant as a replacement to existing best-practice interviews, but to serve as more detailed procedures in cases of repeated allegations. © 2014 American Psychological Association.

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Psychology, Public Policy, and Law

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20

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3

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© 2018 American Psycological Association. This article may not exactly replicate the final version published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record. Reproduced here in accordance with publisher policy. Please refer to the journal link for access to the definitive, published version.

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Policy and administration

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Brubacher, SP; Powell, MB; Roberts, KP, Recommendations for Interviewing Children About Repeated Experiences, Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 2014, 20 (3), pp. 325-335

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