Child witnesses are often asked wh- prompts (what, how, why, who, when, where) in forensic interviews. However, little research has examined the ways in which children respond to different wh- prompts and no previous research has investigated productivity differences among wh- prompts in investigative interviews. This study examined the use and productivity of wh- prompts in 95 transcripts of 4- to 13-year-olds alleging sexual abuse in child investigative interviews. What-how questions about actions elicited the most productive responses during both the rapport building and substantive phases. Future research and practitioner training should consider distinguishing among different wh- prompts.
Child Psychology | Criminal Law | Developmental Psychology | Evidence | Family Law | Juvenile Law | Law | Law and Psychology
Date of this Version
Elizabeth C, Ahern; Samantha J. Andrews; Stacia N. Stolzenberg; and Thomas D. Lyon, "The Productivity of Wh- Prompts in Child Forensic Interviews" (December 2015). University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series. Working Paper 185.