Investigative interviewing of the child
Recently, researchers have turned their attention to finding means of questioning children that maximize productivity while avoiding suggestiveness. These researchers have demonstrated that children, if questioned in a supportive manner, are capable of providing enormous amounts of productive information in response to open-ended questions. The irony is that many direct and suggestive methods once thought necessary to overcome abused children's reluctance to disclose abuse have been found counterproductive in two ways: they minimize the number of details in true allegations at the same time that they increase the risk of false allegations. If children are questioned suboptimally, it is more difficult to distinguish true from false reports. This chapter will emphasize how the research on child interviewing can help attorneys better question children.
Law and Psychology
Date of this Version
Thomas D. Lyon, "Investigative interviewing of the child" (February 2010). University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series. Working Paper 59.