This study examined the quality of interview instructions and rapport-building provided by prosecutors to 168 children aged 5-12 years testifying in child sexual abuse cases, preceding explicit questions about abuse allegations. Prosecutors failed to effectively administer key interview instructions, build rapport, or rely on open-ended narrative producing prompts during this early stage of questioning. Moreover, prosecutors often directed children's attention to the defendant early in the testimony. The productivity of different types of wh- questions varied, with what/how questions focusing on actions being particularly productive. The lack of instructions, poor quality rapport-building, and closed-ended questioning suggest that children may not be adequately prepared during trial to provide lengthy and reliable reports to their full ability.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||17|
|Journal||Behavioral Sciences and the Law|
|State||Published - Aug 1 2015|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health