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EFFECTS OF INTERVIEW PHASE, REPEATED INTERVIEWING, PRESENCE OF A SUPPORT PERSON, AND ANATOMICALLY DETAILED DOLLS ON CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE INTERVIEWS

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A non-representative sample of 27 investigative interviews with suspected victims of child sexual abuse (CSA) in Finland were analysed. Aspects such as the effects of interview phase, repeated interviewing, another (related) person attending the interview, as well as the use of anatomically detailed (AD) dolls were considered. The number of new details reported by the child was higher in the beginning, while the number of focused and suggestive question types increased towards the end of the interviews. The results of repeated interviewing were mixed: repeated interviews contained more words and descriptive answers by the child, while, however, also containing more suggestive questions. Another person attending the interview was found to be associated with the child being less informative and the interviewer posing more suggestive questions than when another person was not present. Similar effects were found to be associated with the use of AD dolls. The implications of the findings for child abuse investigations were discussed.
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Keywords: Anatomically Detailed Dolls; Child Response Types; Child Sexual Abuse Investigations; Interviewer Utterance Types; Repeated Interviews

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Psychology Åbo Akademi University 20500 Turku

Publication date: 2004-03-01

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