ERIC Number: EJ781464
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jan
Reference Count: 63
Interviewing Alleged Victims with Intellectual Disabilities
Cederborg, Ann-Christin; Lamb, M.
Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, v52 n1 p49-58 Jan 2008
Background: When interviewing alleged victims of crime, it is important to obtain reports that are as accurate and complete as possible. This can be especially difficult when the alleged victims have intellectual disabilities (ID). This study explored how alleged victims with ID are interviewed by police officers in Sweden and how this may affect their ability to report information as accurately as possible. Methods: Twelve interviews with 11 alleged victims were selected from a larger sample. The complainants were interviewed when their chronological ages ranged from 6.1 to 22 years. A quantitative analysis examined the type of questions asked and the numbers of words and details they elicited in response. Results: Instead of open-ended questions, the interviewers relied heavily on focused questions, which are more likely to elicit inaccurate information. When given the opportunity, the witnesses were able to answer directive questions informatively. Conclusions: Interviewers need special skills in order to interview alleged victims who have ID. In addition to using more open-ended questions, interviewers should speak in shorter sentences.
Descriptors: Child Abuse, Police, Foreign Countries, Victims of Crime, Interviews, Mental Retardation, Questioning Techniques
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Sweden