NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ820334
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Nov
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0145-2134
The Effect of Using Trained versus Untrained Adult Respondents in Simulated Practice Interviews about Child Abuse
Powell, Martine B.; Fisher, Ronald P.; Hughes-Scholes, Carolyn H.
Child Abuse & Neglect: The International Journal, v32 n11 p1007-1016 Nov 2008
Objective: A single study tested the hypothesis that simulated practice interviews for investigative interviewers of children are more effective when the role of the child respondent is played by trained actors (i.e., postgraduate psychology students) than untrained fellow participants (i.e., child protection workers). Method: The interviewers included 50 child protection service workers. Each interviewer received instruction in the use of open-ended questions and then engaged in two simulated practice interviews. The role of the child respondent in the practice interviews was played by either a trained psychology student or an untrained fellow participant. The key outcome measure was the proportion of open-ended questions, which was assessed immediately prior to and after the practice sessions, as well as 12 weeks post-training. Results: Interviewers who had practiced with trained actors had higher post-training performance (M = 0.83, SD = 0.12) compared to those who had practiced with untrained fellow participants (M = 0.73, SD = 0.13, p less than 0.05), even at the 12-week follow up (M actors = 0.66, SD = 0.25; M untrained actors = 0.49, SD = 0.23, p less than 0.05). Conclusions: Training programs that make better use of practice opportunities (e.g., by using trained respondents) will be more effective in improving the performance of investigative interviewers. Practice implications: A single study investigated the relative effectiveness of two simulated practice exercises for professionals who interview children about abuse. This research is relevant to professionals who design investigative interviewer training programs because it indicates that practical exercises, which are currently chosen on an "ad hoc" or convenience basis, can vary markedly in their effectiveness in encouraging adherence to open questions. (Contains 3 tables.)
Elsevier. 6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, FL 32887-4800. Tel: 877-839-7126; Tel: 407-345-4020; Fax: 407-363-1354; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A