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ERIC Number: EJ842969
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-May
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0145-2134
Assessing the Effectiveness of the NICHD Investigative Interview Protocol when Interviewing French-Speaking Alleged Victims of Child Sexual Abuse in Quebec
Cyr, Mireille; Lamb, Michael E.
Child Abuse & Neglect: The International Journal, v33 n5 p257-268 May 2009
Objectives: The study was designed to assess the effectiveness of the flexibly structured NICHD Investigative Interview Protocol for child sexual abuse (CSA) investigative interviews by police officers and mental health workers in Quebec. The NICHD Protocol was designed to operationalize "best practice" guidelines and to help forensic interviewers use open-ended prompts to facilitate free recall by alleged victims. Method: A total of 83 interviews with 3- to 13-year-old alleged victims were matched with 83 interviews conducted by the same interviewers before they were trained to use the Protocol. Interviews were matched with respect to the children's ages, children-perpetrator relationships, and the types and frequency of abuse. Coders categorized each of the prompts used to elicit information about the abuse and tabulated the numbers of new forensically relevant details provided in each response. Results: Interviewers used three times as many open-ended prompts in Protocol interviews than in non-Protocol interviews, whereas use of all other types of questions was halved, and the total number of questions asked decreased by 25%. Protocol-guided interviews yielded more details than comparison interviews. The mean number of details per prompt increased from 3 to 5 details when the Protocol was used. Even with young children, interviewers using the Protocol employed more invitations to elicit forensically relevant details. Conclusions: French-speaking investigators using the NICHD Protocol used open-ended prompts rather than focused questions when interviewing alleged victims. In addition, these interviewers needed fewer questions to get relevant information when using the Protocol. Practical implications: A French version of the NICHD Protocol is now available to police officers and social workers who investigate the alleged sexual abuse of young children in French-speaking countries. This French version allowed trained interviewers to increase the use of invitations and reduce the use of more focused and risky questions. When the number of questions was controlled, more central details and more details in total were obtained in Protocol interviews, because the average prompt elicited more detailed answers in Protocol interviews. However, learning to use the NICHD Protocol required extended training and continued feedback sessions to maintain the high quality of interviewing. (Contains 5 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada