ERIC Number: EJ859140
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Reference Count: 1
A Practitioner's Commentary on "Making the Most of Information-Gathering Interviews with Children"
Jones, David P. H.
Infant and Child Development, v18 n1 p17-19 Jan-Feb 2009
This article presents a commentary on "Making the Most of Information-Gathering Interviews With Children," in which, according to Jones, Larsson and Lamb provided a helpful overview on memory retrieval and communicative ability and on ways these may be fostered in interviews with children. They explored three interview protocols that have been designed to improve the communicative ability of children (the cognitive interview, narrative elaboration, and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) protocol) and concluded with the important point that while interviewers cannot change children's abilities, they can affect their own performance. Their overview summarizes the principal ways in which this can be done, and training implications thereof. Larsson and Lamb's conclusions about both the quality of practice and training are clear and unequivocal. If they are to be applied, asserts Jones, then practitioners have to accept that what they have done so far, although admirable in intent, simply is not good enough and needs to be changed. Furthermore, there is a need to harness the necessary political and organizational will to see that these changes happen. The implications of Larsson and Lamb's summary of the data, this author contends, extend not only to child maltreatment and serious violence. For if the quality of practice in communicating with children were to be improved for those who have experienced the most serious events, there could be major positive consequences for the more everyday communications with children about a wide range of experiences, falling short of maltreatment and abuse, where the child is the expert because he or she was the person who was there, not adults who only think they know.
Descriptors: Sexual Abuse, Child Abuse, Criminal Law, Child Health, Interviews, Recall (Psychology), Information Sources, Children, Violence, Communication (Thought Transfer)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
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