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ERIC Number: EJ882587
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-May
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0145-2134
A Controlled Analysis of Professionals' Contemporaneous Notes of Interviews about Alleged Child Abuse
Cauchi, Rita T.; Powell, Martine B.; Hughes-Scholes, Carolyn H.
Child Abuse & Neglect: The International Journal, v34 n5 p318-323 May 2010
Objective: The current study investigated (under optimal conditions) the accuracy and completeness of professionals' contemporaneous written notes of child abuse interviews. Method: Participants included 107 experienced child abuse investigators who were all trained to adhere to best-practice interview guidelines and who routinely took notes as records of interviews. The interviews documented for this study were read live for 15 min duration, and at a pace of 2.2 words (on average)/s. The professionals' notes of the interviews were analyzed for completeness and accuracy. Key outcome measures were the prevalence and discernability of the questions (i.e., whether the structure of questions was recorded accurately) as well as the child responses. Results: Despite the omission of 39% of abuse-related details, recording of content details was clearly prioritized over interviewer questions. This was revealed irrespective of the measure of note taking quality or the quality of the interview being recorded. Of the various layout styles employed, scrutiny of interviewer questions was maximized by: (a) using symbols or spacing to delineate questions and responses, (b) capturing the first two words of a question, and (c) using abbreviations. Conclusions: Although note taking could potentially improve with further research, training and instruction, this form of documentation does not provide full scrutiny of the interview process, even under optimal conditions. Practice implications: Electronic recording is strongly recommended for all interviews, especially considering global concerns about interviewers' adherence to best-practice interview guidelines. If notes continue to be used as a record of interview, further research and training are urgently warranted to improve note taking competency. (Contains 1 table.)
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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