Investigative interviews of child witnesses in Sweden
2000 (English)In: International Journal of Child Abuse & Neglect, ISSN 0145-2134, Vol. 24, no 10, 1355-1361 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Objective: To evaluate the structure and informativeness of interviews with 4- to 13-year-old alleged victims of sexual abuse in Sweden. Method: Seventy-two alleged victims of sexual abuse were interviewed by six experienced officers from one police district in Sweden. Our evaluation focused on the structure of the interviews, the distribution and timing of the investigators' utterance types, and the quantity and quality of the information provided by the children. Results: Content analysis revealed that the interviewers relied primarily on option-posing and suggestive questions-together, these comprised 53% of their utterances-when interviewing the alleged victims. As a result, most of the details (57%) obtained from the children were elicited by option-posing and suggestive utterances. Only 6% of the interviewers' utterances were open-ended invitations, and these elicited only 8% of the information obtained. Conclusion: The reliance on option-posing and suggestive prompts may have reduced the accuracy of the information obtained, thereby interfering with the investigations, and reducing the forensic admissibility of the children's statements. This suggests a continuing need in Sweden, as in other countries, for interview practices that enhance the quality of information provided by young victims. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Inc.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2000. Vol. 24, no 10, 1355-1361 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-47576DOI: 10.1016/S0145-2134(00)00183-6OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-47576DiVA: diva2:268472