skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 141031 Find in a Library
Title: Interviewing Children Suspected of Being Sexually Abused: A Review of Theory and Practice (From Clinical Approaches to Sex Offenders and Their Victims, P 117-148, 1991, Clive R Hollin and Kevin Howells, eds. - See NCJ- 141025)
Author(s): E Vizard
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 32
Sponsoring Agency: John Wiley and Sons
New York, NY 10158
Sale Source: John Wiley and Sons
Managing Editor
605 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10158
United States of America
Type: Report (Technical Assistance)
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This paper reviews the existing literature on interviewing children suspected of being sexually abused and presents an ideal case example and its implications for practice.
Abstract: Issues of concern in interviews of children include the use of anatomical dolls in interviews, the meaning of sexual play by children with anatomical dolls, suggestibility, memory, false allegations, leading questions, and evidential issues. At least 10 different approaches to interviewing are now recognized in England, including one from Canada and four from the United States. Most suggested approaches favor a format with some degree of structure, while emphasizing that a rigid structure is undesirable. Both the more structured approaches and the less structured approaches have advantages and disadvantages. Interviewers find approaches helpful that list issues needing attention, including the preparation for the meeting and possible emotional reactions in the child or interviewer. Most approaches advocate the use of anatomically correct dolls in conjunction with other methods. Opinions vary regarding the number of interviews needed and the amount of background information the interviewer should have, but consensus exists regarding avoiding leading questions and videotaping initial interviews. 66 references
Main Term(s): Child Sexual Abuse; Personal interviews
Index Term(s): Child abuse detection; Child abuse investigations; Juvenile witnesses; Personal interviews
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.