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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 228047 Find in a Library
Title: Evaluation of a Self-Initiated Practice Exercise for Investigative Interviewers of Children
Journal: International Journal of Police Science & Management  Volume:11  Issue:3  Dated:Autumn 2009  Pages:366-376
Author(s): Rebecca Wright; Belinda L. Guadagno; Martine B. Powell
Date Published: 2009
Page Count: 11
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: In extending the debate and research on the important role of practice in promoting and sustaining complex skills used in investigative interviewing, this Australian study focused on the use of self-initiated practice as one means of facilitating ongoing development of professionals who interview children suspected of being abused.
Abstract: This study found that self-initiated practice - which involved little instruction, monitoring, and incentives for compliance - was not effective as a method of assisting interviewers to improve their performance. Thirty-five percent of the 40 participants failed to undertake any self-initiated practice. Those who demonstrated lower interviewer competence in the prepractice interviews were the least likely to engage in self-initiated practice. Given the time constraints imposed by the workloads of these interviewers and the fact that the self-initiated practice tasks were not formally graded, the self-initiated practice tasks were neglected in favor of professional activities that were related to achieving professional goals for which incentives and professional advancement were more structured. Although all participants formally interviewed children as part of their job, the qualifications, background experience, and length of service varied among the participants (10 males and 30 females). In order to assess the effect of the self-initiated practice, prior to the self-initiated practice, participants engaged in two 10-minute assessment interviews with a colleague playing the role of the child interviewee. This same format was followed after the self-initiated practice period was completed. Transcripts of the prepractice and postpractice interview were assessed for interviewer competence. The self-initiated practice involved the compilation of a diary that contained information on each practice session initiated with colleagues. Participants maintained complete autonomy over how often they practiced, how long they practiced, with whom they practiced, and the specific skills targeted. 1 table and 27 references
Main Term(s): Police interviewing training
Index Term(s): Australia; Child victim interviews; Interview and interrogation; Teaching/training techniques
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