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NCJ Number: 229120 Find in a Library
Title: Does the Form of Question Repetition Have an Effect on Children's Recall Accuracy and Consistency?
Journal: International Journal of Police Science & Management  Volume:11  Issue:4  Dated:Winter 2009  Pages:460-475
Author(s): Sarah J. Krahenbuhl; Mark Blades
Date Published: 2009
Page Count: 16
Sponsoring Agency: Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
Swindon SN2 1UJ,
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This study examined the effect of various forms of question repetition on children’s accuracy and consistency in interviews.
Abstract: The study found that a third of the children’s responses to repeated questions changed. The largest number of response changes occurred the first time a question was repeated. Most often, children gave a different answer the first time a question was repeated, and then they maintained this answer when the question was repeated a second time. Generally, the accuracy of responses declined after the initial question, such that repeating a question resulted in less accurate responses. This decline in accuracy occurred whether or not a question was repeated once or twice. This confirmed previous findings from similar research. If insufficient detail has been provided in the initial free narrative given by the child, questions must be asked, so suggesting that repetition should not be used in interviews is impractical. Although an implicit assumption of repeating a question is that the repetition will elicit a more detailed or accurate answer, this is not usually the case. In accordance with previous findings, the current study found that accuracy of responses was greater in the older age group compared with the youngest age group; however, differences in age groups was less marked than expected in the accuracy of responses to repeated questions. Another finding was that questions repeated verbatim resulted in fewer changed responses to repeated questions, compared to repeating questions in another form but with the intent of eliciting the same type of information. Thus, when a question needs to be asked more than once, a verbatim repetition is the preferred form. The study involved 160 children from 3 age groups. 3 tables, 3 figures, and 30 references
Main Term(s): Police interview/interrogation of juvenile
Index Term(s): Child victim interviews; Investigative techniques; Police interviewing training
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