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NCJ Number: 238097 Find in a Library
Title: Non-Verbal Behavior of Children Who Disclose or Do Not Disclose Child Abuse in Investigative Interviews
Journal: Child Abuse & Neglect  Volume:36  Issue:1  Dated:January 2012  Pages:12-20
Author(s): Carmit Katz; Irit Hershkowitz; Lindsay C. Malloy; Michael E. Lamb; Armita Atabaki; Sabine Spindler
Date Published: January 2012
Page Count: 9
Sponsoring Agency: Nuffield Foundation
London, England
University of Cambridge
Cambridge, CB3 9DT, England
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study explored the types of nonverbal behavior exhibited by children during investigative interviews examining suspicions of child abuse.
Abstract: The study found that as investigative interviews examining suspicions of child abuse progressed, the children being interviewed exhibited increased levels of stress and physical disengagement and decreased levels of positive emotions. The increased levels of physical disengagement were especially evident during the introductory and substantive phases of the interview where allegations of abuse were discussed. The study also found that children who had allegedly experienced sexual abuse were more likely to exhibit higher levels of stress than children who had allegedly experienced physical abuse, and that older children were able to better conceal increased stress levels than younger children. This study explored the types of nonverbal behavior exhibited by children during investigative interviews examining suspicions of child abuse. Data for the study were obtained from DVD-recorded interviews of 40 alleged victims of child abuse (15 girls and 25 boys age 3 to 13.5 years). The children were interviewed following allegations of sexual or physical abuse by an adult. The interviews were coded for nonverbal indices of positive and negative emotions, stress, and physical disengagement over the different phases of the interview. The findings indicate that children are often reluctant to disclose incidences of sexual and physical abuse and that this reluctance can often be determined through their nonverbal behaviors. Implications for officials investigating allegations of child abuse are discussed. Tables and references
Main Term(s): Child abuse
Index Term(s): Child abuse detection; Child abuse investigations; Child abuse prevention; Child abuse reporting; Child victim interviews; Child victims; Nonverbal communications; Police child abuse training
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