Whether as eyewitnesses or victims, children are often interviewed to provide evidence for forensic investigations. But strategies that may work for interviewing adults often do not work on children. Because of children's incomplete language development, their greater risk of retrieving inaccurate information in response to memory cues, and their desire to say what they think the interviewer wants to hear (whether truthful or not), their testimony can be unreliable. Sometimes, the interviewer's challenge is a child who does not want to talk at all.
In Interviewing Children: The Science of Conversation in Forensic Contexts, Debra Poole introduces the science of interviewing children by explaining the problems that can arise when adults talk to children and how a forensic perspective mitigates these problems. She discusses child development considerations and presents a flexible approach to interviewing children.
Through her descriptions of best practices, brief summaries of supporting research, example interview dialogs, answers to common questions from practitioners, and a final section for trainers and policymakers, Poole provides a roadmap for anyone working in a forensic context.
This book is essential reading for those who interview children, supervise interviewers, review interview findings, or craft local policies about interviewing children.
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