Interviewing techniques and follow-up questions in child sexual abuse interviews

A1 Journal article (refereed)

Internal Authors/Editors

Publication Details

List of Authors: Korkman J, Santtila P, Westeraker M, Sandnabba NK
Publication year: 2008
Journal: European Journal of Developmental Psychology
Journal acronym: EUR J DEV PSYCHOL
Volume number: 5
Issue number: 1
Start page: 108
End page: 128
Number of pages: 21
ISSN: 1740-5629


The quality of a representative sample of 43 forensic interviews with alleged victims (aged 3-8 years) of child sexual abuse (CSA) in Finland was investigated. Interviews were coded for type of interviewer utterance, type of child response, details in the child response and number of words in each utterance. Option-posing, specific suggestive and unspecific suggestive question types comprised almost 50% of all interviewer utterances. The interviewers continued to rely on leading and suggestive questions even after the child had provided significant information, i.e., interviewers failed to follow-up information provided by the child in an adequate way. Longer questions (in number of words) often rendered no reply from the child, whereas shorter questions rendered descriptive answers. Interviewers seemed to fail in discussing the topic of sexual abuse in an appropriate way, frequently employing long and vague unspecific suggestive utterances.

Last updated on 2020-26-02 at 05:42