Validity of a test of children's suggestibility for predicting responses to two interview situations differing in their degree of suggestiveness

A1 Journal article (refereed)


Internal Authors/Editors


Publication Details

List of Authors: Finnilä K, Mahlberg N, Santtila P, Sandnabba K, Niemi P
Publication year: 2003
Journal: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Journal acronym: J Exp Child Psychol
Volume number: 85
Issue number: 1
Start page: 32
End page: 49
ISSN: 0022-0965


Abstract

In the present study the relative contributions of internal and external sources of variation in children's suggestibility in interrogative situations were examined. One hundred and eleven children (48 4- to 5-year-olds and 63 7- to 8-year-olds) were administered a suggestibility test (BTSS) and the most suggestible (N=36) and the least suggestible (N=36) children were randomly assigned to either an interview condition containing several suggestive techniques or to one containing only suggestive questions. The effects of internal sources of variation in suggestibility were compared with the effects of the interview styles on the children's answers. The former did influence the children, but the external sources of variation in suggestibility had a stronger impact. Influences of cognitive, developmental factors could be found, but not when abuse-related questions were asked and high pressured interview methods were used. These findings indicate that individual assessment of suggestibility can be of some assistance when interviewing children, but diminishing suggestive influences in interrogations must be given priority.

Last updated on 2019-17-10 at 02:59