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

J Korkman, Pekka Santtila, M Westeraker, Kenneth Sandnabba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


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.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)108–128
Number of pages21
JournalEuropean Journal of Developmental Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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