Children's responses to open-ended utterances in investigative interviews

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fifty 4- to 13-year-olds were interviewed about incidents of sexual abuse that they had allegedly experienced. The interviewers employed an unusually high number of open-ended prompts, and the analyses focused on the effectiveness of different types of open-ended inquiries. Open-ended prompts yielded significantly longer and more detailed responses than did focused prompts. The main invitation, which initiated the children's narratives, elicited the longest and most detailed responses. Invitations remained superior to focused questions throughout the interview. The effectiveness of invitations did not vary depending on whether they followed focused or open-ended prompts. There were no age differences in the effectiveness of any types of invitations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-63
Number of pages15
JournalLegal and Criminological Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Applied Psychology


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