Tell Me What Happened: Structured Investigative Interviews of Child Victims and Witnesses

Michael E. Lamb, Irit Hershkowitz, Yael Orbach, Phillip W. Esplin

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


This book updates the previous review of research on children’s testimony—reexamining and readdressing how the quality of information provided by young witnesses is affected by the way they are questioned. Drawing upon both experimental and field studies conducted in different countries, it summarizes evidence supporting the effectiveness of the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Protocol and showcases the Protocol’s superiority over other current interviewing techniques for eliciting detailed and forensically useful content from child complainants.

Written with both child protection professionals and researchers in mind, Tell Me What Happened: Questioning Children About Abuse offers advice and opinions drawn from actual investigative interviews as well as academic research. Its insightful chapters cover: children’s testimony; interview and questioning strategies; how investigators typically interview alleged victims; the NICHD Investigative Interview Protocols; the impact that following the Protocol has on interviews and children’s responses; interviewing victims under the age of six; interviewing children with developmental disabilities; using tools and props to complement the Protocol; training and maintaining good interviewing practices; and more.

Provides a primary source of guidance practitioners and professionals involved in child protectionUpdates guidance for interviewers by adding consideration of emotional and motivational factors to better understand children’s behavior during interviewsIntegrates the substantial body of research published over the last decade and reflects upon questions that the field should continue to address

Tell Me What Happened: Questioning Children About Abuse deserves to be read by all practitioners involved in child protection, whether as investigators, interviewers, judges, or lawyers.

Original languageEnglish
PublisherJohn Wiley and Sons
Number of pages346
Edition2nd edition
ISBN (Print)978-1118881675
StatePublished - 2018

Publication series

NameWiley Series in Psychology of Crime" Policing and Law

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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