The effect of drawing on children's experiences of investigations following alleged child abuse

Carmit Katz, Zion Barnetz, Irit Hershkowitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The primary aim of the study was to evaluate investigative interviews from the perspectives of the children, comparing children who drew with children who did not. One hundred twenty-five children, alleged victims of sexual abuse, were asked about their investigative experience. The uniqueness of the study is that all of the interviews were conducted according to the NICHD Protocol and that children were randomly assigned into one of the two research conditions (drawing vs. non-drawing). The results clearly demonstrate the advantage that drawing has on the children's experience of the investigation, with children in the drawing group more often reporting feelings of hope and success. This study provides practical guidelines for practitioners by emphasizing the beneficial effects that drawing can have. The study stresses the importance of integrating into forensic investigations interventions that enhance children's testimonies and ensure that the investigation is an empowering experience that generates feelings of trust, self-worth, and justice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)858-867
Number of pages10
JournalChild Abuse and Neglect
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


  • Child sexual abuse
  • Drawing
  • Empowerment
  • Investigative interviews

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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