The effects of repeated interviewing on children's forensic statements of sexual abuse

Irit Hershkowitz, Anat Terner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Multiple interviews with children alleging sexual abuse are not uncommon. Researchers expressed concern that repeated investigations may create and preserve inaccurate details. However, studies indicated that repeated open-ended interviews are not necessarily harmful and may have advantages. Forensic interviews were conducted with 40 children, alleged victims of sexual abuse, according to the NICHD investigative protocol. The children were re-interviewed after a short break. The information obtained in the second interview was almost 25% new. The first interview yielded a larger number of details, both central and peripheral, but the proportion of central details was larger in the second interview. The proportion of details repeated in both interviews was surprisingly low, and most of the original information was not included. Older children repeated more information than younger ones. The data suggest that a repeated forensic interview may elicit new information and preserve central details.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1131-1143
Number of pages13
JournalApplied Cognitive Psychology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Dec 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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