Developing a Functional Code System to Analyze Forensic Interviews with Suspected Victims of Child Sexual Abuse

  • Reginaldo T. AlvesJr.
  • Debra Nelson-Gardell
  • Marcelo Tavares
  • Teresa L. YoungEmail author


This study aims to establish a coding system to analyze forensic interviews in order to systematically explore and understand “what works” for getting relevant information from child abuse victims. A forensic interview is a method of gathering information about allegations of sexual abuse from vulnerable children intended to further law enforcement and child protective investigations in a developmentally sensitive and legally sound manner (Cordisco-Steele, 2012; Newlin et al., 2015). Knowing what works in forensic interviews allows for better protection of children and families by improving interviewing techniques across the professional practice of helping children disclose information related to alleged victimization. The use of information from child interviews to address civil, protective, and criminal decisions varies among communities, whether international, national, or more local jurisdictions.



This study was financed in part by the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior—Brazil (CAPES)—Finance Code 001.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Research Involving Human and Animal Participants

This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Reginaldo T. AlvesJr.
    • 1
  • Debra Nelson-Gardell
    • 2
  • Marcelo Tavares
    • 3
  • Teresa L. Young
    • 4
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.Tribunal de Justiça do Distrito Federal e dos TerritóriosVara da Infância e da Juventude - Seção de Atendimento à Situação de RiscoBrasíliaBrazil
  2. 2.University of AlabamaTuscaloosaUSA
  3. 3.Instituto de Psicologia - Departamento de Psicologia ClínicaUniversidade de Brasília - Campus Darcy RibeiroBrasíliaBrazil
  4. 4.Texas A&M University KingsvilleKingsvilleUSA
  5. 5.Department of Clinical Health SciencesTexas A&M University KingsvilleKingsvilleUSA

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