Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology

, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 58–67 | Cite as

Using Spaced Learning Principles to Translate Knowledge into Behavior: Evidence from Investigative Interviews of Alleged Child Abuse Victims

  • Alexis E. Rischke
  • Kim P. Roberts
  • Heather L. Price


The present study assessed the progress of 13 investigative interviewers (child protection workers and police officers) before, during, and after an intensive training program (n = 132 interviews). Training began with a 2-day workshop covering the principles of child development and child-friendly interviewing. Interviewers then submitted interviews on a bi-weekly basis to which they received written and verbal feedback over an 8-month period. A refresher session took place two months into training. Interestingly, improvements were observed only after the refresher session. Interviews conducted post-refresher training contained proportionally more open-ended questions, more child details in response to open-ended questions, and proportionally fewer closed questions than interviews conducted prior to training and in the first half of the training program. The need for ‘spaced learning’ may underlie why so many training programs have had little effect on practice.


Child memory Child eyewitness testimony Investigative interviewing Child abuse 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexis E. Rischke
    • 1
  • Kim P. Roberts
    • 1
  • Heather L. Price
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyWilfrid Laurier UniversityWaterlooCanada
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of ReginaReginaCanada

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