Mapping Repeated Interviews
The present study introduces an adaptation of the Griffiths Question Map (GQM; Griffiths and Milne 2006) which extends the chronological, visual map of question types used in an investigative interview to include child interviewee’s responses (through the addition of the Interview Answer Grid, IAG). Furthermore, it provides a rare evaluation of repeated interviews with children. From a sample of transcripts of Scottish repeated interviews with child victims, two ‘good’ and two ‘poor’ first interviews were chosen based on interviewer question types. First and second investigative interviews of these four children were mapped using the GQM and IAG in order to examine across the two interviews the similarity of interviewer and interviewee behaviours and the consistency and investigative-relevance of information provided. Both ‘good’ and ‘poor’ interviews were found to include practices discouraged by interviewing guidelines, which would not have been identified by examining question proportions alone. Furthermore, ‘good’ first interviews were followed by second interviews which began with poor question types, suggesting a possible impact of confirmation bias. Social support was also assessed and found to be used infrequently, mainly in response to the child being informative rather than pre-emptively by interviewers in an attempt to encourage this. Children were also found to disclose throughout their second interviews, suggesting that rapport-maintenance is vital for single and multiple interviews. The use of the GQM and IAG is encouraged as a technique for determining interview quality.
KeywordsInvestigative interviewing Child victims Repeated interviews Social support Question types Griffiths Question Map
The lead author conducted the research as part of her PhD which was funded by London South Bank University’s Institute of Social Science Research.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
The study obtained ethical approval from London South Bank University where the lead author was conducting her PhD and the second and final author held academic positions at the time of data collection.
The present study entailed analysis of transcripts of police interviews. Transcripts from cases that had gone to trial had been provided by lawyers to one of the authors for quality assessment through that author’s work as an expert witness, and the author gave consent for anonymised versions to be used for the study.
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