Investigative Interviews of Children: A Guide for Helping Professionals

Pages: 295
Item #: 431710A
ISBN: 978-1-55798-500-2
List Price: $39.95
Member/Affiliate Price: $34.95
Copyright: 1998
Format: Hardcover
Other Format: Softcover
Note: This book is out of print and no longer available for purchase.

This edition is no longer for sale. However, a softcover edition is available.

Interviewing children for investigative purposes is a specialized skill. Professional interviewers need to be able to conduct interviews that bear scrutiny from outside agencies and also serve the best interests of children. In clear, engaging language, this eye-opening book corrects the common misunderstandings about adult–child conversational exchanges and provides guidelines for interviews, based on the most up-to-date research. It also presents a flexible interview protocol that can be tailored to meet individual needs. Topics discussed include

  • The current child protection crisis
  • The difficulties of investigating alleged abuse cases
  • Children's strengths and weaknesses as interviewees
  • Characteristics of the most respected interview protocols
  • Children's language development and understanding of "interview rules"
  • Ancillary techniques, such as the use of drawings and anatomically detailed dolls
  • How to improve one's decision-making skills
  • How to stay abreast of the latest research and techniques

The principles outlined in his book can be generalized to a variety of situations in which the interviewer wishes to gather information untainted by the dynamics of adult-child questioning. Thus, Investigative Interviews of Children will be invaluable not only to child protection workers, lawyers, law enforcement officers, and psychologists, but also to other mental health professionals, educators, and parents.

Table of Contents


I. The Backdrop for Investigative Interviews


  1. Children as Witnesses: The Tragedy and the Dilemma
  2. Strengths and Weaknesses of Children as Witnesses: Implications for Developmentally Sensitive Interviewing

II. Interview Protocols


  1. The Development of Interview Protocols
  2. A Flexible Interview Protocol

III. Customizing Interviews


  1. Talking to Children
  2. Ancillary Techniques

IV. Professional Development Issues


  1. Improving Judgment and Decision Making
  2. Keeping Pace With Changing Standards




About the Authors

Reviews & Awards

[Investigative Interviews of Children] combines theory, research, and practice, and provides practical instructions for conducting effective, noncontaminating interviews of children…This important book should be read and studied by all professionals who conduct investigatory interviews of children. It is the best available resource for understanding how to interview children properly. It is also useful to anyone who wants to know the current research on child witnesses and how they must be interviewed to obtain reliable and accurate information.
—Issues in Child Abuse Accusations, 1998, Vol 10

Sensational child-abuse trials have led to research into how to interview children accurately and sensitively. Recommended techniques are taught…in texts like Investigative Interviews for Children: A Guide to Helping Professionals (APA, 1998).
—The New York Times, 8 September, 1998