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J Consult Clin Psychol. 2003 Oct;71(5):926-34.

Age differences in young children's responses to open-ended invitations in the course of forensic interviews.

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Section on Social and Emotional Development, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA.


To elucidate age differences in responses to free-recall prompts (i.e., invitations and cued invitations) and focused recognition prompts (i.e., option-posing and suggestive utterances), the authors examined 130 forensic interviews of 4- to 8-year-old alleged victims of sexual abuse. There were age differences in the total number of details elicited as well as in the number of details elicited using each of the different types of prompts, especially invitations. More details were elicited from older than from younger children in response to all types of prompts, but there were no age differences in the proportion of details (about 50%) elicited using invitations. Cued invitations elicited 18% of the total details, and the number of details elicited using cued invitations increased with age. Action-based cues consistently elicited more details than other types of cues.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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