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Behav Sci Law. 2009 May-Jun;27(3):361-79. doi: 10.1002/bsl.871.

Reid training and sensitivity to developmental maturity in interrogation: results from a national survey of police.

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Clinical Psychology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22904, U.S.A.


Although research has demonstrated that youthfulness is a risk factor for providing false confessions during criminal interrogations, it is unclear whether interrogation training programs address this issue. The goal was to analyze differences between Reid-trained (RT) and non-Reid-trained (non-RT) police in their sensitivity to the developmental maturity of young suspects. 1,828 police officers, 514 of whom were RT, completed surveys about their perceptions and practices during interrogation with children, adolescents, or adults. Results indicate that, compared with non-RT police, RT police demonstrate less sensitivity to the developmental maturity of adolescents in terms of (1) perceptions of their competencies during interrogation and (2) use of psychologically coercive questioning techniques. These findings have implications for the development of juvenile interrogation training programs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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