Presentation on theme: "Interviewing Children"— Presentation transcript:
1 Interviewing Children Skills, Principles, and Protocols:Child Developmentand Linguistic Implications
2 Interviewing Children Contents SkillsPrinciplesProtocolsChild DevelopmentLinguistic ImplicationsCultural Considerations
3 Basic Interview Skills Inquiry: process of asking questionsReflecting: process of communicating to the client that you have heard themObserving: non-verbal behaviors; incorporating this info into your communication with the clientListening: 2 ears & 1 mouthEvaluating: process of making sense of what you have been told; decisions, reframe
4 Basic Interview Principles Child friendly: their best interest comes firstSit on the same levelLimit # of words used in a sentenceAvoid pronounsUse the child’s language and termsCheck the child’s understanding of what you have said; ask the child to repeat
5 Basic Interview Principles If the child doesn’t understand: re-phaseAvoid sentences with time sequencesPatienceLanguage effects understandingParaphrase to make sure you understand the child’s versionSummarize to review for the child
6 Child Interviews: A Comparison ClinicalGoal: Understand child’s psychological state and overall functioningclient: child; parentRole of Professional: therapeutic/advocateStance: Pro-childForensicGoal: Obtaining uncontaminated dataClient: Child’s needs are a priority, however, the client = judicial systemRole of Professional: fact finderStance: Neutral
7 Child Interviews: A Comparison ClinicalAssumption: Trustworthiness of child; important suggestive realityTechnique: TherapeuticForensicAssumption: Consider multiple hypothesis and questioning reflects this; important objective realityTechnique: legally defensible
8 Forensic Interview Protocol RapportGoal is to establish comfort, communication, competencechild drawingTruth/Lie componentReliability instructionsfamily, house, & school drawing
9 Forensic Interview Protocol Anatomy IdentificationGoal is to identify the child’s terms for body partsUse appropriate drawingsgenderagerace
10 Forensic Interview Protocol Touch InquiryGoal is to explore touches he or she likes;Touches he or she doesn’t like;Where on the body he or she likes touches; doesn’t like touches;Questions will move from general to specific
11 Forensic Interview Protocol Abuse ScenarioGoal to to explore any statements about abusive touches:Did anything happen?Fact FindingVerbal disclosureDolls: use if verbal disclosure is made
12 Forensic Interview Protocol Closure/Prevention ScenarioGoal is to help the child identify who are “safe” people to tell if it happens again; and toThank the child for hard work, not for what they told
13 Thoughts to Keep in Mind Am I going to fast?Am I hearing this child?Am I sacrificing the child’s interests for some other objective?Is my attention on the child’s words, behavior, and emotions?Am I failing to reassure the child or to remove blocks to communication?
14 Thoughts to Keep in Mind Am I too anxious about “getting the information?”Am I trying to “confirm” rather than “discover” abuse?Am I driven by a desire to “get the offender?”Am I concerned about how I’m going to look if the interview doesn’t “produce?”
15 Child Language Development Very young children can tell us what they know; provided we ask the right questions; and we ask them in the right way2-3 year olds can recall & report past experiences (Hewitt, 1999)3 year olds have testified competently and credibly in court (State v Brovold; Minn. 1991)
16 Language Development Pre-School Use and interpret language literallyDon’t handle abstractions wellHave difficulty collecting ideas into categoriesUse words for time, distance, size, etc. long before they understand meaningDefine words in simple, action-oriented ways
17 Language Development Preschool Difficulty with pronoun referenceDifficulty with negativesMay supply responses to questions even if they have no knowledgeDo best with simple sentences: Subject, Verb, Object.Focus on one aspect of a question
18 Language Development Pre-School Don’t organize events like adults; may omit settings, descriptors, etc.Still acquiring languageUsually don’t know they don’t understand somethingBelieve, in general, that adults speak the truth, are sincere, and would not trick them
19 Language Development School Age (7-10) Still have difficulty with abstract conceptsStill struggle with processing complex questionsStill make errors with passives and pronoun preferenceStill confused by complex negationStill not mature at organizing details
20 Language Development School Age (7-10) Still unequipped to deal with adult insincerity; sarcasm, irony, etc.May still believe adults, in general, tell the truth
21 Language Development Adolescents (11-18) May or may not have developed adult narrative skillsMay not understand time as a historical and day-to-day conceptSome difficulty with complex negationConfused by linguistic ambiguity: ads, idioms, metaphors, jokes, etc.
22 Language Development Adolescents (11-18) May lose track of long, complex questionsReluctant to ask for clarification or acknowledge they don’t understandMany teens may be developmentally “stuck”
23 Language Development Key Suggestions Use simple, common, everyday words and phrasesUse names and places instead of pronounsStay away from negatives
24 Language Development Key Suggestions Use questions/comments that keep the # of ideas to a minimumStart your questions/comments with the main ideaRemember you are speaking with a child
25 Language Development Key Dynamics We don’t interview childreninterview one child at a timeage, disability/ability, trauma, cultural differencesLanguage shaped by experiencesee, hear, experiencehow words are used; the contextsignificant variability
26 Language Development Key Dynamics Children & adults don’t speak the same languageLanguage is not an all or nothing affairInconsistency = normalChildren are literal in their approach to language; cognitively - moving from general to particular is not developed
27 Language Development Key Dynamics Adult-like use doesn’t reflect adult-like understanding: language & cognitionDifficulty with multi-part, multi-idea questionsPausing is productiveChildren will not necessarily tell you that they don’t understand
28 Language Development Key Dynamics Framing is goodChildren’s responses may not be answers to your questions:Reciting cultural lists not the same as ability to understand the contents; alphabet, days of the week, etc.Children acquire the ability to provide a narrative account = usually sometime in teens
29 Language Development Key Dynamics Some families talk to each other; some do notFamiliarity matterSo does cultureYoung children can be competent
30 Interviewing Children Pitfalls Prepositions: most, not all acquired by 5-6 years oldPronouns/pointing words - mastery is slowSpecific words:ahead of/behind; always/never; any; ask/tell; before/after; big; different/same; forget; first/last; inside; know/think/guess/sure; more/less; neither/either; some/all; touch; yesterday/today/tomorrow
31 Interviewing Children Pitfalls LegaleseComplex sentencesabstractions & low frequency words; ambiguity; embedding; left-branching; negation; nominalizations; passivesTwo or more questions into oneAsking restricted choice questionsAsking DUR…..X questions
32 Interviewing Children Pitfalls Asking manipulative questions“I believe you told us….”; “Isn’t it a fact…”Asking tag questionsShifting topics suddenlyAsking about relative conceptsage, dimensions, kinship, number, timeAsking the difference between truth/lie
33 Interviewing Children Pitfalls Asking children if they understand youAsking why questionsAsking how questionsAsking non-specific questionsAsking children questions that require tracking: who said what to whom whenAsking Jell-O questions
34 Cultural Considerations Culture: a constantly changing pattern of behaviors relating to the values and beliefs of a group of people through which they adapt to one another and their physical and social environment; orCulture influences beliefs, behaviors, and choices
35 Cultural Considerations Native Americans There is no resource more vital to the continued existence and integrity of the Indian Tribes than their children (ICWA).Strengthening families strengthens culturesChild rearing in the Indian culture is not a private affair: parents, extended family, clans, and tribes share responsibility
36 Cultural Considerations Native Americans Family values, customs, and traditions vary among tribes;Also vary among different families of the same tribe;So each family must be viewed individually;Being Native may depend on tribal affiliation, degree of assimilation, and family history
37 Interviewing Children Cultural Considerations Native AmericanHistoric distrust based on many years of exploitation and discrimination (note taking)Warm up or “talk stories”; warm, informal, light, personal conversations; humorLow key; non-directive; authentic & genuine demonstration of concern and active implementation of a desire to help
38 Interviewing Children Cultural Considerations Native AmericanPausing between phrases, sentences or questions considered an integral part of communication; could be interpreted negatively or result in lost information if questions come to rapidlyMay lower head or not make eye contact as a sign of respectMay use a subdued tone of voice
39 Interviewing Children Cultural Considerations Native Americankinship terms may refer to other than relativesTime may be marked by seasons, ceremonies, or activities; forget clock time; don’t rushUnquestioning loyalty and respect for elders
40 Cultural Considerations African American Historic oppression & discriminationContinued economic oppression through differential job accessHeterogeneous family types: two, single, blended, extended - strong kinship bondsStrong work orientation
41 Cultural Considerations African Americans Adaptability of family rolesHigh achievement orientation through educationReligious orientation
42 Interviewing Children Cultural Considerations African AmericanRapid overlapping speech is not viewed as rudeloyalty and respect for eldersRegional patois
43 Cultural Considerations Hispanic Americans Historic oppression & discriminationContinued economic oppression through differential job accessDiverseImportance of family/CompradrazgoChurchMachismo
44 Interview Children Cultural Considerations Hispanic Americans:Distrust“Talk stories”Low key, non-directive, genuine approachBilingual
45 Cultural Considerations Asian-Pacific Islander Americans Diverse group; 60 separate ethnic groups“Yellow Race” & “Brown Race”Filial piety; parents respected, revered, and obeyed; hierarchy based on age & genderFamily/Clan honor - more important than individual members; shame controlsHarmony - subordinate needs for the sake of peace
46 Interviewing Children Cultural Considerations Asian-Pacific Islander Americans:Generation conflictsDistrust - usually don’t discuss family issues with outsiders“Talk stories” - oral traditionsMay respond to a direct, active and structured approachSpeak little unless spoken to
47 Interviewing Children Cultural Considerations Asian-Pacific Islander Americans:Loyal and respectful of eldersKinship terms may refer to friends of the familyHarmony and self-effacement are valuedBilingualInterpreters
48 Cultural CompetenceA long term process of expanding horizons, thinking critically about issues of power and oppression, and acting appropriately.Acquisition of info: world view, customs, language, common history, family patterns, relationship & parenting styles, etc.
49 Cultural CompetenceCulturally competent individuals develop a mixture of beliefs, attitudes, knowledge, and skills that help them establish trust and communication with others.
50 References 1st witness Child Abuse Resource Center protocols/materials Cohen, Neil. (1992). Child Welfafe: A Multicultural Focus. Needham Heights, MA.: Allyn P& Bacon.
51 ReferencesGraffam-Walker, Anne (1999). Handbook on Questioning Children: A Linguistic Perspective. Wash. D.C.: ABA Center on Children and the Law.Rauch, Julia, B. (1993). Assessment: A Sourcebook for Social Work Practice. Milwaukee, WI.: Families International Inc.
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