Joint investigative interviews with children in Scotland

David J. La Rooy, Annabelle Nicol, John Halley, Michael E. Lamb

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Children are asked to participate in joint investigative interviews (JIIs) when they have been suspected of being victims or witnesses of crimes and investigators need to learn -- from the children's own words -- what happened. Information thus obtained from children in JIIs can play a significant role in civil and criminal decision making. It is, therefore, important that investigative interviewers employ techniques and practices designed to maximise the reliability of information elicited from children. In this article we briefly review key aspects of psychological research that have shaped scientific recommendations about how investigative interviews should be conducted, and provide results from preliminary studies of interviews conducted in Scotland. The findings are discussed in light of the newly released Scottish Executive (2011) guidelines for interviewers. We conclude by suggesting the most beneficial way forward in Scotland with regard to child interviewing practices is to utilise the National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Protocol, and suggest that strong links between scientific researchers and practitioners (e.g., police, social work, fiscal service, children's reporters, and the judiciary) should be developed and maintained.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)175-184
    Number of pages10
    JournalScots Law Times
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


    • Children
    • Interviews
    • Police interviews
    • Scotland


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