Effects of gender on rate of disclosure in the forensic interviews of children


Child abuse is an unfortunate problem in the United States and around the world. When a child reports an allegation of abuse, an investigation of his/her claim is typically initiated. One method of obtaining information from a child abuse victim (or witness) is a forensic interview. The purpose of a forensic interview is to gather information from the child in a non-leading and objective manner in one complete and competent interaction, while minimizing trauma during this process. Generally, research supports that various factors can impact a child's disclosure in the forensic interview setting (1-4). One factor that has been mentioned, that may have impact, is gender of the interviewer, as well as gender of the child. The purpose of the present study was to further examine the degree to which interviewer gender and gender of the child victim actually impact disclosure rates. Researchers found that disclosure was not related to gender of interviewer, gender of child, or age, χ 2 (1, N = 933) = 0.86 p = .354. This suggests that gender of the child or interviewer does not statistically have an impact on whether or not children make a disclosure in a forensic interview setting.



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American Journal of Forensic Psychology