Forensic interviewers' perceptions of the utility of mock interviews with trained actors as a training tool for child interviewing.

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Child abuse & neglect, 2020, 106, pp. 104553
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BACKGROUND:The use of mock interviews (also known as role play), particularly using trained actors as interviewees, has demonstrated positive effects on communication training but little is known about how learners engage with these practice activities. OBJECTIVE:The current study was conducted to determine what perceptions forensic interviewers hold about mock interviews as a learning exercise for developing skills for child interviewing, and whether there are negative perceptions that could potentially have an impact on the helpfulness of the exercise. PARTICIPANTS:Written reflections were obtained from 35 US forensic interviewing professionals who were enrolled in an online child interviewer training program. METHODS:Common themes were extracted from the reflections to establish forensic interviewers' perceptions of aspects of the mock interview. Extraction of themes assisted in the determination of whether perceptions impacted the manner and degree to which interviewers engaged in the mock interview process. RESULTS:Results suggest that regardless of potential anxiety, learners experience multiple benefits from the mock interview. CONCLUSIONS:Findings from the present study suggests suggest most trainees perceive mock interviews favourably, and they are useful in child interview training programs.
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