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Supportive or suggestive: Do human figure drawings help 5 ' 7 year old children to report touch?

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/02/2007
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
Issue number1
Number of pages10
Pages (from-to)33-42
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The authors examined the accuracy of information elicited from seventy-nine 5- to 7-year-old children about a staged event that included physical contact-touching. Four to six weeks later, children's recall for the event was assessed using an interview protocol analogous to those used in forensic investigations with children. Following the verbal interview, children were asked about touch when provided with human figure drawings (drawings only), following practice using the human figure drawings (drawings with instruction), or without drawings (verbal questions only). In this touch-inquiry phase of the interview, most children provided new information. Children in the drawings conditions reported more incorrect information than those in the verbal questions condition. Forensically relevant errors were infrequent and were rarely elaborated on. Although asking children to talk about innocuous touch may lead them to report unreliable information, especially when human figure drawings are used as aids, errors are reduced when open-ended prompts are used to elicit further information about reported touches.

Bibliographic note

A true international collaboration. The study was mainly the idea of Lamb and Pipe, executed by Brown and Lewis, coding by Orbach, written collectively, particularly by Brown ''