Mary Chapman

Date of Award


Degree Name



College of Liberal Arts

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Marc A. Lindberg

Second Advisor

Leonard J. Deutsch


Three programs for the testing of elementary school students' eyewitness testimonies were tested and compared. Three different types of investigative interviews were used. The first was the investigative interview currently in use by West Virginia Child Protective Services. The second was an interview procedure developed by Yuille et al. (1993) called the Step-Wise Interview. The third method was a modified version of the Step-Wise Interview, which included changes based upon recent literature. Students from developmental & experimental psychology classes were trained in one of the three techniques. First and second grade children first viewed a movie and were then interviewed by one of the experimenta1 or developmental psychology students. Results showed that no single interview method was, overall, significantly more effective at producing more recall accuracy and less confabulation from the children. Various strengths and weaknesses were identified for each of the interviewing methods. These results were discussed in relation to their implication for child abuse investigations.


Interviewing in child abuse.