NSF funds study on interviewing children

Jodi Quas

Professor Jodi Quas receives NSF funding to investigate "The Use of Narrative Enhancement to Facilitate Children's Productivity in Eyewitness Settings"

Dr. Quas faculty website

Quas was recently interviewed about her research on PBS SoCal’s Real Orange. View Video
 

One of the biggest challenges that arises when a child is suspected of having been abused is that of obtaining a complete and accurate report from the child about what happened. The child may be scared or reluctant to tell, may not fully understand what happened or know it was wrong, or may lack the skills needed to talk coherently about the experience. In a new series of studies, funded by the National Science Foundation, Dr. Jodi Quas, along along with graduate students Kyndra Cleveland, Lindsay Wandrey, and Elizabeth Rush, and collaborator, Dr. Thomas Lyon, a law professor at the University of Southern California, are testing several novel interviewing techniques designed to increase how much children say about prior negative experiences--without comprising the accuracy of those reports. The results will also be enormously helpful in improving best-practice interviewing guidelines regarding questioning children suspected of having been abused. It is only with well-designed, systematic research such as this that we can continue to improve the legal system’s ability to pursue justice, which includes both protecting children from abuse and future harm and protecting innocent adults from false allegations.

Quas was recently interviewed about her research on PBS SoCal’s Real Orange. View Video