Child Sexual Abuse Interviewing: Development and Pilot Testing of a Forensic Training
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Limited research has been conducted that evaluates trainings in child sexual abuse interviewing in spite of their wide use to distribute knowledge and train those interviewing children who may have been sexually abused. Thus, the purpose of this study was to develop and test an online forensic interviewing training based on the following evidence-supported principles of child sexual abuse. The study consisted of both content validation and a subsequent pilot study. Five experts were enlisted to review the script of the training on domains important to forensic interviewing (specifically, in forensic interviewing, child sexual abuse, training, cultural competence, and the law), demonstrating the acceptability of the training. Results of the content validation indicated that all experts determined that the training was acceptable and feasible, and feedback provided by experts was used to revise the training appropriately. Because a thorough review of the literature has identified no assessment instruments for evaluating interviewer knowledge and application of interviewing principles after undergoing a child sexual abuse interviewing training, a Forensic Interviewing Knowledge Questionnaire was developed to assess forensic interviewing principle knowledge and application. The Interviewing Knowledge Questionnaire was used to evaluate the training in a pilot study with two conditions, Training and Control. Results indicated that participants in the training condition demonstrated significantly higher interviewing knowledge than the control group as measured by our Forensic Interviewing Knowledge Questionnaire, and rated the training highly on a measure of training satisfaction. This study began to address some shortcomings of existing forensic interviewing trainings; however, it also highlighted a continued need to evaluate trainings and to answer important question such as whether trainings produce interviews that conform to the protocol or guidelines.