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Forensic interviews with preschool children: An analysis of extended interviews in Norway (2015–2017)

Summary This study examined the quality of forensic interviews conducted by specially trained police officers in the Norwegian Barnahus between 2015 and 2017, using the sequential interview (SI) model, a Norwegian version of the extended interview model that has not previously been studied. Two hundred and seven interviews of alleged abused preschool children (3–7 years old) were selected from around the country. Developmental trends in interview dynamics and the pattern of disclosure were analyzed. Analyses showed that the interviews were long but involved few open‐ended and many suggestive questions, especially in interviews with the youngest children who did not disclose. Because similar findings were obtained in previous studies of Norwegian interviews not using this model, the findings suggest that the SI interview model does little to improve the formal quality of forensic interviews with very young children, and show the need to develop new forms of interviewer training which are more intensive than those currently employed.

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