Divining testimony? The impact of interviewing props on children's reports of touching

Debra Ann Poole, Maggie Bruck

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


There is a long-held assumption that objects help bridge the gap between what children know and what they can (or are willing to) explain. In this review, we present research on the extent to which two types of objects used as props in investigative interviews of children, anatomical dolls and body (human figure) diagrams, actually help children report accurate information about autobiographical events. We explain why available research does not instill confidence that props are the best solution to interviewing challenges, and we consider practitioners' and policy-makers responses to this evidence. Finally, we discuss the types of developmental research that are necessary to advance the field of evidence-based interviewing of children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-180
Number of pages16
JournalDevelopmental Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2012


  • Forensic interviewing
  • Interviewing props
  • Sexual abuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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