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Are Interviewing Aids Suggestive?

There are a number of inherent problems with interviewing aids. Some children fail to grasp their symbolic nature. Even when children understand their representational purpose, it does not necessarily mean they can use the aid to communicate personally experienced events. (In addition, correct gender identification of diagrams and the correct labeling of body parts does not predict accuracy.)

Body diagrams have been found to produce significantly more intrusion errors compared to non-assisted verbal questioning. Other research has found that a significant minority of children cannot  use diagrams for their intended purpose. False reports of touching made by these "exuberant false-reporters" do not stem from common memory errors. Rather, they reflect lack of cognitive control (executive function). In addition to limitations related to children's memory and cognition, it is not uncommon for interview aids to be paired with leading and suggestive questions.

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Is Children's Testimony Reliable?
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