Becky Earhart

Becky Earhart
Griffith University · Griffith Criminology Institute

PhD, Developmental Psychology

About

16
Publications
2,527
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Citations

Publications

Publications (16)
Article
Ground rules directions are given to children in forensic interviews to explain what is expected of them, and to reduce their tendency to acquiesce to erroneous or incomprehensible questions. Ground rules may also be necessary when children provide testimony in court. Drawing on research conducted for the Australian Royal Commission into Institutio...
Article
Purpose Labelling (i.e., naming) individual occurrences of repeated abuse allegations with explicit and consistent terms may improve children’s reporting of these offences. The aim of the present study was to track labels for occurrences of alleged child sexual abuse from the police interview to court proceedings. Methods We examined the labels us...
Chapter
Investigations often involve interviewing about acts that were perpetrated repeatedly over time. For example, crimes of a repeated nature include many cases of child physical and sexual abuse, neglect, sex and labor trafficking, drug dealing, and domestic violence. Investigations into unsafe labor practices, or interviews with asylum-seekers (many...
Article
Destination memory (the ability to remember who one has told information to) has been studied in adult samples, but not with child participants. The goals of the current research were to describe the development of children's destination memory abilities across early to middle childhood and to compare destination memory with source-monitoring abili...
Article
The current study tested the effectiveness of a compact (18 hour) and blended (involving online and face-to-face components) training course, adapted from a previously evaluated course found to be successful in fostering long-term change in interviewing skill. The compact course was developed by trimming the previous course to only include learning...
Article
Adults with communication impairment are vulnerable to abuse and are over-represented as victims in the criminal justice system. Investigative interviewers rely largely on verbal accounts to establish whether a criminal offence occurred, and therefore the way these accounts are elicited is paramount. To date, little research has evaluated whether c...
Article
Full-text available
This study examined the effectiveness of ground rules—simple instructions outlining the communication expectations of an investigative interview—with 73 younger (age 18–40) and 57 older (age 60+) adults. Participants watched a film depicting an implied sexual assault and were interviewed after a brief delay. One third received no ground rules, one...
Article
The utility of generic (“what happens”) and episodic (“what happened”) prompts in eliciting children’s reports of their experiences has been considered in previous research, but not within the context of family law interviews. In the current study, 47 children aged 6 to 10 years old were interviewed about what usually happens (generic) and what hap...
Article
Child interviews form an important component of custody evaluations. Yet, research on children’s responses to questions about home life and relationships is lacking. In the present study, children (N = 47) aged 6 to 10 years were interviewed about their daily routines and family relationships. Responses to four categories of questions were compared...
Article
Full-text available
This article describes practical strategies for communicating with children and other vulnerable witnesses engaged in the legal system. The article addresses common misconceptions about interviewing, then summarises four interviewing principles, grounded in research, that maximise the quality of communication with vulnerable witnesses. The focus is...
Article
Children aged 6–8 (N = 84) were interviewed 1 week after participating in a repeated event. Half received training in labeling episodes of a repeated autobiographical event (Label Training); remaining children practiced talking about the same without label training (Standard Practice). Subsequently, children recalled the target event in two recall...
Article
Full-text available
This study examined children’s responses to two alternate prompts used to transition to the substantive phase of an interview. Children (N = 401) experienced four scripted events and were later interviewed. After rapport building, half of the children were asked, “Tell me what you’re here to talk to me about today,” whereas the other half were aske...
Chapter
In this chapter, we discuss key aspects of assessing the quality of forensic interviews conducted with childwitnesses. We begin by discussing the quality of the case material, before reviewing the key components of investigative interviews and methods of assessing the quality of each of these components. The overall structure of the interview is di...
Article
Most experimental studies examining the use of pre-interview instructions (ground rules) show that children say “I don't know” more often when they have been encouraged to do so when appropriate. However, children's “don't know” responses have not been studied in more applied contexts, such as in investigative interviews. In the present study, 76 t...
Article
Full-text available
Previous research on the relationship between executive function and source monitoring in young children has been inconclusive, with studies finding conflicting results about whether working memory and inhibitory control are related to source-monitoring ability. In this study, the role of working memory and inhibitory control in recognition memory...

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