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Young child interview responses to anatomically detailed dolls : implications for practice and research… Goranson, Sandra Elizabeth 1986

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YOUNG CHILD INTERVIEW RESPONSES TO ANATOMICALLY DETAILED DOLLS: IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE AND RESEARCH IN CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE BY SANDRA ELIZABETH GORANSON B.A., Queen's U n i v e r s i t y , 1967 B.S.W., York U n i v e r s i t y , 1985 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SOCIAL WORK in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES SCHOOL OF SOCIAL WORK We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming to tfee required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA OCTOBER 1986 -< (c) Sandra; E l i z a b e t h Goranson, 1986 In presenting t h i s thesis i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the Library s h a l l make i t f r e e l y available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of t h i s thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by h i s or her representatives. I t i s understood that copying or publication of t h i s thesis for f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l not be allowed without my written permission. Department of The University of B r i t i s h Columbia 1956 Main Mall Vancouver, Canada V6T 1Y3 Date i i ABSTRACT Assessments of allegations of sexual abuse of young children are being made based on investigative interviews with children using anatomically detailed dol ls . These decisions are not based on a researched body of knowledge. This qualitative exploratory study involved interviewing fourteen, 3 - 5 year old children selected as l ike ly to have a low risk of having been sexually abused using a model of the child sexual abuse investigative interview. It was found that the behaviours these children exhibited included those which are often of concern in regular assessments and may even be considered to be indicative of sexual abuse. The conceptual findings indicate that: 1) the anatomically detailed dolls appear to be a useful but not essential tool that should be used with considerable caution; 2) a l l such interviews should be video taped; 3) interviewers need to be knowledgable in the areas of child sexual abuse and child development. Further research is needed to establish the total range of investigative interview behaviours exhibited by nonabused children as well as to c lar i fy what interview factors enhance and distort a chi ld's presentation of a past history of child sexual abuse. Until this is accomplished the assumptions which are used to validate allegations of child sexual abuse wil l continue to fluctuate from interview to interview. i i i TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT i i TABLE OF CONTENTS i i i LIST OF DIAGRAMS v LIST OF TABLES vi PREFACE v i i CHAPTER 1 - THE PROBLEM FOR RESEARCH 1 1.1 CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE 1 1.1.1 Growing Concern With Child Sexual Abuse 1 1.1.2 Definition Of Child Sexual Abuse 1 1.1.3 Occurrence Of Child Sexual Abuse 2 1.1.4 Consequences Of Child Sexual Abuse 4 1.2 FUNCTION OF THE INVESTIGATIVE INTERVIEW < 5 1.2.1 Problems In Uncovering Abuse 5 1.2.2 Needs Of The Legal Systems 6 1.2.3 Lack Of Alternative Evidence 7 1.3 STATE OF THE INVESTIGATIVE INTERVIEW 8 1.3.2 Purpose Of Interview 8 1.3.3 Use Of The Dolls In The Interview 9 1.3.1 Practice Implications 9 1.4 PURPOSE OF THIS STUDY 10 CHAPTER 2 - A CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK FOR THE INVESTIGATIVE INTERVIEW 11 2.1 OVERVIEW . 1 1 2.2 ALLEGATIONS 14 2.3 THE INVESTIGATIVE INTERVIEW 15 2.3.1 Agenda 15 2.3.2 Anatomically Detailed Dolls 16 2.3.3 Interviewer 19 2.3.4 Other adults 20 2.3.5 Factors Affecting Child's Statement 21 2.3.5.1 Fact And Fantasy 22 2.3.5.2 Memory 23 2.3.5.3 Cognitive Development 24 2.3.5.4 Suggestibility 25 2.3.5.5 Individual Differences 26 2.3.6 Setting And Recording Devices 27 2.4 ASSESSMENT PROCESS 28 2.5 RESEARCH PROBLEM 31 33 33 33 33 34 34 35 37 38 CHAPTER 3 - METHODOLOGY 3.1 TYPE OF STUDY 3.2 METHOD 3.2.1 Sample 3.2.2 Materials 3.2.3 Procedures 3.2.4 Child's Interview 3.2.5 Parent's Interview 3.2.6 Data Analyses i v CHAPTER 4 - FINDINGS 42 4.1 OVERVIEW 42 4.2.PART I - ASSESSING ALLEGATIONS 43 4.2.1 The A l l e g a t i o n 43 4.2.2 The Findings 44 4.2.2.1 Probable 44 4.2.3.2 Unfounded 45 4.2.4.3 Uncertain 48 4.3 PART II - RANGE OF BEHAVIOURS 50 4.3.1 Beginnings 50 4.3.2 Middle Sections 51 4.3.2.1 The Do l l s 52 4.3.2.1 Touch 56 4.3.3 Endings 58 4.4 PART III - FACTORS AFFECTING CHILDREN'S STATEMENTS 59 4.4.1 Fantasy 59 4.4.2 S u g g e s t i b i l i t y 60 4.4.3 Memory 62 4.4.4 Co g n i t i v e Development 64 4.4.5 In d i v i d u a l D i f f e r e n c e s 64 CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS 67 5.1 OVERVIEW 67 5.2 LIMITATIONS 67 5.2.1 Due To Sample 67 5.2.2 Due To Interviewer 67 5.3 UNEXPECTED IMPLICATIONS 68 5.3.1 Recording Devices 68 5.3.2 Power Rel a t i o n s h i p s 69 5.4 CHILD BEHAVIOURS 69 5.4.1 In d i v i d u a l D i f f e r e n c e s 69 5.4.2 Use Of The D o l l s / . 70 5.4.3 Response To Do l l s 71 5.4.4 Fantasy And S u g g e s t i b i l i t y 72 5.4.5 Memory 75 5.5 ASSESSMENT OF ALLEGATIONS • 76 CHAPTER 6 SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS 80 6.1 SUMMARY 80 6.1.1 Perspective 80 6.1.2 Problem 81 6.1.3 Methodology 81 6.1.4 Findings And T h e i r Implications 82 6.2 CONCLUSION'S 83 6.2.1 Further Research 83 6.2.2 Suggestions For P r a c t i c e 85 BIBLIOGRAPHY 89 APPENDIX A 92 APPENDIX B 95 APPENDIX C 96 v LIST OF DIAGRAMS DIAGRAM I - INVESTIGATIVE INTERVIEW AND ASSESSMENT 13 LIST OF TABLES TABLE I - RELATIONSHIP OF CHILD VARIABLES TABLE II - COMPARISON OF POSSIBLE BEHAVIOURS AND CHILDREN'S INTERVIEW BEHAVIOURS 1 CHAPTER 1 THE PROBLEM FOR RESEARCH 1.1 CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE 1.1.1 GROWING CONCERN WITH CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE In the seventies i n c r e a s i n g a t t e n t i o n began to be paid to c h i l d sexual abuse. Two f a c t o r s c o n t r i b u t i n g to t h i s i n t e r e s t were a growing awareness of the high r a t e o f occurrence o f c h i l d sexual abuse and of the damaging e f f e c t s o f such abuse on the c h i l d v i c t i m and the adult s u r v i v o r of abuse. In the e i g h t i e s , the dilemmas posed by c h i l d sexual abuse are s t i l l being c l a r i f i e d . There i s s t i l l c o n s i derable disagreement as to a r e a l i s t i c d e f i n i t i o n [ S g r o i , 1982; Badgley, 1984], the exact extent of occurrence [Badgely, 1984, Finkelhor, 1984], the damage that r e s u l t s from c h i l d sexual abuse [Schultz, 1982; Labarbera, Martin & Dozier, 1980], the i n v e s t i g a t i o n issues [ C a r r o l l & G o t t l i e b , 1983; Sgroi, 1982] and the assessment, treatment and prevention issues [James & N a s j l e t i , 1983; Badgley, 1984; Finkelhor, 1984]. Only a d d i t i o n a l research i n a l l areas of c h i l d sexual abuse can begin to r e s o l v e these dilemmas [Finkelhor, 1984]. The focus, i n t h i s study, i s in the area of i n v e s t i g a t i o n - s p e c i f i c a l l y the i n v e s t i g a t i v e interviews with young c h i l d r e n when the anatomically d e t a i l e d d o l l s are used. 1.1.2 DEFINITION OF CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE Toronto's Committee on C h i l d Abuse defines c h i l d sexual abuse as " a l l sexual i n t e r c o u r s e , sexual e x h i b i t i o n i s m or sexual e x p l o i t a t i o n i n v o l v i n g a c h i l d " [Grant, 1982, p. 1]. There i s some controversy as to whether the offender needs to be s i g n i f i c a n t l y o l d e r than the c h i l d , with the suggested d i f f e r e n c e being three to f i v e years, or whether the c h i l d ' s 2 perception of the s i t u a t i o n i s more important. In any case, the accepted d e f i n i t i o n of c h i l d sexual abuse determines what a l l e g e d a c t i v i t i e s or contacts between a c h i l d and an o l d e r person are i n v e s t i g a t e d . C h i l d sexual abuse i s defined here as any sexual a c t i v i t y i n which a c h i l d under the age o f s i x t e e n i s involved with another i n d i v i d u a l who has power or a u t h o r i t y over the c h i l d due to age d i f f e r e n c e , r e l a t i o n s h i p or other f a c t o r s such as a d i f f e r e n c e i n p h y s i c a l strength or a p h y s i c a l or developmental handicap. This would include exposing the c h i l d to pornography, e x h i b i t i n g the g e n i t a l s , engaging in. sexual a c t i v i t i e s i n the c h i l d ' s presence, as well as actual sexual contact with the c h i l d such as f o n d l i n g or p e n e t r a t i o n . The i n t e n t of the offender does not determine abuse but rather the nature of the act and the understanding that such an act transgresses a c h i l d ' s r i g h t s to be protected against being used or e x p l o i t e d [Sgroi, 1982; Badgley, 1984]. 1.1.3 OCCURRENCE OF CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE Awareness of c h i l d sexual abuse i s not new. Freud [1963] o r i g i n a l l y wrote of the serious a f f e c t s of c h i l d sexual abuse i n regards to his adult female h y s t e r i a p a t i e n t s but l a t e r suggested that the accounts of these same p a t i e n t s were f a n t a s i e s common to a l l c h i l d r e n and a r i s i n g from the Oedipal attachment of the c h i l d to the parent of the opposite sex. Thus Freud may have co n t r i b u t e d to two of the most harmful myths in regard to c h i l d sexual abuse: 1) c h i l d r e n l i e or create f a n t a s i e s about experiences of i n c e s t ; 2) c h i l d r e n are s e x u a l l y seductive or provocative because they are desirous of sexual contact with adults [Herman, 1981]. In the e a r l y f i f t i e s , the "Kinsey Reports" [1953], as they were commonly c a l l e d , stated that 24% of the adult females sampled claimed to have 3 experienced some type of sexual approach from an ol d e r male ( o l d e r by at l e a s t f i v e years) when they were prepubescent. The report then went on to st a t e that even when there was p h y s i c a l trauma the experience was not very damaging to the c h i l d . The responses to the abuse of adults s i g n i f i c a n t to the c h i l d ware be l i e v e d to account f o r any trauma the c h i l d experienced. I t i s p o s s i b l e that these researchers had been influ e n c e d by the explanations of Freud and others [Herman, 1981]. Therefore i t i s not s u r p r i s i n g that these s t a t i s t i c s d i d not produce a s o c i a l outcry i n regard to the p r o t e c t i o n of those who were experiencing some form of c h i l d sexual abuse. In the mid to l a t e seventies i n t e r e s t in p r o t e c t i n g c h i l d r e n from p h y s i c a l abuse spread to include sexual abuse as w e l l . Population surveys from that period continued to approximate the Kinsey [1953] f i n d i n g s , the d i f f e r e n c e being that now the researchers were not i n c l i n e d to shrug o f f the i m p l i c a t i o n s of t h e i r f i n d i n g s . F i n k e l h o r [1980], i n a study of 796 c o l l e g e students, found that 19% of the women and 9% of the men reported having been s e x u a l l y v i c t i m i z e d as c h i l d r e n . James and N a s j l e t i [1983] question the low percentage of males r e p o r t i n g such i n c i d e n t s . They suggest that the d i f f e r e n c e s i n the f i g u r e s are due more to the d i f f e r e n t s o c i a l c o n d i t i o n i n g f o r males and females rather than to d i f f e r e n c e s i n actual incidence. The assumptions behind t h i s are t h a t mothers are more s u b t l e i n t h e i r incestuous involvements with t h e i r c h i l d r e n and that boys are less l i k e l y to report molestation from males f o r f e a r o f being thought homosexual and from females f o r fea r of being thought unmanly. The arguments and counter-arguments r a i s e d by these 4 assumptions w i l l not be d e a l t with here. I t i s s u f f i c i e n t to s t a t e that there are a l s o a number of s i g n i f i c a n t blocks to females r e p o r t i n g sexual abuse. What i s c l e a r i s that n e i t h e r male nor female c h i l d r e n report to the extent that would be expected ( t a k i n g i n t o account reports from population surveys of a d u l t s ) . The Badgley Report [1984], in t r y i n g to come up with Canadian f i g u r e s , c i t e s a number of r e l a t e d s t u d i e s from which some measure of incidence of c h i l d sexual abuse might be deduced. The studies i n d i c a t e that Canada i s not exempt from t h i s problem. The report a l s o s t a t e s , as have other studies [see f o r e.g. Grant, 1982], that the number of a l l e g a t i o n s of c h i l d sexual abuse being received by the p o l i c e and.child welfare agencies i s j u s t a small f r a c t i o n of the t o t a l number of actual cases. Despite t h i s there are s t i l l a s i z a b l e number of reports of " a l l e g e d " sexual abuse of c h i l d r e n that need to be i n v e s t i g a t e d to determine the " p r o b a b i l i t y " that sexual abuse has occurred. 1.1.4 CONSEQUENCES OF CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE The b e l i e f s , t h a t c h i l d r e n are g e n e r a l l y not harmed by c h i l d sexual abuse, have evolved since the "Kinsey Reports" [1953]. This controversy e x i s t s even today as some c l i n i c i a n s query the damage done to the c h i l d . Some suggest that the i n c e s t experience may be meeting some of the c h i l d ' s own needs [Schultz, 1982]. Other c l i n i c i a n s , however, point out that the seductive c h i l d or the c h i l d that i n i t i a t e s sexual contact with an adult does so because they have been taught that behaviour. Indeed a c h i l d ' s "seductive behaviour" i s one i n d i c a t o r of a s e x u a l l y abused c h i l d . Sexual contact may, according to others, be the only way that these c h i l d r e n can 5 meet t h e i r genuine needs f o r a f f e c t i o n a t e nurturing [Sgroi, 1982; Herman, 1981]. For some c h i l d r e n such behaviours as frequent nightmares, school problems, mood swings from withdrawal to h y p e r a c t i v i t y , a high incidence of phobias and a fe a r of being viewed as d i f f e r e n t (as i f others can t e l l j u s t by looking at them that they have been s e x u a l l y abused), are believed to be the r e s u l t s of sexual abuse [Burgess & Holmstrom, 1975]. Fi n k e l h o r [1980] pointed out that sexual abuse v i c t i m s are l i k e l y to have d i f f i c u l t i e s as adults, p a r t i c u l a r l y in terms of intimate r e l a t i o n s h i p s . Badgley [1984] suggested t h a t a s i g n i f i c a n t proportion of dis t u r b e d and ac t i n g out adolescents have a h i s t o r y of c h i l d sexual abuse and that the e f f e c t s o f such a h i s t o r y are devastating and long l a s t i n g . Further to t h i s , he suggested that an estimated h a l f m i l l i o n women in Canada are s u f f e r i n g impaired mental health a s s o c i a t e d with the long term e f f e c t s o f c h i l d sexual abuse. One aspect of prevention of c h i l d sexual abuse i s e a r l y d e t e c t i o n . This, g e n e r a l l y , r e q u i r e s the a s s i s t a n c e of the c h i l d v i c t i m . The interview which attempts to gain the a l l e g e d c h i l d v i c t i m ' s cooperation i n bri n g i n g the abuse to an end i s c a l l e d an i n v e s t i g a t i v e interview. 1.2 FUNCTION OF THE INVESTIGATIVE INTERVIEW 1.2.1 PROBLEMS IN UNCOVERING ABUSE C h i l d sexual abuse i s d i f f i c u l t to uncover despite the growing knowledge as to what i t i s , how often i t occurs and the consequences f o r the v i c t i m s . Due to s o c i e t a l and legal taboos the actual events are u s u a l l y conducted i n secrecy with only the c h i l d and the offender present. 6 Ch i l d r e n are g e n e r a l l y s e x u a l l y abused by someone they know, and are connected to, through love and/or f e a r . The offender may bribe or threaten, seduce or p h y s i c a l l y abuse the c h i l d i n order to maintain the s e x u a l l y abusive r e l a t i o n s h i p and the secrecy required to preserve i t . 1.2.2 NEEDS OF THE LEGAL SYSTEMS The l e g a l systems most involved are the c h i l d welfare system and the c r i m i n a l j u s t i c e systems (both a d u l t and young o f f e n d e r ) . The c h i l d welfare system focuses on the p r o t e c t i o n of the c h i l d . The c r i m i n a l j u s t i c e system focuses on p r o v i d i n g punishment appropriate to the offence in order to act, in part, as a deterrent to t h i s offender, and to other p o t e n t i a l o f f e n d e r s . The requirement of the degree of p r o b a b i l i t y t h a t such abuse occurred i s much le s s s t r i n g e n t i n c h i l d welfare courts than in c r i m i n a l j u s t i c e courts any doubt as to the i d e n t i t y of the offender and the nature of the offence y i e l d s a f i n d i n g of not g u i l t y . An i n v e s t i g a t i o n o f c h i l d sexual abuse i s i n i t i a t e d by an a l l e g a t i o n t h a t such abuse i s oc c u r r i n g or has occurred. Such an i n v e s t i g a t i o n i s based on a common understanding or d e f i n i t i o n of j u s t what c o n s t i t u t e s c h i l d sexual abuse. This d e f i n i t i o n must a l s o be in keeping with the le g a l mandates in regard to such abuse. An a l l e g a t i o n may a r i s e as a r e s u l t of statements made by the c h i l d , or behaviours o f the c h i l d , which have lead others to the b e l i e f that the c h i l d i s being, or may have been s e x u a l l y abused. Usually there i s an a l l e g e d offender as w e l l . Sometimes though, p a r t i c u l a r l y with a younger c h i l d , there i s only an a l l e g a t i o n that the c h i l d may have been s e x u a l l y 7 abused but there i s no obvious offender. An a l l e g a t i o n may be made by a witness to some obvious or even apparent sexual contact between an adult and a c h i l d . An a l l e g a t i o n may a l s o be made as an act of malice or r e t r i b u t i o n by an adult or a c h i l d . The d e c i s i o n to i n v e s t i g a t e an a l l e g a t i o n of c h i l d sexual abuse r e s t s p r i m a r i l y on the l e g a l mandates which are intended to ensure that a c t i o n can and w i l l be taken i f the a l l e g a t i o n i s v a l i d a t e d . Therefore the i n v e s t i g a t i v e procedures must ensure that s u f f i c i e n t evidence i s gathered to v a l i d a t e or to negate the a l l e g a t i o n . The greater the c l a r i t y as to the evidence required to v a l i d a t e or i n v a l i d a t e an a l l e g a t i o n , the more focused the i n v e s t i g a t i v e procedure becomes. The assumptions as to what evidence v a l i d a t e s or negates such a l l e g a t i o n s i s based on an understanding of the dynamics of c h i l d sexual abuse and on knowledge of the verbal and nonverbal behaviours o f the s i g n i f i c a n t witness, the c h i l d , that i n d i c a t e that the c h i l d has or has not been s e x u a l l y abused. 1.2.3 LACK OF ALTERNATIVE EVIDENCE Due to the secrecy surrounding c h i l d sexual abuse i t i s l i k e l y that the only persons who can provide the information needed to v a l i d a t e an a l l e g a t i o n of abuse are the al l e g e d offender and the c h i l d v i c t i m . Since the offender i s g e n e r a l l y not prepared to i m p l i c a t e himself, the c h i l d , i f viewed as being i n any way capable of conveying what has occurred, needs to be approached i n such a way as to a s s i s t i n the v e r i f i c a t i o n process. The c o l l e c t i o n of evidence i s made more d i f f i c u l t by the the f a c t that there i s often no ph y s i c a l evidence of the sexual abuse that can corroborate the c h i l d ' s statement (Herbert, 1985; Mian, 1985). An 8 i n v e s t i g a t i v e interview with the a l l e g e d v i c t i m , who i s often a young c h i l d , thus provides not only an i n t e g r a l part but f r e q u e n t l y the major part o f the evidence needed f o r v e r i f i c a t i o n of the o r i g i n a l a l l e g a t i o n . 1.3 STATE OF THE INVESTIGATIVE INTERVIEW 1.3.1 PURPOSE OF INTERVIEW The i n v e s t i g a t i v e interview i s conducted with the i n t e n t i o n of obtaining from the c h i l d s u f f i c i e n t information so that the interviewer can make a d e c i s i o n based on t h i s and other a v a i l a b l e information as to the l i k e l i h o o d t hat the c h i l d was or was not s e x u a l l y abused. The problem i s in o b t a i n i n g s u f f i c i e n t material from a c h i l d which, can then be assessed so as to support or r e f u t e the a l l e g a t i o n of sexual abuse. This i s e s p e c i a l l y d i f f i c u l t with very young c h i l d r e n . There are concerns about how young c h i l d r e n might convey past experiences and how these might be heard depending on the a b i l i t i e s of the c h i l d and the interviewer. The l i t e r a t u r e on conducting an i n v e s t i g a t i v e interview l a r g e l y ignores those cases where the a l l e g a t i o n i s unfounded or where the interviewer i s uncertain even a f t e r the interview as to whether or not sexual abuse has occurred [Burgess & Holmstrom, 1978; Topper & Aldridge, 1981], Sgroi [1982] does, however, o f f e r suggestions on how interviewers might seek help with uncertain cases. The assessment assumptions tend to r e f l e c t these biases.. This bias would appear most p r e j u d i c i a l to those cases i n v o l v i n g young c h i l d r e n as t h e i r evidence i s f r e q u e n t l y the most d i f f i c u l t t o assess [Melton,1981]. The l i t e r a t u r e d e a l i n g with the i n v e s t i g a t i v e stage w i l l be discussed more f u l l y i n the next chapter as w i l l the assumptions on which assessments are based. 9 1.3.2 USE OF THE DOLLS IN THE INTERVIEW One t o o l that i s used in these interviews with the i n t e n t of enabling c h i l d r e n p a r t i c u l a r l y young c h i l d r e n to b e t t e r convey t h e i r experiences of being s e x u a l l y abused i s the anatomically d e t a i l e d d o l l s . As w i l l be addressed i n the e x p l o r a t i o n of the l i t e r a t u r e on the d o l l s i n the next chapter there are l i m i t e d suggestions on how these d o l l s should be used or whether information obtained from c h i l d r e n i n interviews with the d o l l s i s l i k e l y to be more e a s i l y obtained, more d e t a i l e d and most importantly, f a c t u a l l y c o r r e c t . There i s apparently no published research s t u d i e s supporting the r a t i o n a l e f o r using these d o l l s [Jones & McQuistan, 1985]. 1.3.3 PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS I n v e s t i g a t i v e interviews have serious i m p l i c a t i o n s as they o f t e n set the stage f o r f u r t h e r i n t e r v e n t i o n s : the apprehension and placement of a c h i l d by the c h i l d welfare system, and; the charging of the a l l e g e d offender by the l e g a l systems. The l e g a l systems have r a i s e d serious questions concerning the r e l i a b i l i t y of the assessments made during and as a r e s u l t of these interviews and the a f f e c t of these assessments on the type of charges l a i d and the d e c i s i o n s in regard to court [Melton, 1981; Goodman, 1984a]. Since there are no u n i v e r s a l l y accepted assumptions guiding these assessments the responses to very s i m i l a r s i t u a t i o n s can be very d i f f e r e n t . One concern which lead to t h i s study i s those cases which are, as a consequence of t h i s lack, being u n j u s t l y d e a l t with and the p o s s i b l e remedies. 1.4 PURPOSE OF THIS STUDY The purpose of an i n v e s t i g a t i v e interview with an a l l e g e d l y s e x u a l l y 10 abused c h i l d i s to d i f f e r e n t i a t e between the c h i l d who has been so abused from the c h i l d who has not. The need i s to develop a more p r e c i s e understanding of the verbal and nonverbal behaviours that can, in these interviews, c l e a r l y i n d i c a t e s p e c i f i c a l l y the c h i l d who has been s e x u a l l y abused. Of p a r t i c u l a r concern to the i n v e s t i g a t o r are the cases where there appears to be no c l e a r i n d i c a t o r s . I t i s assumed in t h i s study, that a knowledge of the behaviours of nonabused c h i l d r e n in the i n v e s t i g a t i v e interview using the d o l l s would a s s i s t i n developing i n d i c t o r s that would c l a r i f y the assessment process. The purpose of the present study then, i s to begin to explore and c o n c e p t u a l i z e the range of behaviours e x h i b i t e d by c h i l d r e n , in an i n v e s t i g a t i v e interview, who are believed not to have been s e x u a l l y abused, to compare these behaviours to the current assumptions about the behaviours of s e x u a l l y abused c h i l d r e n i n an i n v e s t i g a t i v e interview, and to determine what subsequent studies might be undertaken to develop a comprehensive well researched set of assumptions to be used when assessing the v a l i d i t y of c h i l d sexual abuse a l l e g a t i o n s . n CHAPTER 2 A CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK FOR THE INVESTIGATIVE INTERVIEW 2.1 OVERVIEW I n v e s t i g a t i v e interviews with young c h i l d r e n present s p e c i f i c problems. These problems have to do with the interview process, and the c r i t e r i a f o r determining the probable v a l i d i t y of the o r i g i n a l a l l e g a t i o n . These problems are a f f e c t e d by such f a c t o r s as the c h i l d ' s temperament and developmental l e v e l , the knowledge and s k i l l s of the interviewer, and the degree of c o n t r o l the interviewer i s able to exert over the interview v a r i a b l e s . The problems al s o depend on f a c t o r s s p e c i f i c to the abuse, such as: the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the c h i l d and the abuser, the duration of the abuse, the c h i l d ' s r e l a t i o n s h i p with other s i g n i f i c a n t adults, and the seduction and/or the coercion that were used to i n i t i a t e and maintain the abuse. Assessments of the interview are based on assumptions as to how a c h i l d who has been s e x u a l l y abused should or may respond. There are no e x p l i c i t assumptions as to how a c h i l d who has not been s e x u a l l y abused would respond to such an interview. The basic interview involves an interviewer and a c h i l d . The interviewer brings with her a personal and p r o f e s s i o n a l perspective that i s r e f l e c t e d in the i n t e r a c t i o n s with the c h i l d . Likewise the c h i l d brings with him a p e r s p e c t i v e formed from the i n t e r a c t i o n of his natural endowments with h i s t o r i c a l environmental f a c t o r s that i s then r e f l e c t e d in the interview. The c h i l d i s present due to an a l l e g a t i o n of c h i l d sexual abuse that may or may not have o r i g i n a t e d from verbal or nonverbal behaviours of the c h i l d . In any case the young c h i l d , of concern here, has not i n t e n t i o n a l l y set himself up to be interviewed by someone who i s most l i k e l y a stranger. 12 Rather i t i s the interviewer who intends that the interview should take place i n order to make an assessment as to the v a l i d i t y o f the o r i g i n a l a l l e g a t i o n . Some a d d i t i o n a l f a c t o r s that enhance or i n t e r f e r e with t h i s process are the interview s e t t i n g , the presence or absence of other people, equipment f o r recording the interview and ma t e r i a l s that may be used by the c h i l d and the interviewer. As stated above, with younger c h i l d r e n one of the most f r e q u e n t l y used t o o l s i s a set of anatomically d e t a i l e d d o l l s . The purpose of the interview and subsequent assessment i s to determine i f the a l l e g a t i o n s are probable or unfounded. I f the a l l e g a t i o n i s probable then a d e t a i l e d h i s t o r y of sexual abuse c o n s i s t e n t with the c h i l d ' s a b i l i t y to convey such a h i s t o r y must be obtained so that the inter v i e w e r i s convinced, based on his expectations in regard to such h i s t o r i e s , that the c h i l d had been s e x u a l l y abused. The d e s c r i p t i o n o f such abuse would be expected to adhere to the d e f i n i t i o n of c h i l d sexual abuse discussed e a r l i e r . I f the a l l e g a t i o n i s unfounded then d e t a i l e d personal and h i s t o r i c a l information must be obtained s u f f i c i e n t to have convinced the inte r v i e w e r that i f the c h i l d had been s e x u a l l y abused she would have provided that information as w e l l . The outcome that the interviewer s t r i v e s to avoid i s uncertainty. The problems f o r the inter v i e w e r c o n s i s t both i n obtaining the pe r t i n e n t personal and h i s t o r i c a l information from the c h i l d and i n assessing the information. Diagram I attempts to demonstrate the i n t e r a c t i o n of the various f a c t o r s which make up the i n v e s t i g a t i v e interview and assessment process beginning with the a l l e g a t i o n and ending with the f i n d i n g s as they r e l a t e to the 13 ALLEGATIONS AS TO A SEXUAL RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CHILD AND OFFENDER INVESTIGATIVE INTERVIEW INTERVIEWER OTHER PROFESSIONALS INTERVIEW AGENDA YOUNG CHILD CHILD'S SUPPORT MAY BE PARENT SETTING ANATOMICALLY DETAILED DOLLS RECORDING EQUIPMENT ASSESSMENT MATERIAL MATERIAL FROM FROM INTERVIEW OTHER CONTACTS ASSUMPTIOMS AS TO BEHAVIOURS IN INVESTIGATIVE INTERVIEWS YOUNG CHILDREN YOUNG CHILDREN ! WHO HAVE BEEN WHO HAVE NOT BEEN I SEXUALLY ABUSED SEXUALLY ABUSED FINDINGS PROBABLE ALLEGATION UNFOUND ALLEGATION UNCERTAIN ALLEGATION QUESTIONS LEADING TO RESEARCH DIAGRAM I - INVESTIGATIVE INTERVIEW AND ASSESSMENT a l l e g a t i o n . 14 2.2 ALLEGATIONS The o r i g i n a l a l l e g a t i o n of c h i l d sexual abuse can be made i n t e n t i o n a l l y or a c c i d e n t a l l y by the c h i l d . I f the a l l e g a t i o n i s i n t e n t i o n a l the c h i l d i s g e n e r a l l y looking f o r a s s i s t a n c e i n bringing the sexual abuse to an end. This may be the case even with a very young c h i l d . I t i s assumed that often the younger the c h i l d the l e s s i n t e n t i o n a l the statements or behaviours behind her o r i g i n a l a l l e g a t i o n . G e n e r a l l y the c h i l d i s not aware of how adults w i l l respond to i n d i c a t i o n s of c h i l d sexual abuse [Sg r o i , 1982]. Sometimes the young c h i l d may simply e x h i b i t a knowledge of sexual a c t i v i t y or an i n t e r e s t i n sexual a c t i v i t y not c o n s i s t e n t with her developmental stage. With a young c h i l d the a l l e g a t i o n which a l e r t s the system which i n s t i g a t e s an i n v e s t i g a t i o n i s made by someone other than the c h i l d . That person may make a c l e a r a l l e g a t i o n that someone s e x u a l l y abused the c h i l d and provide some d e t a i l based on the c h i l d ' s verbal and nonverbal behaviours or on observed contact between the c h i l d and the a l l e g e d offender. At the other extreme the person making the a l l e g a t i o n may only suggest that the c h i l d ' s behaviour i s , f o r example, i n a p p r o p r i a t e l y sexual given the c h i l d ' s age and provide no other d e t a i l s . As was stated e a r l i e r someone may even make an a l l e g a t i o n f o r reasons of malice or revenge. A l l a l l e g a t i o n s of c h i l d sexual abuse need to be i n v e s t i g a t e d and assessed. Each presents problems to be d e a l t with i n the i n v e s t i g a t i v e and assessment processes. 15 2.3 THE INVESTIGATIVE INTERVIEW 2.3.1 AGENDA The interviewer's agenda i s to obtain the p e r t i n e n t personal and h i s t o r i c a l information from the c h i l d i n a manner that allows the c r e d i b i l i t y of the material presented by the c h i l d to be assessed. The agenda content i s adapted from the w r i t i n g s of Sroi [1982], Jones and McQuiston [1985] Topper and A l d r i d g e [1981] and Schlesinger [1982], This agenda can be d i v i d e d i n t o three s e c t i o n s : The f i r s t s e c t i o n i n v o l v e s : p r o v i d i n g an explanation of the purpose of the interview to the c h i l d , i n t r o d u c i n g the others present, i f necessary, and the recording method, developing rapport with the c h i l d so that the c h i l d w i l l be able to l a t e r d i scuss the intimate d e t a i l s of the sexual abuse with the interviewer, and e s t a b l i s h i n g the c h i l d ' s s t y l e and a b i l i t y to communicate. An important aspect of rapport i s assuring the c h i l d t h at other c h i l d r e n had undergone s i m i l a r experiences to hers and had t a l k e d to the i n t e r v i e w e r about i t . This f i r s t stage of the interview should be kept short without neglecting the assigned tasks. This i s p a r t i c u l a r l y important with young c h i l d r e n who tend to lose i n t e r e s t during a long interview. The middle s e c t i o n involves the s o l i c i t i n g of the h i s t o r y of the sexual abuse from the c h i l d . T h is i s contingent on both: that abuse has a c t u a l l y occurred, and that the c h i l d i s prepared to t a l k a b o u t . i t . I f no such h i s t o r y i s forthcoming the interviewer wants to gather s u f f i c i e n t d e t a i l from the c h i l d i n regard to t h e i r contact with the a l l e g e d offender as to assure himself that no such abuse has occurred. The anatomically d e t a i l e d 16 d o l l s are f r e q u e n t l y used, in t h i s s e c t i o n , to enable the interviewer to learn the c h i l d ' s name f o r body parts and to allow the c h i l d to demonstrate through the d o l l s what happened to her. This i s p a r t i c u l a r l y appropriate when the c h i l d cannot v e r b a l l y d e s c r i b e the events due e i t h e r to her stage of development or to her response to the abuse. The i n t e r v i e w e r looks f o r d e t a i l s concerning the l a t e s t sexual contact, progression of the abuse over time from v o y e u r i s t i c or a f f e c t i o n a l / s e x u a l contact to more e x p l i c i t l y sexual contact, s p e c i f i c times and l o c a t i o n s , i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of the offender and whereabouts of other people when the abuse was occuring. The f i n a l s e c t i o n involves supporting the c h i l d f o r t h e i r p a r t i c i p a t i o n in the interview i n c l u d i n g the d i s c l o s u r e of sexual abuse when appropriate. In a d d i t i o n , i f appropriate, the c h i l d ' s wishes as to the immediate future are explored. F i n a l l y the c h i l d i s given accurate information, appropriate to the c h i l d ' s developmental l e v e l , regarding what w i l l happen next. 2.3.2. ANATOMICALLY DETAILED DOLLS The anatomically d e t a i l e d d o l l s u s u a l l y come in groups of four. A set g e n e r a l l y c o n s i s t s of an a d u l t male, an adult female, a male c h i l d , and a female c h i l d . T h e i r c o n s t r u c t i o n includes some r e l a t i v e l y d e t a i l e d body parts that might be used i n some manner i n the i n v e s t i g a t i o n of the a l l e g e d sexual abuse of a c h i l d . Depending on assigned gender and developmental stage, these d o l l s have e i t h e r a penis or a vaginal opening, an anal opening, pubic hair, nipples or breasts with nipples, a mouth opening and u s u a l l y some i n d i c a t i o n of groupings of f i n g e r s and thumb. They may a l s o have d i f f e r e n t r a c i a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . 17 As stated, despite the wide spread use of anatomically d e t a i l e d d o l l s in c h i l d sexual abuse cases f o r the purpose of i n v e s t i g a t i o n , court preparation as well as the presentation of evidence in the courts, and a l s o i n treatment, there are few references to these d o l l s i n the l i t e r a t u r e . There i s , furthermore, no reference at a l l to research being done i n regard to the use of these d o l l s though some stud i e s are p r e s e n t l y in progress [Sivan & Schor, 1985] or on the verge of being published [White, Strom, S a n t i l l i & Hal pin, 1986]. This work r e f l e c t s the concern that very serious d e c i s i o n s are being made on the basis of very l i m i t e d e m p i r i c a l information. D e t a i l e d information on the use of the d o l l s i s provided by Wells [1983] who has derived her suggestions on how to use the d o l l s in an i n v e s t i g a t i v e interview from her p r a c t i c e experience with s e x u a l l y abused c h i l d r e n . She recommends beginning the interview with the d o l l s c l o t h e d and i n s i g h t . The c h i l d should i n i t i a t e contact, according to Wells, but the i n t e r v i e w e r may draw the d o l l s to the c h i l d ' s a t t e n t i o n by p o i n t i n g to them or by holding them in her lap. I f the c h i l d does not make contact with the d o l l s even a f t e r being given permission to do so, she suggests that the d o l l s not be used in the interview. Harnest [1983] w r i t i n g in support of the use of the anatomically d e t a i l e d d o l l s (which she also markets) suggests that the d o l l s not be forced on the c h i l d but that the c h i l d be encouraged to use them. She a l s o b e l i e v e s that the interviewer should i n i t i a t e the undressing of the d o l l s i f the c h i l d does not. Both she and Wells [1983] i n d i c a t e that the d o l l s be used to obtain the c h i l d ' s names f o r various body parts begining with the less 18 unusual parts such as elbows and eyes. Jones and McQuiston [1985] suggest that anatomically d e t a i l e d d o l l s are not n e c e s s a r i l y p r e f e r a b l e to r e g u l a r d o l l s i n an i n v e s t i g a t i v e interview. Both can be used to help the c h i l d t e l l his s t o r y . C h i l d r e n may t a l k more s p e c i f i c a l l y about the d e t a i l e d parts when de a l i n g with the d e t a i l e d d o l l s . Some, however, may be upset by the d o l l s and l e s s able to continue with the interview. They a l s o note the lack of s t u d i e s with the d o l l s and nonabused c h i l d r e n suggesting that t h i s makes i t more d i f f i c u l t to i n t e r p r e t the responses of c h i l d r e n to the d o l l s i n an i n v e s t i g a t i v e interview. Other references to these d o l l s are s i g n i f i c a n t l y l e s s s p e c i f i c . Hyde [1985] simply mentions that a female c h i l d was asked in an American court to demonstrate what had happened to her using the d o l l s . C a r r o l l and G o t t l i e b [1983] s t a t e that, in Colorado, p o l i c e found the d o l l s a h e l p f u l tool f o r i n t e r v i e w i n g young c h i l d r e n a l l e g e d to have been s e x u a l l y abused. They add that the d o l l s are useful in helping to prepare c h i l d r e n to t e s t i f y in court and that t h e i r use in court e i t h e r through photographs (presumably of the d o l l s placed i n c e r t a i n p o s i t i o n s by the c h i l d ) or through actual demonstrations by the c h i l d i n court should be supported. They, however, o f f e r no d e t a i l s as to how any of t h i s might best be accomplished. Maidman [1984] s i m i l a r l y declares that communication w i l l be aided i n sexual abuse i n v e s t i g a t i o n s by the use of the anatomically d e t a i l e d d o l l s with no explanation of how t h i s might occur. Nevertheless, the use made of the information gained in interviews of 19 young c h i l d r e n with these d o l l s has serious i m p l i c a t i o n s . In some cases c h i l d welfare workers may remove c h i l d r e n from t h e i r homes, p o l i c e may lay c r i m i n a l charges and i n court t r i e r s of f a c t may make d e c i s i o n s as to the g u i l t of the offender based at l e a s t in part on interviews where young c h i l d r e n used the d o l l s to help them to communicate h o p e f u l l y what they a c t u a l l y experienced. One lawyer f o r the crown in B.C. [Harvey, 1986] s a i d that she had used them i n c r i m i n a l court on four occasions. As w e l l , in a c h i l d welfare court in t h i s province, an expert witness g i v i n g evidence in l i e u of a young c h i l d stated that the c h i l d had demonstrated to her, using the d o l l s , the manner in which she had been s e x u a l l y abused. The expert witness had been s a t i s f i e d t h at t h i s demonstration in combination with other f a c t o r s c l e a r l y i n d i c a t e d to her that t h i s c h i l d had been s e x u a l l y abused by her f a t h e r . Based l a r g e l y on t h i s evidence the c h i l d was made a ward of the Superintendent of Family and C h i l d S e r v i c e s . This judgement s u c c e s s f u l l y withstood two appeals [Hopkinson, 1984]. 2.3.3. INTERVIEWER The interviewer i s the most important i n t e r v i e w i n g t o o l and as such has a very s i g n i f i c a n t e f f e c t on the interview. The more s i g n i f i c a n t personal and p r o f e s s i o n a l f a c t o r s of the interviewer are: an i n t e r e s t i n , and responsiveness to young c h i l d r e n ; the interviewer's p r o f e s s i o n a l knowledge of the dynamics of c h i l d sexual abuse; the interviewer's personal biases i n regard to c h i l d sexual abuse, and; the interviewer's knowledge of c h i l d r e n ' s behaviour, and development, both in regard to the t o t a l population of young c h i l d r e n , and i n regard to the population of c h i l d r e n who have been s e x u a l l y abused [Sgroi, 1982; Jones and McQuiston, 1985]. 20 In f a c t , both Sgroi [1982], an experienced c l i n i c i a n i n the area of c h i l d sexual abuse, and Greenspan [1981], a c h i l d p s y c h i a t r i s t , have made s i m i l a r suggestions about working with young c h i l d r e n . They both s t r e s s e d the need f o r an interviewer s k i l l e d i n d e a l i n g with c h i l d r e n and knowledgable of c h i l d r e n ' s developmental stages so the inter v i e w e r can both a s s i s t c h i l d r e n to express what needs to be expressed as well as i n t e r p r e t these same expressions. Further to t h i s , Sgroi s t a t e s that i n i n v e s t i g a t i v e interviews, an inter v i e w e r who i s knowledgable but inexperienced w i l l g e n e r a l l y obtain s u f f i c i e n t information but w i l l have d i f f i c u l t i e s i n assessing i t . An interviewer without e i t h e r knowledge or experience w i l l be u n l i k e l y to be e f f e c t i v e i n any phase of the interview. While Sgroi's and Greenspan's suggestions, based as they are on well considered and extensive experience, appear l o g i c a l and compelling, research s t u d i e s need to be c a r r i e d out in order to examine t h e i r assumptions. 2.3.4 OTHER ADULTS The p r e f e r r e d method of conducting an i n v e s t i g a t i v e interview i s with only the i n t e r v i e w e r and the c h i l d present [Sgroi,1982] but t h i s i s not always p o s s i b l e . The other adults who may be present f a l l i n t o two cate g o r i e s , other p r o f e s s i o n a l s and those who provide support f o r the c h i l d . The former are u s u a l l y present as part of the interview protocol which may d i c t a t e f o r example t h a t a r e p r e s e n t a t i v e from the law enforcement agency and from the c h i l d welfare agency both be present during an i n v e s t i g a t i v e interview with a s e x u a l l y abused c h i l d . Sometimes the p r o f e s s i o n a l who made the o r i g i n a l r e f e r r a l i s present. In that case they may be present both as a p r o f e s s i o n a l courtesy and as a support f o r the c h i l d . Generally 21 the support person f o r a young c h i l d w i l l be a parent unless there i s a concern that the parent abused the c h i l d or collu d e d i n the abuse. A l l other i n d i v i d u a l s are regarded as a d d i t i o n a l d i s t r a c t i o n s to the c h i l d , and thus to the interview process, and should be elim i n a t e d i f p o s s i b l e . As stated, Sgroi [1982] suggests that the p r e f e r r e d s i t u a t i o n i s the c h i l d and one interviewer, however i f more than one interviewer i s present an agreement should be reached as to who w i l l have primary r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r conducting the interview and how and when the oth e r ( s ) should intervene [Topper & A l d r i d g e , 1981]. The i n d i v i d u a l supporting the c h i l d should s i t behind the c h i l d so as to be out of s i g h t and should not intervene i n the interview procedure unless asked [Wells, 1983]. 2.3.5 FACTOR'S AFFECTING CHILD'S STATEMENTS Obtaining information from the c h i l d can be d i f f i c u l t . Some of the f a c t o r s that i n t e r f e r e with the search f o r "the t r u t h " are: 1) the c h i l d ' s attempts to p r o t e c t the offender due to f e a r or l o y a l t y or both, 2) the c h i l d ' s f e e l i n g s of g u i l t and r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , and 3) the c h i l d ' s i n a b i l i t y to communicate what a c t u a l l y happened due to age or developmental stage [Sgroi, 1982; B e r l i n e r & Stevens, 1982]. The questions that Melton [1981] r a i s e s i n regard to the testimony of young c h i l d r e n i n court are a l s o of concern in the i n v e s t i g a t i v e interview. These are: 1) the c h i l d ' s a b i l i t y to d i f f e r e n t i a t e f a c t from fantasy and to communicate the former c l e a r l y ; 2) the c h i l d ' s a b i l i t y to r e c a l l past events as well as the a b i l i t y to convey these same memories i n a comprehensible fashion; 3) the c h i l d ' s c o g n i t i v e development and the e f f e c t t h i s has on t h e i r comprehension of and or d e r i n g of events; 4) the c h i l d ' s s u g g e s t i b i l i t y which might a f f e c t the c h i l d ' s responses p a r t i c u l a r l y to leading questions. These are a l l of 22 s i g n i f i c a n t concern in c h i l d sexual abuse i n v e s t i g a t i o n s p a r t i c u l a r l y with young c h i l d r e n . Melton discusses some research undertaken i n a l l four areas. What appears to be l a c k i n g i s a well researched overview l i n k i n g a l l four areas to both the c h i l d witness concerns and the c h i l d sexual abuse i n v e s t i g a t i o n concerns. 2.3.5.1 FANTASY Greenspan [1981], in his book d e a l i n g with c l i n i c a l interviews with c h i l d r e n , s t r e s s e s the need f o r s k i l l e d observation i n order to understand the complex communications of the c h i l d . He s t a t e s that most c h i l d r e n can, with a s s i s t a n c e , t e l l you which of t h e i r statements are fantasy and which are r e a l i t y . Some c h i l d r e n , with b l u r r e d ego boundaries, g e n e r a l l y cannot d i s t i n g u i s h between s e l f and other so i t may not be s u r p r i s i n g that fantasy and r e a l i t y may merge. C a r r o l l and G o t t l i e b [1983] agree that young c h i l d r e n who have been s e x u a l l y abused may s u f f e r from d i f f u s i o n of boundaries and delayed development of ego f u n c t i o n s . Thus the very c h i l d r e n who need to t e l l the t r u t h in order to help themselves are those same c h i l d r e n who might be expected to have the most d i f f i c u l t y in d i f f e r e n t i a t i n g between f a c t and fantasy. There have been stud i e s d e a l i n g with the t r u t h f u l n e s s of c h i l d r e n ' s a l l e g a t i o n s of sexual abuse. Groth [1980] r e p o r t i n g on polygraph examinations of 147 c h i l d r e n who had made sexual abuse a l l e g a t i o n s that the p o l i c e had questioned s a i d that only one c h i l d was found to have l i e d . These r e s u l t s looked very impressive when one considered that the t e s t was given only to those c h i l d r e n who were thought by the p o l i c e to have l i e d . This work did not query the r e l i a b i l i t y of polygraph t e s t s in general or 23 the r e l i a b i l i t y of polygraph t e s t s with c h i l d r e n in p a r t i c u l a r . These t e s t are not p a r t i c u l a r l y r e l i a b l e with c h i l d r e n according to Jones and McQuiston [1985]. As w e l l , as stated, concerns are that some young s e x u a l l y abused c h i l d r e n may have d i f f i c u l t i e s i n d i s t i n g u i s h i n g between f a c t and fantasy and there are no i n d i c a t i o n s that polygraph t e s t s w i l l d i f f e r e n t i a t e between a c h i l d ' s believed fantasy and t r u t h . Jones [1985], as s e r t s that i n an examination of 576 i n v e s t i g a t i o n s of c h i l d sexual abuse only 1.6% of the i n v e s t i g a t i o n s had taken place due to a f a l s e a l l e g a t i o n by a c h i l d . Even in those cases of f a l s e a l l e g a t i o n by the c h i l d , the c h i l d had a previous h i s t o r y of sexual abuse but was pr e s e n t l y accusing the wrong person. Jones, however, gave no explanation as to how he determined that the c h i l d r e n were t e l l i n g the t r u t h , not only in regard to the offender, but a l s o i n regard to the abuse i t s e l f . 2.3.5.2 MEMORY Piaget and Inhelder [1966] d i v i d e memories into two types: r e c o g n i t i o n , and evocation. Young c h i l d r e n f i r s t demonstrate re c o g n i t o r y memory when they can i n d i c a t e when i t i s brought to t h e i r a t t e n t i o n that someone, something or some event i s part o f t h e i r h i s t o r y . Evocative memory develops at a l a t e r stage and i s ex h i b i t e d when a c h i l d r e c a l l s material without e x p l i c i t prompts. The i d e a l i n an i n v e s t i g a t i v e interview i s to t r i g g e r evocative memory. The anatomically d e t a i l e d d o l l s are expected to a s s i s t i n evoking such memories. Other approaches are to ask questions that stimulate r e c o g n i t o r y memories that might then bring about the production of evocative memories by the c h i l d . The requirement i s to ask open ended, nonleading, questions that are at the same time s u f f i c i e n t l y 24 s p e c i f i c and l i t e r a l l y accurate as to be comprehensible to the c h i l d . Goodman [1984b] writes of a three year o l d who responded n e g a t i v e l y when asked whether an i n c i d e n t had occurred i n the offender's house. The i n c i d e n t had a c t u a l l y occurred i n the offender's apartment. When asked whether i t had occurred i n the apartment the c h i l d gave an a f f i r m a t i v e response. I f the c h i l d had been asked f o r the l o c a t i o n instead of being asked a leading question t h i s e r r o r might not have occurred. An experimental study on eyewitness tasks revealed that while c h i l d r e n , under s i x , i n f r e e r e c a l l provided the fewest d e t a i l s they tended to supply the l e a s t erroneous data as well [Marin, Holmes, Guth & Kovac, 1979]. Young c h i l d r e n g e n e r a l l y need to be asked simple d i r e c t questions to enhance r e c a l l [Perlmutter & Ricks, 1979]. There i s apparently no research on long term r e c a l l i n young c h i l d r e n . Such research would be most a p p l i c a b l e to c h i l d sexual abuse as c h i l d r e n often do not report immediately and court testimony i s u s u a l l y required long a f t e r the i n i t i a l i n v e s t i g a t i o n . I f , in f a c t , young c h i l d r e n do provide the l e a s t amount of d e t a i l when involved i n evoking memories, i t may then be necessary to ask simple d i r e c t questions in order to t r i g g e r r e c o g n i t i o n memory. The dilemma as to how to do t h i s without leading or suggesting responses remains. 2.3.5.3. COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT Memory, of course, r e l a t e s to c o g n i t i v e development. Melton suggests that young c h i l d r e n have d i f f i c u l t i e s i n r e l a t i n g information i n regard to " l o c a t i o n and time" and in t h e i r a b i l i t y to conceptualize complex events [1981, p.77]. Sgroi [1982] i n her i n s t r u c t i o n s on the best way in which to 25 interview c h i l d r e n , provides s p e c i f i c a s s i s t a n c e in regard to pinning down l o c a t i o n and time. For example, in regard to time, she suggests r e l a t i n g events to s i g n i f i c a n t other events such as a birthday or the a r r i v a l of a new puppy. Concerns around c o g n i t i v e development issues lend continued support f o r Greenspan's [1981] emphasis on a t r a i n e d interviewer who can, l i k e Sgroi, a s s i s t and i n t e r p r e t c h i l d r e n ' s statements. Such interviewers know how to ask questions and what questions to ask based on t h e i r experience and on t h e i r understanding of the c h i l d ' s developmental stages. 2.3.5.4 SUGGESTIBILITY Piaget and Inhelder [1966] d i s c u s s the c h i l d as moving from simple to more complex i m i t a t i o n s of a d u l t s . The c h i l d a l s o moves from simple responses, to orders where the c h i l d f ollows the r u l e s only when the adult i s present to a gradual i n t e r n a l i z a t i o n of these same r u l e s . These r u l e s can range from simple i n s t r u c t i o n s l i k e wiping your f e e t when entering a home to more complex p r o h i b i t i o n s l i k e not t e l l i n g l i e s . A c h i l d who i s s e x u a l l y abused by a c l o s e f r i e n d or f a m i l y member may have i n t e r n a l i z e d the secret-keeping which has then been transgressed in the i n v e s t i g a t i o n procedure. While a c h i l d i s c l e a r l y i n f l u e n c e d by the power of the adults around him, t h i s i s not a simple procedure. This i s p a r t i c u l a r l y so i n regard to complicated d e c i s i o n s , such as, weighing the requirement to keep a s e c r e t against the requirement to t e l l the t r u t h . Melton [1981] says that s u g g e s t i b i l i t y i s a l s o a very complex process and s e l f esteem may be as important a f a c t o r as age. Sexually abused c h i l d r e n may unfo t u n a t e l y be more su g g e s t i b l e than the average c h i l d as the abuse experience may have damaged t h e i r autonomy and sense of s e l f worth [De 26 Francis, 1978]. In f a c t i t may become a v i c i o u s c i r c l e as c h i l d r e n with poor s e l f esteem are q u i t e p o s s i b l y more vulnerable to becoming a c h i l d sexual abuse v i c t i m . 2.3.5.5 INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES According to Thomas and Chess [1980], a c h i l d i s g e n e t i c a l l y endowed, in a d d i t i o n to c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s such as p h y s i c a l appearance and i n t e l l e c t u a l p o t e n t i a l , with temperament. The i n t e r a c t i o n of the c h i l d ' s temperament with these other genetic givens and with environmental f a c t o r s , such as parental nurture and expectations, leads to the development of the i n d i v i d u a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s that d i f f e r e n t i a t e one c h i l d from another. Th e i r c a t e g o r i e s of the d i f f e r e n c e s in c h i l d r e n ' s temperment are: "slow to warm up", " f a s t to warm up", and " d i f f i c u l t " , which includes an aspect of u n p r e d i c t a b i l i t y . These i n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s in temperment could be expected to i n f l u e n c e the behaviours a c h i l d would e x h i b i t in an interview. These i n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s in a c h i l d ' s developmental l e v e l might be expected to a f f e c t a c h i l d ' s a b i l i t y to comprehend the i n v e s t i g a t o r ' s questions. Indeed, a l l of the f a c t o r s discussed in t h i s s e c t i o n d e a l i n g with the c h i l d are, of concern, l a r g e l y due to the assumptions concerning how the c h i l d ' s developmental l e v e l e f f e c t s the c h i l d ' s a b i l i t y to convey f a c t u a l information. 2.3.6 SETTING AND RECORDING DEVICES It would seem that the interview i s best conducted in a secluded, p r i v a t e room that has, from the c h i l d ' s perspectives, no a s s o c i a t i o n with the 27 a l l e g e d abuse or abuser. There should be minimal d i s t r a c t i o n s . For example, the only p l a y material present should be r e l a t e d to the inte r v i e w e r ' s planned approach. The method chosen to record the interview w i l l be an area of d i s t r a c t i o n . Jones and McQuiston [1985] suggest that the most complete record i s provided by video r e c o r d i n g . Sgroi [1982] r e f e r s to note taking or audio recording while Topper and A l d r i d g e [1981] speak only o f taking down the c h i l d ' s exact words. Preference i s d i c t a t e d by the completeness of record as well as by the extent of the d i s t r a c t i o n . Therefore recordings would best be done from the other side o f a two way mirror and by audio recording, i f p o s s i b l e . 2.4 ASSESSMENT PROCESS The aasumption, that i s basis o f the c h i l d sexual abuse interview, as i t i s p r e s e n t l y conducted, i s t h a t c h i l d r e n r a r e l y l i e i n regard to being s e x u a l l y abused and when they do l i e i t i s most often to deny v a l i d a l l e g a t i o n s of abuse [S g r o i , 1982]. In f a c t s u b s t a n t i a t i o n i s based on d e t a i l e d information being obtained from the c h i l d i n regard to sexual a c t i v i t i e s t h at presumably they could only be aware of i f they had been a c c i d e n t a l l y or i n t e n t i o n a l l y exposed to those a c t i v i t i e s by someone older [ S g r o i , 1982]. Sgroi suggests that the sexual a c t i v i t i e s , i f not a s i n g l e occurrence, progress over time from "exposure to f o n d l i n g to some form of pe n e t r a t i o n " [1982, p. 15]. D e t a i l s should be provided by the c h i l d appropriate to t h e i r developmental l e v e l concerning who, where, when and what. Some of these d e t a i l s may even be corroborated by others as to the a c t u a l i t y or even the p o s s i b i l i t y that the c h i l d could have been in that place, at the time designated with the a l l e g e d offender. These then are c u r r e n t l y the most s i g n i f i c a n t f a c t o r s which d i f f e r e n t i a t e s e x u a l l y abused 28 c h i l d r e n from those who have not been s e x u a l l y abused. Restated: c h i l d r e n who have l i e d about being s e x u a l l y abused are not expected to be able to provide any s u b s t a n t i a l l y accurate and d e t a i l e d information i n regard to who, what, where and when of sexual contact. C h i l d r e n who have not made the o r i g i n a l a l l e g a t i o n s and who have not been abused are expected to be able to provide appropriate d e t a i l as to t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p with the offender. I t i s presumed that t h i s d e t a i l would i n d i c a t e that abuse, i f not mentioned, was not l i k l y to have occurred. For example, a young c h i l d who f r e e l y provided information as to touching of the g e n i t a l or anal region when being bathed or a s s i s t e d at the t o i l e t and i n d i c a t e d that t h i s contact f e l l w i t h i n the realm of "normal" caretaking would be assessed as not being abused. "Normal" caretaking would include a c t i v i t i e s that d id not create discomfort f o r the c h i l d and would not n e c e s s a r i l y have been viewed as sexual i f adults were involved. The l i t e r a t u r e on the i n v e s t i g a t i v e interview tends to ignore or to minimize those cases where the a l l e g a t i o n s are unfounded or where the f i n a l assessment i s one of un c e r t a i n t y as to the v a l i d i t y of the o r i g i n a l a l l e g a t i o n . Neither Burgess and Holmstron [1978] nor Schlesinger [1982] make mention of these cases. Topper and A l d r i d g e [1981], i n speaking of in c e s t , r e f e r only to c h i l d r e n who have l i e d i n making the o r i g i n a l a l l e g a t i o n s . T h e i r assumption i s that the c h i l d ' s behaviours, i n c l u d i n g body language and the d e s c r i p t i o n of the sexual abuse, w i l l a l e r t the inte r v i e w e r . The interviewer should then probe f o r the fami l y problems that t r i g g e r e d o f f these l i e s of the c h i l d . Sgroi [1982], a l s o r e f e r r i n g to c h i l d r e n who l i e , wrote that these c h i l d r e n ' s statements would not be able to meet her requirements f o r v a l i d a t i o n menntioned e a r l i e r . Sgroi 29 a l s o intimates that an uncertain assessment i s g e n e r a l l y due to an i n i t i a l u n c e r t a i n t y on the part of the interviewer as to the l i k e l i h o o d that sexual abuse occurred. According to her, c o n s u l t a t i o n s with an abuse team or a more experienced p r a c t i t i o n e r should solve t h i s problem. The conclusion, here, i s that the greater the experience of the inter v i e w e r the l e s s the l i k e l i h o o d of a f i n d i n g of uncertainty. She does suggest, however, that information p e r t i n e n t to the a l l e g a t i o n of abuse may not be obtained in the f i r s t interview. Many c h i l d welfare i n v e s t i g a t i o n s are, unfortunately, l i m i t e d to one interview with the c h i l d unless there i s an assessment of a probable a l l e g a t i o n . Jones and McQuiston [1985] deal d i r e c t l y with the d i f f i c u l t uncertain cases i n presenting t h e i r assumptions. Nonetheless t h e i r v a l i d a t i o n c r i t e r i a i s g e n e r a l l y s i m i l a r to Sgroi's [1982]. Jones and McQuitston point out that the c h i l d ' s "words and sentence s t r u c t u r e should be congruent with the age and developmental s t a t u s " [1985, p. 30]. They a l s o o f f e r some clues to the c h i l d who provides no d i r e c t conformation by suggesting that such a c h i l d may discuss the abuse as i f i t happened to someone e l s e . The c h i l d may als o demonstrate a preoccupation with sex in play and through drawings. S t i l l they s t a t e that these behaviours can only s u b s t a n t i a t e the c h i l d ' s statements. V a l i d a t i o n of an a l l e g a t i o n should be based on statements made by the c h i l d about the h i s t o r y of the sexual abuse. Harnest [1983] provides some assumptions around the behaviours of c h i l d r e n in an i n v e s t i g a t i v e interview. She suggests that s e x u a l l y abused c h i l d r e n are unsurprised by the d e t a i l e d parts of the d o l l s . Furthermore some 30 unabused c h i l d r e n may want to redress the d o l l s immediately due to t h e i r discomfort with those same d e t a i l e d p a r t s . She a l s o suggests that c h i l d r e n , p a r t i c u l a r l y when working out problems, reveal f a c t s about real l i f e i n play. In my p r a c t i c e experience, assumptions, as to verbal and nonverbal behaviours supposedly s p e c i f i c to s e x u a l l y abused c h i l d r e n , are developed based on a mixture of t r a i n i n g , reading, experience, hearsay and personal biases. Where assessments lead to u n c e r t a i n t y as to the a l l e g a t i o n s i t i s l i k e l y that a d d i t i o n a l assumptions develop most r a p i d l y . When c h i l d r e n do not provide s u f f i c i e n t information i n t h e i r responses e i t h e r to support or i n v a l i d a t e the o r i g i n a l a l l e g a t i o n s a l l of the behaviours e x h i b i t e d during the interview are examined c a r e f u l l y to determine i f the c h i l d has f a i l e d to d i s c l o s e sexual abuse which had in f a c t occurred. Some of these t e n t a t i v e assumptions as to behaviours that might be regarded as covert d i s c l o s u r e are: ) avoidance of the anatomically d e t a i l e d d o l l s ; 2) sexual play with the d o l l s i n c l u d i n g e x p l o r a t i o n of body o r i f i c e s ; 3) avoidance of the questions d e a l i n g with the a l l e g e d abuse; 4) the i n t r o d u c t i o n of fantasy material which can be i n t e r p r e t e d as having sexual content or as containing threats or promises f o r s e c r e t keeping. Discussions with other p r a c t i t i o n e r s and supervisors of p r a c t i t i o n e r s i n d i c a t e that others are having d i f f i c u l t y i n assessing such behaviour in order to d i s t i n g u i s h which c h i l d r e n are s e x u a l l y abused. I t i s in t h i s context that the behaviour of c h i l d r e n without a h i s t o r y of c h i l d sexual abuse becomes important. Such knowledge would c l a r i f y the assumptions about behaviours that are i n d i c a t i v e of c h i l d sexual abuse. 31 2.5 RESEARCH PROBLEM The problem to be addressed in t h i s study i s how to assess the data in those interviews where the f i n d i n g s are uuncertain. One f a c e t of t h i s problem i s the lack of a systematic body of knowledge in regard to the responses of both s e x u a l l y abused and non-sexually abused c h i l d r e n to an i n v e s t i g a t i v e interview. The range of responses of c h i l d r e n not known to have a h i s t o r y of c h i l d sexual abuse needs to be examined f o r the f o l l o w i n g f a c t o r s : 1) Do any of t h e i r responses i n d i c a t e that they had been engaged i n an a c t i v i t y t h a t may be viewed as sexual with an i n d i v i d u a l who had power or a u t h o r i t y over the c h i l d due to age d i f f e r e n c e , r e l a t i o n s h i p or some other f a c t o r ? I f yes, can they provide d e t a i l s as to who, what, where and when in a manner b e l i e v a b l e to the i n t e r v i e w e r . 2) Do any of t h e i r responses provide d e t a i l s of t h e i r d a i l y l i f e i n c l u d i n g anal and g e n i t a l contact s u f f i c i e n t as to i n d i c a t e to the i n t e r v i e w e r that i f they had been s e x u a l l y abused they would have conveyed that information as well? 3) Do any of t h e i r responses lead to u n c e r t a i n t y as to p o s s i b i l i t y t h at they had been s e x u a l l y abused i f there had been an a l l e g a t i o n to that e f f e c t . Do any of t h e i r behaviours i n d i c a t e p o s s i b l e sexual abuse (based on p r a c t i c e assumptions), i e . , e x p l o r a t o r y or sexual play with the d o l l s ' g e n i t a l or anal areas, avoidance of the d o l l s , t o t a l d e n i a l or extremely l i m i t e d responses to questions concerning anal or g e n i t a l contact, presentation as f a c t u a l , material which i s revealed to be fantasy by the c h i l d r e n ' s parents, r e t i c e n c e during the interview, even excessive compliance during the interview, unusual knowledge of sexual acts beyond what might be expected c o n s i d e r i n g the c h i l d ' s age and the presentation of a h i s t o r y of c h i l d sexual abuse c r e d i t e d to someone other than the c h i l d . One assumption i s that responses or behaviours that 32 d i s t i n g u i s h between s e x u a l l y abused c h i l d r e n and those who have not been s e x u a l l y abused must occur s i g n i f i c a n t l y more often in one group of c h i l d r e n or the other. Therefore the range of responses of c h i l d r e n i n an i n v e s t i g a t i v e interview i n c l u d i n g behaviours before, during and a f t e r a s e r i e s of l e a d i n g or suggestive questions needs to be explored. 33 CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY 3.1 TYPE OF STUDY The approach to t h i s p r o j e c t i s ex p l o r a t o r y as there i s no researched body of knowledge s p e c i f i c to t h i s subject. The research plan i s to f i r s t develop some d e s c r i p t i v e data, based on interviews with c h i l d r e n who have not been, or a l l e g e d to have been s e x u a l l y abused, i n order to i d e n t i f y the c e n t r a l concepts, and then to proceed to some t e n t a t i v e formulations of r e l a t i o n s h i p s between these concepts [Reid & Smith, 1981]. I t was decided to focus as broadly as p o s s i b l e on the material being brought foreward i n a l i m i t e d number of interviews as the conceptual work i n t h i s area i s , at best, sketchy and anecdotal. A q u a l i t a t i v e approach was se l e c t e d as such an approach allows f o r a nonpredictive e x p l o r a t i o n o f the processes that these c h i l d r e n e x h i b i t which w i l l lead to a c l e a r e r idea of the concepts and processes involved and a more "appropriate understanding" of these processes [Haworth, 1984]. Such an approach preserves the richness o f the data [Patton, 1982] c o n t a i i n e d in the range of responses of the c h i l d r e n to the interview s i t u a t u a t i o n . 3.2 METHOD 3.2.1 SAMPLE The sample c o n s i s t e d of fourteen c h i l d r e n s i x g i r l s and eigh t boys ranging in age from three to s i x years, who attended a l o c a l day care centre. Since t h i s i s an i n i t i a l e x p l o r a t o r y study the sampling was purposive and nonrandom. I n c l u s i o n c r i t e r i a included age and the absence, according to both the c h i l d r e n s ' parents and the day care centre s t a f f , of a h i s t o r y of sexual abuse. Most c h i l d r e n ' s parents e i t h e r attended the nearby 34 u n i v e r s i t y or were employed by i t . Only one c h i l d had as a maternal tongue a language other than E n g l i s h and no c h i l d appeared to belong to a r a c i a l m i n o r i t y . A presentation of the study was made to a r e g u l a r parents' meeting. The f i r s t fourteen volunteers were accepted. 3.2.2 MATERIALS The interviews were videotaped using a wide angle lense so that as much of the interview area might be covered without moving the camera. This s u c c e s s f u l l y e l i m i n a t e d the need f o r a cameraman. An external microphone was used to ensure q u a l i t y audio recording. The anatomically d e t a i l e d d o l l s used came with both s t r e e t apparel and night c l o t h e s . The d o l l s had tongues that could be p u l l e d out with f i n g e r s and r e t r a c t e d through the use of a button at the back of the head. They had four separated f i n g e r s and a thumb as well as d e t a i l e d toes. The adult female breasts were only minimally i n d i c a t e d and the adult male penis was limp but was wired so i t could i m i t a t e an e r e c t penis i f required. Body openings included a mouth, a vagina on the female d o l l s and an anus. 3.2.3 PROCEDURES The purpose and proposed procedures f o r the study were discussed with the day care s t a f f and the parents. Permission was obtained to conduct the study on the day care centre premises. I n d i v i d u a l parents signed consent forms i f they agreed to have t h e i r c h i l d r e n p a r t i c i p a t e i n the study. An i n t e r v i e w i n g schedule was negotiated with the s t a f f . The c h i l d r e n were interviewed in a room provided by the day care. Only the 35 c h i l d and the interviewer were present. Twelve of the fourteen interviews were s u c c e s s f u l l y recorded on video. Two interviews where attempts to video record, due to mechanical or inter v i e w e r e r r o r , were not s u c c e s s f u l , were recorded i n w r i t i n g at the end of interview. The parents of the c h i l d r e n interviewed were a l s o interviewed. These interviews took place a f t e r the data from the c h i l d r e n ' s interviews had been analysed. The parents' responses were hand recorded at the time of the int e r v i e w on forms developed during the course of the study. (See Appendix A f o r a sample of the form). 3.2.4 CHILD'S INTERVIEW The c h i l d ' s interview was adapted from the i n v e s t i g a t i v e interview o u t l i n e d i n Chapter 2. (See Appendix B f o r a sample o u t l i n e ) . E t h i c a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n s were an important component in the design and excecution of the interviews. Factors considered were the c h i l d r e n ' s i n a b i l i t y to provide informed consent, the c h i l d r e n ' s r i g h t s to maintain t h e i r s e l f respect during the interview, t h e i r r i g h t s to privacy, and t h e i r r i g h t s to be t r e a t e d f a i r l y and r e s p e c t f u l l y [Kidder, 1981]. The beginning s e c t i o n involved o b t a i n i n g the c h i l d ' s permission to proceed with the interview, requesting some demographic information and d i s c u s s i n g some t o p i c s expected to be of i n t e r e s t to the c h i l d such as pets, f r i e n d s and toys. The i n t e n t of t h i s s e c t i o n was to begin to b u i l d rapport with the c h i l d as well as to begin to learn how the c h i l d responded to d i f f e r e n t approaches. In a d d i t i o n , t h i s s e c t i o n was p o s s i b l y l e s s r e s t r i c t e d i n regard to length of time than an actual interview as the need to deal with the abuse a l l e g a t i o n s was absent. 36 The middle s e c t i o n involved, i f the c h i l d had not already spontaneously begun to play with the d o l l s , the i n t r o d u c t i o n of the d o l l s by the interviewer. Names of body parts, i n c l u d i n g names f o r the g e n i t a l s and anus, were e l i c i t e d . The c h i l d was encouraged to undress the d o l l s i f necessary. This was accomplished by asking the c h i l d to help the inte r v i e w e r change the d o l l s i n t o t h e i r pyjamas. This procedure was chosen as an i m i t a t i o n of one aspect of c h i l d r e n ' s play with d o l l s . The questions r a t h e r than being s t r u c t u r e d around an a l l e g a t i o n of c h i l d sexual abuse, were adapted from screening questions designed to a s s i s t p h ysicians to help young c h i l d r e n reveal s e x u a l l y abusive or p o t e n t i a l l y s e x u a l l y abusive contact during a r o u t i n e medical examination [Herbert, 1985]. Questions were asked i n regard to the c h i l d being touched i n the g e n i t a l and anal areas. For example, he was f i r s t asked i f anyone had ever touched him on the penis (or vagina i f female). I f the answer was i n the a f f i r m a t i v e he was then asked questions, such as who had touched him there, when i t had happened, with what had he been touched, that were expected to e l i c i t d e t a i l i n regard to that contact. He was then asked i f anyone e l s e had touched him there and the s e r i e s was repeated u n t i l the c h i l d i n d i c a t e d that no one e l s e had touched him there. F i n a l l y , " l e a d i n g questions" were asked to determine how t h i s i n t e r v i e w e r behaviour might a f f e c t the c h i l d ' s responses. These were as f o l l o w s : F i r s t the c h i l d was asked i f anyone ever put anything in her mouth and, i f s o , what and when. Then the c h i l d was asked i f any of a number of objects had been placed in her mouth. Some of these objects were meant to be d e s i r a b l e such as cookies and chocolate and some undesirable such as frogs and toes. 37 The c h i l d was then once again asked i f anyone ever put "anything" i n t o her mouth. This open ended question was an attempt to d i s c o v e r what e f f e c t the leading questions had had on the o r i g i n a l response. In the f i n a l s e c t i o n the c h i l d ' s perception of the d o l l s was explored by f i r s t asking the c h i l d : "Are these d o l l s l i k e your d o l l ( s ) ? " I f the c h i l d had no d o l l s the d o l l s in the day care center were used as a point of reference. I f the d o l l s were seen as d i f f e r e n t the d i f f e r e n c e s were then explored. The d o l l s were f u l l y c lothed before the c h i l d l e f t . I f the c h i l d expressed i n t e r e s t she was shown a s e c t i o n of the video tape that had been taken during the interview. The c h i l d was then thanked f o r her p a r t i c i p a t i o n and the interview ended. 3.2.5 PARENT'S INTERVIEW The parents were interviewed a f t e r the c h i l d ' s interview had been at l e a s t p a r t i a l l y analysed. The parents were asked f o r demographic information on both the c h i l d and the f a m i l y . They were al s o asked about how they perceived t h e i r c h i l d , i n terms of a c t i v i t y l e v e l , of approaching new s i t u a t i o n s and new people, and of d i f f i c u l t i e s , i f any, experienced by the parent i n t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p with the c h i l d . They were a l s o asked s p e c i f i c questions concerning responses of t h e i r c h i l d during the interview such as how they would expect t h e i r c h i l d to respond to the touch questions. In a d d i t i o n they were asked to v e r i f y some of the c h i l d ' s statements. The interviewer recorded at the time of the interview the material deemed to be relevant on the form developed from the r e s u l t s of the c h i l d ' s interview and two p r e t e s t audio recorded interviews with parents. (A copy of t h i s form i s in Appendix A). 38 3.2.6 DATA ANALYSES The videotaped interviews with the c h i l d r e n were t r a n s c r i b e d , e i t h e r in part or in whole, to include both the verbal and non verbal behaviours of both p a r t i c i p a n t s . The i n i t i a l codes f o r the data were developed from the data rather than being imposed on them [Patton, 1980]. The c h i l d r e n ' s verbal and nonverbal responses to the interviewer's questions were coded as: 1) no response; 2) minimal response requested by question; 3) minimal response plus a d d i t i o n a l information on t o p i c ; 4) minimal response plus a d d i t i o n a l information o f f t o p i c ; 5) only responses o f f t o p i c (spontaneous responses). Interviewer behaviours were coded i n the same manner i n regard to: 1) agenda items; 2) responses to c h i l d i n i t i a t e d i ssues. Following t h i s i n i t i a l coding, the c h i l d r e n ' s responses were then coded in regard to: 1) s u g g e s t i b i l i t y ; 2) i n t r o d u c t i o n of fantasy; 3) taking charge or c o n t r o l issues; 4) premature attempts to terminate. Of these, the f i r s t two c a t e g o r i e s arose from the questions r e l a t i n g to the study while the l a s t two arose from the comparisons of the data. For the purpose of coding the f o l l o w i n g d e f i n i t i o n s were developed: No response - c h i l d made no response to question; Minimal response - the l e a s t information to be considered an answer to the question i n c l u d i n g a nod or a shake of the head; Plus a d d i t i o n a l information on t o p i c - any a d d i t i o n a l information in answer to the question; Plus a d d i t i o n a l information o f f t o p i c - a d d i t i o n a l information that does not answer the question asked; 39 Only information o f f t o p i c - no answer to the question but rather a change of t o p i c ; t h i s may include non-verbal behaviour. Agenda items - statements or questions that r e l a t e d i r e c t l y to the interview o u t l i n e ; Responses to c h i l d i n i t i a t e d issues - responses which r e l a t e to the c h i l d ' s behaviours r a t h e r than the interview o u t l i n e ; S u g g e s t i b i l i t y - any response of the c h i l d which c l e a r l y appeared to have been modified to be more l i k e the response of the interviewer; t h i s would include answering questions in a manner which follows a pattern provided by the interviewer. Fantasy - any material presented as f a c t which i s not a c t u a l l y true; sometimes t h i s i s apparent from the c h i l d ' s interview and sometimes i t i s only revealed in the parent's interview. Furthermore, as not a l l comments can be v e r i f i e d , i t i s expected t h a t at l e a s t , some p r e s e n t a t i o n of fantasy i s s t i l l undetected. Taking charge or c o n t r o l - any s u c c e s s f u l attempts by the c h i l d to change the s t r u c t u r e of the interview i n a d i r e c t i o n not i n d i c a t e d by the interviewer; The coded responses were compared through a c h i l d ' s interview and as they r e l a t e d across interviews i n regard to s i m i l a r segments or to responses to s i m i l a r interviewer or c h i l d behaviours. F i n a l l y , each in t e r v i e w was examined as i f there had a c t u a l l y been an a l l e g a t i o n of sexual abuse. As there were no actual a l l e g a t i o n s to explore i n these i n v e s t i g a t i v e interviews, i t would have been unethical to have attempted to l i n k each c h i l d with an a l l e g e d offender. However, f o r the 40 purpose of a n a l y s i s , the only a l l e g a t i o n that could be assessed i n the f i n d i n g s was that the c h i l d was thought to have been s e x u a l l y abused. Each interview was then assessed from the pers p e c t i v e o f an a l l e g a t i o n and was assigned to one of three c a t e g o r i e s - probable a l l e g a t i o n , unfounded a l l e g a t i o n , and un c e r t a i n t y as to the v a l i d i t y of the a l l e g a t i o n . The s p e c i f i c behaviours on which these assessments were based r e l a t e d to the questions i n the problem statement: 1) Do any of t h e i r responses i n d i c a t e that they had been engaged i n an a c t i v i t y that may be viewed as sexual with an i n d i v i d u a l who had power or a u t h o r i t y over the c h i l d due to age d i f f e r e n c e , r e l a t i o n s h i p or some other f a c t o r ? I f yes, d id they provide d e t a i l s as to who, what, where and when in a manner b e l i e v a b l e to the interviewer. 2) Do any of t h e i r responses provide d e t a i l s of t h e i r d a i l y l i f e i n c l u d i n g anal and g e n i t a l contact s u f f i c i e n t as to i n d i c a t e to the interviewer that, i f they had been s e x u a l l y abused, they would have conveyed that information as well? 3) Do any of t h e i r responses lead to unc e r t a i n t y as to p o s s i b i l i t y that they had been s e x u a l l y abused i f there had been an a l l e g a t i o n to that e f f e c t . The un c e r t a i n t y i n regards to the v a l i d i t y of an a l l e g a t i o n would be based i n i t i a l l y on the c h i l d not being assessed as f i t t i n g i n t o e i t h e r o f the f i r s t two c a t e g o r i e s . A l l o f the c h i l d r e n ' s behaviours, i n c l u d i n g the responses of the c h i l d r e n before, during and a f t e r a s e r i e s of suggestive or leading questions, would then be compared as to those behaviours which p r a c t i t i o n e r s might assume to be i n d i c a t i v e of c h i l d abuse. Restated, these i n c l u d e : 1) ex p l o r a t o r y play with the d o l l s ' g e n i t a l s or anus; 2) avoidance of the d o l l s ; 3) t o t a l d e n i a l or extremely l i m i t e d responses to questions concerning anal or g e n i t a l contact; 4) presentation as f a c t u a l , material 41 which i s revealed to be fantasy by the c h i l d ' s parents; 5) knowledge of sexual a c t i v i t i e s beyond what might be expected c o n s i d e r i n g the c h i l d ' s age; 6) p r e s e n t a t i o n of a h i s t o r y of sexual abuse c r e d i t e d to someone other than the c h i l d p r oviding the information. The assumption i s , that these behaviours, i f they are, i n f a c t , i n d i c a t i v e of c h i l d sexual abuse, would not be found with any frequency o c c u r r i n g in interviews with young c h i l d r e n who are without a h i s t o r y of c h i l d sexual abuse. 42 CHAPTER 4 FINDINGS 4.1 OVERVIEW I d e n t i f y i n g information has been removed from the f i n d i n g s presented. The i n i t i a l s were assigned to the c h i l d r e n ' s interviews in random order. The f i n d i n g s w i l l be presented i n three parts: The f i r s t p art w i l l present an assessment of the interviews as i f the c h i l d r e n had been a l l e g e d to have been s e x u a l l y abused. These assessments w i l l be l i m i t e d by the manner i n which the interview was modified to meet the e t h i c a l requirements of such a study as well as by the lack of s p e c i f i c a l l e g a t i o n s to be v e r i f i e d . The i n t e n t i o n here i s to c l a r i f y the assumptions upon which such assessments are based in r e l a t i o n s h i p to the responses of these young c h i l d r e n who are b e l i e v e d to have a low l i k e l i h o o d of a h i s t o r y of c h i l d sexual abuse. The second part w i l l present a d e s c r i p t i o n of the range of behaviours e x h i b i t e d in various segments of the interview, the responses to the d o l l s , and the touch questions, that might be viewed as i n d i c a t o r s of c h i l d sexual abuse (according to t e n t a t i v e p r a c t i c e assumptions). These behaviours w i l l then be f u r t h e r explored i n r e l a t i o n to the three c a t e g o r i e s of v a l i d a t i o n of a l l e g a t i o n s to which the c h i l d r e n were assigned i n part I. The i n t e n t i o n here i s to demonstrate the wide range of behaviours in t h i s modified i n v e s t i g a t i v e interview of even a small r e l a t i v e l y homogeneous sampling of young nonreferred c h i l d r e n and to determine how t h e i r behaviours might be viewed in r e l a t i o n s h i p to i n t e r v i e w behaviours that have been assumed by some c l i n i c i a n s to be i n d i c a t o r s of sexual abuse. 43 The t h i r d part w i l l address the f i v e f a c t o r s o r i g i n a l l y discussed in r e l a t i o n s h i p to t h e i r e f f e c t s on c h i l d r e n ' s statements in the i n v e s t i g a t i v e interview: fantasy, s u g g e s t i b i l i t y , memory, c o g n i t i v e development, and i n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s . Since t h i s was an e x p l o r a t o r y q u a l i t a t i v e research study, there was no attempt to c o n t r o l c e r t a i n f a c t o r s i n order to assess the e f f e c t s of other f a c t o r s . However some f i n d i n g s emerged in the course of the study that provided a d i f f e r e n t p e r s p e c t i v e on c e r t a i n of these v a r i a b l e s . 4.2 PART I - ASSESSING ALLEGATIONS 4.2.1 THE ALLEGATION Sometimes young c h i l d r e n are a l l e g e d to have been abused because t h e i r verbal or nonverbal behaviours i n d i c a t e i n a p p r o p r i a t e sexual knowledge or awareness beyond t h e i r developmental stage based on the judgement of the i n d i v i d u a l ( s ) making the a l l e g a t i o n . In some cases, there may be no obvious offender so the a l l e g a t i o n s are then q u i t e n o n s p e c i f i c other than i n regards to the behaviour of the c h i l d . This i s the type of a l l e g a t i o n that would be i n v e s t i g a t e d and assessed in a manner most s i m i l a r to the research study interviews. Based on t h i s type of a l l e g a t i o n one c h i l d presented material during the interview which would have supported an assessment that the a l l e g a t i o n of sexual abuse i s probable, s i x presented material that would have supported an assessment that the a l l e g a t i o n of sexual abuse i s unfounded and seven presented material which would have supported an assessment of uncertainty. 44 4.2.2 THE FINDINGS 4.2.2.1 PROBABLE I = interviewer, adult female, same interviewer throughout J = female, 4 years I-Does anybody ever touch you on the vagina. J-No. Quite a few people though. I-Oh. Who touches you on the vagina? J-Somebody who doesn't know me. I-Oh. Do you know them? J-No. I-Where d i d that happen. J-Somewhere, somewhere where I don't l i k e i t . I don't l i k e the person cause they were too c r u e l . They h i t t e d me. I—Did you t e l l your mommy when somebody touched you on the vagina? J-No. Guess what Tom (name of day care worker) s a i d "Buy i t . Daddy, t h i s i s a nice car". I-Who touches you here? ( i n d i c a t e s vaginal area on g i r l d o l l ) . J-Um, I think i t s my Grandpa. I-When does he touch you there? J - F i r s t he touches my pants and my panties and then he puts his f i n g e r on my bum. (demonstrates by f i r s t p u t t i n g her hand i n s i d e her pants and touching h e r s e l f in the vaginal area and then putting her hand i n s i d e her panties and again touching h e r s e l f i n the vaginal area). I-Does he. When does he do that? J-He does i t in a l i t t l e while when he's f i n i s h e d doing something. I-Mm hmm. Do you l i v e with your grandfather? J-No. He's not a grandfather but he looks l i k e one. I-Oh. Where does he l i v e ? J-He l i v e s i n Z o o v i l l e . This c h i l d presented information on the who, what, when and where of what may have been an i n c i d e n t of sexual abuse which would have occurred almost a year ago when she was l a s t l i v i n g i n Z o o v i l l e . As i n d i c a t e d the d e t a i l she provided was b e l i e v a b l e and she provided more d e t a i l as the interview progressed. She provided more than minimal answers to many of the questions regarding the p o s s i b l e abuse. At other times she provided minimal responses and a l s o changed the subject f r e q u e n t l y . These behaviours were c o n s i s t e n t with other behaviours e x h i b i t e d by her throughout the interview in response to other questions on a range of t o p i c s . The information on the a l l e g e d abuse was gathered over a h a l f an 45 hour. I t was important to t r y to explore not only what she could convey about the touching but also the l i n k with being h i t and what threats may have been made but she would change the subject o f t e n sometimes pr o v i d i n g what appeared to be fantasy m a t e r i a l . She provided l i t t l e a d d i t i o n a l information about the i n c i d e n t ( s ) other than what i s given here. She i s an i n t e l l i g e n t c h i l d who according to the day care s t a f f i s one of t h e i r more s e l f a s s e r t i v e c h i l d r e n and very c l e a r about what she wants. The h i s t o r y provided was thought to be probable based on the act described which provided a sequence of acts progressing from l e s s to more intimate contact. The manner in which i t was r e l a t e d was c o n s i s t e n t i n language and form with other material provided by the c h i l d on other t o p i c s . She was also able to provide more information as the interview progressed which would be an expected part o f remembering an i n c i d e n t that took place almost a year ago. The mention of being h i t was a l s o c o n s i s t e n t with such h i s t o r i e s as t h i s i s one of the ways in which the offender w i l l seek to maintain the secret . J was thought to have had contact which would have been viewed as sexual i f the two p a r t i c i p a n t s had been adult with a person who apparently had a r e l a t i o n s h i p of a u t h o r i t y with her - l i k e a grandfather. There i s a high p r o b a b i l i t y that J had been s e x u a l l y abused. (This assessment was i n v e s t i g a t e d more thoroughly but not as a part of t h i s study). 4.2.2.3 UNFOUNDED E = female, 3 years I-Does anybody ever touch you there. ( I n d i c a t e s vagina on a c h i l d d o l l ) . E-I do. I-Does anybody e l s e ever touch you there? 46 E-Just me. I-Just you? E-I smell my f i n g e r s and i t taste s l i k e yuck? I-Does i t ? E-Do you ever do that to you sometimes? A = male, 3 years A-(Undressing adult male d o l l ) . Sometimes I p u l l Stephen's penis and my dad's penis. (Tugging on d o l l ' s p e n i s ) . I-Do you? A-Yeah. I-What do they say? A-Nothing. I-Do they p u l l your penis? A-Yeah. I-Who does? A-Just my brother. C = female, 5 years I-And what's that c a l l e d ? (Area c h i l d i s touching on d o l l ) . C-Vagina. I-Does anybody ever touch you there? C-Sometimes. I-Who touches you there? C-Kids. I-When do they touch you there? C-I don't know. I-When you are at day care. C-Yes. I-And when you are at home? C-No. I-Do you ever touch y o u r s e l f there? ( I n d i c a t e s anus on g i r l d o l l ) . C-Yes. I-When do you touch y o u r s e l f there. C-When I want to. Chi l d r e n were considered not to have been s e x u a l l y abused when they provided d e t a i l i n regard to anal and/or g e n i t a l contact with the type of spontaneity they e x h i b i t e d i n responding to other interview questions. The material they provided on anal or g e n i t a l contact was s i m i l a r to the material provided by c h i l d J concerning the who, how, and p o s s i b l y when or where. The spontaneity v a r i e d from c h i l d to c h i l d but was c o n s i s t e n t with how each c h i l d presented in the r e s t of the interview. The information provided appeared to be "normal" c o n s i d e r i n g the c h i l d ' s age and l i f e 47 experiences. Returning to the d e f i n i t i o n of c h i l d sexual abuse t h i s would be contacts that d i d not appear to have been sexual i n nature with a person who had a r e l a t i o n s h i p o f power or a u t h o r i t y i n regard to the c h i l d . Thus contact with peers or a s i m i l a r aged s i b l i n g would not f a l l i n t o t h i s category. S i m i l a r l y a four year o l d female who appeared to be eq u a l l y comfortable with e i t h e r parent applying cream to her vaginal area would not be considered to have had sexual contact with one or both of her parents. I f there had been an a l l e g a t i o n to that e f f e c t or i f the c h i l d had i n d i c a t e d some discomfort or conveyed a sense of secrecy as to that contact the p o s s i b i l i t y of c h i l d sexual abuse would need to have been explored more thoroughly. The b e l i e f was that these c h i l d r e n i n t a l k i n g about anal and g e n i t a l contact would have most l i k e l y conveyed information i n d i c a t i n g that they had been s e x u a l l y abused i f such had been the case. The d e c i s i o n was that i t was u n l i k e l y that the s i x c h i l d r e n who had provided t h i s much d e t a i l on anal and g e n i t a l contact had been s e x u a l l y abused. What was evident was that no matter how much d e t a i l was provided no c h i l d spontaneously provided a l l d e t a i l s of a l l such contacts. For example some c h i l d r e n when asked g e n e r a l l y about touching included themselves while others responded only to s p e c i f i c questions i n regard to touching themselves. No c h i l d r e f e r r e d to contact with the g e n i t a l s or anus when t o i l e t i n g alone or being t o i l e t e d by someone e l s e . Only a small proportion of a l l of the c h i l d r e n r e f e r r e d to touching or being touched i n those areas while bathing. The assessment of unfounded was s t i l l thought to hold as these c h i l d r e n apparently conveyed t h e i r less routine contacts. I f they had been r o u t i n e l y s e x u a l l y abused i t was thought that e i t h e r t h e i r 48 parents would not have r e f e r r e d them i f they had been the abusers or the day care would have been aware of the e f f e c t s of the abuse on the c h i l d and would have brought t h i s up i n the course of the study. 4.2.2.3 UNCERTAIN H = male, 5 years I-Does anybody ever touch you here. ( I n d i c a t e s back on boy d o l l ) . H-If I can't s c r a t c h my back, my mom or dad w i l l . I-So t h e y ' l l s c r a t c h your back. Does anybody ever touch you here? ( I n d i c a t e s penis on boy d o l l ) . H-No. I-Does anybody ever touch you on the bum? H-No. K = male, age 6 (Boy who was not prepared to undress d o l l s ) . I-Does anybody ever touch you here? ( I n d i c a t e s penis area on clothed d o l l ) . K-No. I-Do you touch y o u r s e l f there? K-No. I-No? K-Just sometimes. L = female, 4 years I-Does anyone ever touch you here? ( I n d i c a t e s vagina on g i r l d o l l ) . L-(Shakes head). I-Does anyone ever touch you here? (Anus area on d o l l ) . L-(Nods head). I-Who? L-My mom. I-Do you remember when she touches you there? L-No. (Shakes head). I-Does anyone e l s e touch you there? L-(Shakes head). None of the seven c h i l d r e n ( i n c l u d e d here) provided s u f f i c i e n t information in regard to expected anal or g e n i t a l touching as to give the impression that i f they had been s e x u a l l y abused, they would have conveyed that material as w e l l . Two of the c h i l d r e n l i k e H s a i d "No" to touching of both the g e n i t a l s and anus and did not go on to provide a d d i t i o n a l information 49 l a t e r . Five c h i l d r e n r e p l i e d that they had been touched in one or both areas. Of these, three provided no a d d i t i o n a l information other than that they had been touched in those areas l i k e K and two went on to respond to a "who" question with the name of a parent l i k e L but with no a d d i t i o n a l information. Thus based on the c h i l d r e n ' s behaviours in the interview the only assessment in regards to an a l l e g a t i o n would be one of uncertainty. H's mother, without being aware of her son's answers p r e d i c t e d that he would answer "No" to both touch questions. She had been very cautious when they moved to the c i t y from a country s e t t i n g and had cautioned H f r e q u e n t l y about strangers and being touched in " p r i v a t e " areas. She thought that he would assume that such questions r e f e r r e d to touch by strangers only. This may, or may not, have been the reason that H answered as he d i d . Each c h i l d , l i k e H, would have had a reason f o r answering as he d i d . The r e t i c e n c e around responding to such intimate questions would not n e c e s s a r i l y be r e l a t e d to a past h i s t o r y of c h i l d sexual abuse. In f a c t , i f H's mother i s c o r r e c t about h i s reasons, i t could instead be a c l e a r i n d i c a t i o n that a c h i l d i s u n l i k e l y to have been s e x u a l l y abused or at l e a s t i n h i s case s e x u a l l y abused by a stranger. The c h i l d ' s r e t i c e n c e i s a problem l a r g e l y f o r the interviewer who i s t r y i n g to a s c e r t a i n with a high degree of p r o b a b i l i t y that the c h i l d e i t h e r has or has not been s e x u a l l y abused. 50 4.3 PART II - RANGE OF BEHAVIOURS 4.3.1 BEGINNINGS A = male, 3 years I-Who do you l i v e with? (Long pause). Who l i v e s i n the house with you? A-My mom i s c a l l e d Mary and my dad i s c a l l e d Charles and my brother i s c a l l e d Don. B = female, age 4 years I-Who do you l i v e with? (Long pause) Do you l i v e by your s e l f ? B-(Shakes head). I-Who do you l i v e with? B-With Joe. I-Joe. Who i s Joe? B-My dad. I-Do you l i v e with anybody e l s e ? B-With my mother, Jane. C= female, 5 years I-Who do you l i v e with? C-My mom and my dad. Children's responses va r i e d most g r e a t l y i n the f i r s t f i v e minutes of the interview. One c h i l d simply took c o n t r o l from the moment she walked through the door and proceeded to conduct a b a l l e t c l a s s using the d o l l s . Almost twenty minutes elapsed before the interviewer was able to move, with any consistancy, through the agenda items. Another c h i l d sat without moving f o r several minutes p r o v i d i n g e i t h e r , no response at a l l or minimal verbal and nonverbal responses. For the remainder of the c h i l d r e n , behaviour f e l l somewhere between these two extremes. Whether t h i s warm up la s t e d s i x minutes or twenty-seven minutes only two c h i l d r e n made i n i t i a l contact with the d o l l s on t h e i r own. Most of the c h i l d r e n would look at the d o l l s from time to time and t h i s was f r e q u e n t l y used as the lead i n to in t r o d u c i n g the d o l l s i n t o the interview. The two c h i l d r e n who were s t i l l extremely r e t i c e n t at the end of the warm 51 up period were two of the c h i l d r e n who were placed in the uncertain category. This was not s u r p r i s i n g , c o n s i d e r i n g t h e i r "slow to warm up" responses i n the interview s i t u a t i o n . One c h i l d was, however, more r e t i c e n t with the interviewer and interview s i t u a t i o n than was expected by the day care s t a f f while the other c h i l d was seen as r e l a t i v e l y nonverbal in a l l s i t u a t i o n s . The other f i v e c h i l d r e n i n the uncertain category as well as the s i x c h i l d r e n i n the unfounded category ranged from moderately to very l i k e l y to provide more than minimal responses to questions. The one c h i l d i n the probable category f e l l i n t o the very l i k e l y group. 4.3.2 MIDDLE SECTIONS Contact between the c h i l d and the d o l l s whether i n i t i a t e d by the c h i l d or the interviewer, was viewed as the beginning of the middle s e c t i o n . The exception to t h i s was the one c h i l d who approached the d o l l s as she walked i n t o the room. In that case the d i v i d i n g l i n e was seen as the time when she was prepared to undress the d o l l s and i d e n t i f y the body parts. A l l c h i l d r e n , except one, had begun to provide more than minimal answers to at l e a s t some questions by the time t h i s s e c t i o n began. One c h i l d remained r e t i c e n t throughout and smiled only once or twice. She did, however, cooperate with the interviewer in accomplishing the interview agenda. The extent to which c h i l d r e n were prepared to provide more than minimum responses to questions, or took charge to the extent of f r e q u e n t l y r e d i r e c t i n g the t o p i c to be considered, c e r t a i n l y a f f e c t e d the length of the interviews. These responses were al s o l i n k e d to the extent to which the c h i l d volunteered information on the names of the g e n i t a l s or on the gender of the d o l l s . I t did not, however, appear to d i r e c t l y e f f e c t the 52 p o s s i b l i t y of the c h i l d supplying a minimal response to the touch questions. 4.3.2.1 THE DOLLS A = male, 3 years A-(Reaches out and touches each d o l l i n turn) And these are persons and these are persons and these are persons and these are persons. I-Yeah. These are s o r t of d i f f e r e n t d o l l s . A-Yeah. (Picks up d o l l and looks i n t e n t l y a t i t s f a c e ) . C = female, 5 years I-So you've been looking at my d o l l s . C-Yep. I-Mmm. What do you think of them. C-I l i k e them. D = male, 4 years I-Do you think you could help me put these d o l l s in t h e i r pyjamas? Would you be w i l l i n g to do that with me? D-(Nods head). None of the c h i l d r e n i n i t i a t e d the undressing of the d o l l s but a l l , except one, were prepared to help the i n t e r v i e w e r change the d o l l s i n t o t h e i r pyjamas. The one c h i l d who would not help undress the d o l l s i n s i s t e d that boys d i d not play with d o l l s . Even with the c l o t h e s on, however, many c h i l d r e n c o r r e c t l y i d e n t i f i e d which was the boy d o l l , the g i r l d o l l , the mother d o l l and the f a t h e r d o l l . The reasons given f o r i d e n t i f i c a t i o n ranged from simply, "because", to the type of apparel, to d i f f e r e n c e s in hand s i z e , or h a i r length. The l a t t e r two d i d not always f i t with the interviewer's perceptions as she was not able to detect the d i f f e r e n c e s the c h i l d had mentioned. E= female, 3 years E-(Undressing female c h i l d d o l l ) . I don't know i f t h i s i s a boy or a g i r l . Hey, t h i s guy has underwear. He's a g i r l . Look i t . I-How can you t e l l ? E-Cause his penis f e l l out. (Touches vagina. Puts f i n g e r i n s l i g h t l y ) . I-Is t h i s what happens when you are a g i r l ? 53 E-I don't have a penis. F=male, 4 years F-This i s the boy. I-How can you t e l l ? F-(Touches p e n i s ) . I-What's that c a l l e d ? F-Don't remember. (Points to female d o l l s ) . These don't have them. And that one does. (Points to ad u l t male). Cause he's a boy and t h i s i s a boy. He has to have a penis cause t h i s i s the dad and i t has to have f u r around i t . G = male, 4 years I—Is t h i s a g i r l d o l l or a boy d o l l ? G-A g i r l . I-How can you t e l l ? G-Because I know already. H = male, 5 years I-Why do you thi n k i t s a boy? H - ( C a r e f u l l y examines unclothed d o l l ) . Ah, because he doesn't have a dress. That's f o r sure. Cause th a t ' s the only way you can t e l l and i f he has long h a i r . A l l c h i l d r e n c o r r e c t l y i d e n t i f i e d the penis on at l e a s t one of the two male d o l l s and a l l except one c a l l e d i t a "penis". The exception c a l l e d i t a "wiener". In one case the vagina was c a l l e d a penis and in another the penis area was i d e n t i f i e d as a vagina. On that occasion the c h i l d asked what that " t h i n g " was i n d i c a t i n g the penis. She l a t e r c o r r e c t l y i d e n t i f i e d the penis on the adult d o l l . The vagina was a l s o c a l l e d "vagina", "vulva", "not a penis", "pagina", "penis f e l l out", "ava" and "don't know". The three o l d e s t c h i l d r e n c o r r e c t l y i d e n t i f i e d male and female g e n i t a l s and provided more d e t a i l than some of the younger c h i l d r e n . Some three year olds, however, were e q u a l l y accurate. Two c h i l d r e n appeared to view the pubic h a i r (wool) as, in part, a gender i n d i c a t o r . This lead to some confusion i n gender i d e n t i f i c a t i o n . The confusion i n both cases appeared c o n s i s t e n t with the a d u l t / c h i l d male/female make up of the households in which they l i v e d . A l l except one c h i l d c a l l e d the anal area the "bum". The 54 one c h i l d who c a l l e d i t the "rectum" s a i d with equal c l a r i t y that that's where "poop came out". One c h i l d spontaneously i d e n t i f i e d the scrotum. Half the c h i l d r e n stuck t h e i r f i n g e r i n t o e i t h e r the hole f o r the anus or the vagina or both. One f e l t c a r e f u l l y around and s a i d i t f e l t " s t u f f e d " and then patted the l e g and s a i d i t f e l t " s t u f f e d too". Most of the c h i l d r e n at l e a s t touched the penis. The penis was a l s o stroked, held, tugged and even used as a handle from which to swing the male d o l l s . Both g i r l s and boys appeared e q u a l l y comfortable e x h i b i t i n g t h i s behaviour although, i n reviewing the video, a couple of the c h i l d r e n were seen to glance at the interviewer, p o s s i b l y , to check out the response to t h i s behaviour. One c h i l d , a f t e r d i s c o v e r i n g these d o l l s ' d e t a i l e d parts, immediately escorted the d o l l s one a f t e r another, to an imaginary t o i l e t to "pee". Later t h i s c h i l d commented that i f she were a baby she would drink milk from the breasts. She continued on to d i s c u s s the p o s s i b i l i t y of d r i n k i n g f i r s t from a vagina and then a penis. She declared that t h i s behaviour would be " s i l l y " and responded to questions as to whether anyone had ever done t h i s with her or whether she had ever seen i t done in the negative. A l l the c h i l d r e n were more i n t e r e s t e d i n the p u l l - i n , p u l l - o u t tongue than they were in the anus, penis or vagina. THey returned to the tongues more f r e q u e n t l y and f o r longer periods of time. M = male, 3 years M-(As he undresses d o l l ) . And there's the underwear. I-And what's t h i s part here? (Vagina on g i r l d o l l ) . M-The rectum. I-And what's t h i s part over here? (Anus). M-The rectum. 55 Chil d r e n were often confused by the d o l l s ' d e t a i l e d parts and presumably t h e i r d i f f e r e n c e s from those parts on people. This appeared to be the case f o r elbows and knees as well as f o r vaginas and penises. A g i r l i d e n t i f i e d the unclothed boy d o l l as a g i r l and then tugged on the penis asking what that t h i n g was hanging out there. The vagina and anus on the g i r l d o l l were both r e f e r r e d to as a rectum by M which i s not s u r p r i s i n g c o n s i d e r i n g the s i m i l a r i t y i n design. He c o r r e c t l y i d e n t i f i e d the vagina on the adult female. Despite the s i z e d i f f e r e n c e s and the wool i n d i c a t i n g pubic h a i r some c h i l d r e n c o n s i s t e n t l y saw a l l the d o l l s as c h i l d d o l l s but others would view the adult d o l l s as e i t h e r o l d e r c h i l d r e n or parents. The c h i l d i n the probable category was the c h i l d who approached the d o l l s at the beginning of the interview. As stated, she had organized a b a l l e t c l a s s with these d o l l s and had a l l the d o l l s take a turn at "peeing". She had appeared comfortable s t i c k i n g her f i n g e r s in the vaginal and anal openings. She, l i k e the r e s t of the c h i l d r e n , had been more i n t e r e s t e d in the d o l l s ' tongues. The other c h i l d to v o l u n t a r i l y approach the d o l l s was i n the unfounded category. Five of the s i x c h i l d r e n i n t h i s category had a l s o stuck t h e i r f i n g e r s in the anal and vaginal openings. There i s no record of the a c t i o n s of the s i x t h c h i l d , i n t h i s category, as his interview had not been s u c c e s s f u l l y video taped and the process recording had not i n d i c a t e d what h i s behaviour had been. One of the c h i l d r e n in the uncertain category had a l s o stuck his f i n g e r s in the vaginal and anal openings. Two of the c h i l d r e n in t h i s category had 56 not done t h i s but had touched and patted a d o l l ' s penis. One of these c h i l d r e n had a l s o asked i f i t was a penis. A l l except one of the c h i l d r e n who stuck t h e i r f i n g e r s in the anal and vaginal opening a l s o volunteered information on the naming of those body parts and the penis and/or the sex of the d o l l s . The one c h i l d who d i d not was a l s o not p a r t i c u l a r l y v e r b a l l y spontaneous in the interview s i t u a t i o n . She, however, g e n e r a l l y provided more than minimal answers to questions. She was i n the unfounded category. 4.3.2.2 TOUCH G = male, 4 years I-Does anybody ever touch you l i k e that on your mouth? G—(Nods head s m i l i n g ) . I-Who does that? G-I don't know. I-Do you remember when they touched you on your mouth? G-(Shakes head). I-Does anybody ever touch you there? ( P o i n t i n g to penis on male c h i l d d o l l ) . G-Yeah. I-Who touches you there? G-I don't know. I-Do you remember when they touch you there? G-(Shakes head). Twelve out of the fourteen c h i l d r e n provided some information] on being touched i n e i t h e r the g e n i t a l or anal area. The two c h i l d r e n , one male and one female, who denied having been touched i n e i t h e r area and whose subsequent verbal behaviours added nothing to these d e n i a l s were placed in the uncertain category. One provided r e l a t i v e l y l i m i t e d amounts of information in a l l areas of the interview, but the other had not been s i m i l a r l y r e t i c e n t . Even the most r e t i c e n t of these c h i l d r e n provided 57 a d d i t i o n a l information to a question asked j u s t p r i o r to the touch question (on bathing) and to a question immediately f o l l o w i n g (on being touched on the neck). She described how she had been t i c k l e d on the neck rather than touched. However even a subsequent question on t i c k l i n g in the g e n i t a l area again received a simple "No". Two of the c h i l d r e n who had i n i t i a l l y provided negative responses went on to provide information l a t e r . One, when asked s p e c i f i c a l l y i f he touched himself, responded in the a f f i r m a t i v e but provided no other information. Another c h i l d volunteered that he had p u l l e d on his f a t h e r ' s and his brother's penises but that only his s i x year o l d brother had r e t a l i a t e d . He had added that he had not l i k e d the experience. The d e c i s i o n was to place the former c h i l d i n the uncertain category while the l a t t e r was placed i n the unfounded category based on the amount of information he provided in regard to that contact. A f f i r m a t i v e responses v a r i e d form a simple "Yes" but with the c h i l d not remembering who, where or when to well d e t a i l e d responses. The former responses put the c h i l d making them i n t o the uncertain category. Some c h i l d r e n l i k e G provided s i m i l a r responses to questions regarding touching in other areas or being bathed. Others were r e t i c e n t only in response to questions r e f e r i n g to anal or g e n i t a l contact. I f r e t i c e n c e i n regard to prov i d i n g such information i s i n d i c a t i v e of c h i l d sexual abuse then the seven c h i l d r e n i n the i n v a l i d category might be considered to have been so abused. The c h i l d r e n who provided d e t a i l e d responses to a l e a s t some of the 58 a n a l / g e n i t a l touch questions were placed i n the probable or unfounded category.The c h i l d r e n more responsive to t h i s question might mention contact with one or both parents i n the context of bathing, other c h i l d r e n in the context of the day care which was c o n s i s t e n t with the day care's r e c o l l e c t i o n s and others t a l k e d o f touching themselves. One c h i l d had commented that she had smelt and tasted her f i n g e r s afterwards and thought i t was "yucky". One c h i l d d i s c l o s e d material that suggested the p o s s i b i l i t y of a s e x u a l l y abusive h i s t o r y and the s u s p i c i o n was f u r t h e r explored. Even the most d e t a i l e d o f the c h i l d r e n ' s responses d id not appear to have exhausted the t o t a l v a r i e t y of expected touches i n those areas. 4.3.3 ENDINGS C = female, 5 years I—Is that d o l l l i k e your d o l l s ? C-No. (Touches p e n i s ) . I-What's d i f f e r e n t ? C-Most of my d o l l s are made of p l a s t i c and t h i s d o l l i s made of m a t e r i a l . When the c h i l d r e n were asked about whether these d o l l s were d i f f e r e n t from other d o l l s a few responded i n the negative. Of those who said yes none mentioned the g e n i t a l s as being one of the d i f f e r e n c e s . T h is was so even when the d o l l was l y i n g undressed on t h e i r laps and they were i n t e n t l y examining the d o l l s f o r d i f f e r e n c e s . They instead mentioned such items as the eyes, ears, tongue and the f a c t that the d o l l s were s o f t or not p l a s t i c . Most c h i l d r e n talked, at l e a s t once, of terminating the interview before the i n t e r v i e w e r was ready to c l o s e . One c h i l d continued to i n s i s t that he wanted to leave so that the interviewing process was ac c e l e r a t e d to 59 accomodate him. The others were prepared to defer leaving f o r awhile and would become involved, at l e a s t temporarily, in each subsequent task. One c h i l d , c l o s e to the end of the interview speeded up the process somewhat by i n s i s t i n g that he had to go to the t o i l e t i n graphic terms but a l s o stated that he wanted to see the video tape before he went. Two c h i l d r e n had to be persuaded to terminate as they were prepared to l i n g e r on with the i n t e r v i e w e r even a f t e r the i n t e r v i e w e r had terminated the interview. They were the two c h i l d r e n most i n t e r e s t e d in p l a y i n g with the d o l l s . One of these was the c h i l d i n the probable category while the other was in the uncertain category and was a l s o one of the two most r e t i c e n t c h i l d r e n . G = male, 4 years G-I think we're a l l f i n i s h e d now. I-Yeah, I think we are. 4.4 PART III - FACTORS AFFECTING CHILDREN'S STATEMENTS 4.4.1 FANTASY J = female, 4 years J-She's gonna p r a c t i c e her b a l l e r i n a . ( P u t s d o l l down and picks up another d o l l ) . No, he's gonna p r a c t i c e his b a l l e r i n a c l a s s . I-Oh, do you go to b a l l e r i n a c l a s s . J-Yes. (According to J's mother, J has a f r i e n d who goes to b a l l e t c l a s s but J does not). Fantasy appeared in several guises. Most f r e q u e n t l y fantasy material was evident in the interview when the d o l l s were assigned human t r a i t s . Sometimes the c h i l d would i n s t i g a t e t h i s by, f o r example, asking i f the d o l l ' s ears needed cleaning, or by taking the d o l l to an imaginary t o i l e t . Sometimes the interviewer i n s t i g a t e d the behaviour when, f o r example, she asked what the d o l l s d i d a f t e r p u t t i n g on t h e i r pyjamas. Play with the d o l l s a l s o appeared to stimulate the r e c a l l of memories of r e a l events. For example, a c h i l d tugging on a d o l l ' s penis r e l a t e d i t to 60 tugging on h i s f a t h e r ' s and brother's penises. Another c h i l d , when removing the d o l l ' s clothes, asked whether the d o l l ' s c l o t h e s were d i r t y as hers were when she took them o f f to put her pyjamas on. Of a d i f f e r e n t genre were those i n c i d e n t s when the c h i l d t a l k e d about a s i t u a t i o n during the interview which turned out, a f t e r d i s c u s s i o n with the parent(s) to be untrue. There was no i n d i c a t i o n in the interview that t h i s material was fantasy. Examples in c l u d e mention of a s i s t e r or a toy which may have been wished f o r but did not e x i s t f o r the c h i l d except in the c h i l d ' s mind. Fantasy was a l s o l i n k e d with the leading questions. One c h i l d brought i t out most c l e a r l y when before responding to the question about having elephants put i n h i s mouth he asked f i r s t i f they could be "pink" and then i f they could be "chocolate". Here there seemed to be an i m p l i c i t understanding between the c h i l d and the interviewer that c e r t a i n material was fantasy m a t e r i a l , even to the extent of the c h i l d checking out the exact content with the interviewer. The one c h i l d in the v a l i d category was the c h i l d who talke d both of a fantasy s i s t e r and fantasy b a l l e t lessons. Her f a n t a s i e s did, however, have a f a c t u a l basis. She knew a c h i l d who f i t the d e s c r i p t i o n of her " s i s t e r " . As well she very much wanted to take b a l l e t lessons as a r e s u l t of watching one of the c h i l d r e n p r a c t i c e at the day care center. One might assume that her recounting o f the i n c i d e n t of probable sexual abuse might have some fantasy components but would, as w e l l , have a f a c t u a l base. 4.4.2 SUGGESTIBILITY J = female, 4 years J-These are how b a l l e r i n a ' s c l o t h e s are. 61 I-Oh these are b a l l e r i n a costumes, are they? J-Yeah. I-Whose costume i s that? J-That's hers. That's her b a l l e r i n a costume. E = female, 3 years I-Does anybody ever put a toe in your mouth? E-Oooo yuck! I-Does anybody ever put a flower in your mouth? E-Oooo yuck! E-I wanna t e l l you the yucky things. I-Okay. E-Anybody put a chocolate t u r t l e i n your mouth? Evidence of s u g g e s t i b i l i t y , or of f o l l o w i n g the interviewer's lead, was not r e s t r i c t e d to the section of the interview when leading questions were asked. Examination of the videotapes reveal i n c i d e n t s where a c h i l d changed from an expression he or she was using to one that the i n t e r v i e w e r was using. Some c h i l d r e n even asked the interviewer the same type of questions the interviewer had been asking them. During the s e r i e s of le a d i n g questions most c h i l d r e n followed the interviewers leading questions and some even embellished on them. One c h i l d , when asked about ea t i n g chocolate pussy cats, responded that she had them f o r breakfast but not every morning. No c h i l d appeared to continue with the trend of the leading questions a f t e r they ceased but almost a l l responded in greater d e t a i l to the f i n a l question which asked i f anyone ever put anything in t h e i r mouth than they had to that question i n i t i a l l y . There were no apparent d i f f e r e n c e s between the responses of the c h i l d r e n in each of the d i f f e r e n t c a t e g o r i e s . H = male, 5 years I-Does anybody ever put anything in your mouth? H- Uhuh. (Expression of d e n i a l ) . A f t e r s e r i e s of leading questions: I-Does anyone ever put anything in your mouth? H-Sometimes. I-Who puts things in your mouth? H-My mom, my dad, my uncle, my gramma, my grandad. 62 I-What does your mom put i n your mouth? H-When I don't want to eat something she makes me do i t . 4.4.3 MEMORY Memory, as d e a l t with here, i s the external manifestation of what may not be a s i m i l a r i n t e r n a l process. C h i l d r e n who i n i t i a l l y presented minimal, or no information, in response to a question, but who l a t e r provided a d d i t i o n a l information w i l l be viewed as having remembered more information. Since remembered information i s so s i g n i f i c a n t i n regard to genuine i n v e s t i g a t i v e interviews any s t i m u l i that may have t r i g g e r e d o f f that increase i n evocative memory i s important. The d i s c u s s i o n of memory here r e f e r s e x c l u s i v e l y to the c h i l d r e n who were placed i n the uncertain category. I t i s these c h i l d r e n who were viewed as not remembering s i g n i f i c a n t d e t a i l i n r e l a t i o n s h i p to the touch questions. C h i l d H remembered more people p u t t i n g food i n his mouth a f t e r the s e r i e s of questions designed to lead the c h i l d i n t o making statements that were unreal (fantasy) about the kind of things that were put i n t o his mouth. He a l s o remembered more of what had been put in his mouth. In t h i s he was t y p i c a l of a l l of the c h i l d r e n in the sample. The f i n a l answers r a r e l y r e l a t e d to the s e r i e s of leading type questions i n regards to e i t h e r who or what. The responses of H and the others to the f i n a l nonleading question "Did anyone ever put anything i n your mouth?" were a l l apparently f a c t u a l . C h i l d A remembered that he had p u l l e d his brother's penis and his brother had p u l l e d h i s , a f t e r he had been playi n g with the boy d o l l i n c l u d i n g the d o l l ' s penis. He had p r e v i o u s l y answered "No" when asked i f anyone had ever touched him on the penis. He had not been asked at that time i f 63 anyone ever p u l l e d on his penis. That would have been considered an unethical question as i t might have suggested to the c h i l d behaviour that he otherwise would not have engaged i n . I t could a l s o have been considered a leading question in suggesting an answer that might not otherwise have been given about behaviour t h a t might not have occurred. C h i l d B provided no information about being touched in e i t h e r the vaginal or anal area even a f t e r being asked about bathing habits and about being touched and t i c k l e d i n other areas. She had provided a d d i t i o n a l information in regard to the l a t t e r questions. She was not the only c h i l d who provided no, or minimal, information to anal and g e n i t a l touch questions, despite very d i f f e r e n t responses to questions on other t o p i c s . For some c h i l d r e n these questions may have t r i g g e r e d o f f a response more complex than remembering or not remembering. An example would be H's mother's explanation of why he would respond n e g a t i v e l y to questions about being touched on the penis and anus. Ch i l d r e n l i k e c h i l d G, however, who responded i d e n t i c a l l y to questions about being touched in those areas and to a question about anyone p u t t i n g anything in his mouth might simply have problems accessing the memories required f o r a more extensive answer. They would need more a s s i s t a n c e in evoking those memories. Responses of other c h i l d r e n i n d i c a t e that asking r e l a t e d questions, such as questions about being touched in other areas, or even engaging in some type of play with the c h i l d which might help her behave in a more relaxed manner in the interview s i t u a t i o n , might be of a s s i s t a n c e in helping access evocative memory. Increased play time with the d o l l s might a l s o have t h i s e f f e c t . 64 4.4.4 COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT M = male, 3 years I—Is there anything d i f f e r e n t about these d o l l s ? M- Yep. I-What's the d i f f e r e n c e ? M-I want to put them back. E = female, 3 years I-Are you looking f o r something? E- Wribbet. What's a wribbet, wribbet, wribbet? I-What? E-A parrot. I-A parrot? Does A parrot say wribbet, wribbet, wribbet? E-(Shakes head). I-No? What says wribbet, wribbet, wribbet? E-Do you know how to t i e t h i s up? This sample was too small in regard to number of c h i l d r e n and age range to learn much about the e f f e c t o f c o g n i t i v e development on the c h i l d ' s responses to such an interview. As well there was no t e s t i n g as to developmental stage so that c h i l d r e n could not be compared except as to age. Three year olds d i d appear to be more d i s t r a c t a b l e and to have a sh o r t e r a t t e n t i o n span than the two f i v e year olds but without q u a n t i f y i n g the number of responses i n d i c a t i n g d i s t r a c t i b i 1 i t y i t i s d i f f i c u l t to put much weight i n that statement. While three year olds avoided more questions and changed the subject more often than the older c h i l d r e n a l l c h i l d r e n behaved i n t h i s manner at l e a s t some of the time i n the interview. There was no pattern in the type of questions they had avoided in t h i s manner. I t i s p o s s i b l e that the question may have been d i f f i c u l t or not of i n t e r e s t , or they may have been t i r e d or r e s t l e s s . Touch questions were no more avoided than any other question. 4.4.5 INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES Not only d i d c h i l d r e n e x h i b i t considerable i n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s in how they responded to the interview s i t u a t i o n and to the d o l l s , but some of 65 CHILD VIDEO AGE SEX CAT GOES TO PUTS IN WARM VOLUNTEERS PARENTS TAPED DOLLS FINGER UP INFO LIVE IN E YES 3 F UF NO YES FAST OFTEN 2 A YES 3 M UF YES YES FAST OFTEN 2 M YES 3 M UC NO NO MOD OFTEN 1 N NO 3 F UF NO YES MOD OFTEN 2 B YES 4 F UC NO NO SLOW MIN 2 D YES 4 M UC NO YES FAST OFTEN 1 F YES 4 M UF NO YES MOD OFTEN 2 G YES 4 M UC NO NO SLOW MOD 2 P NO 4 M UF NO ? FAST OFTEN 2 J YES 4 F P YES YES FAST OFTEN 1 L YES 4 F UC NO NO SLOW MIN 1 C YES 5 F UF NO YES MOD MOD 2 H YES 5 M UC NO NO FAST OFTEN 1 K YES 6 M UC NO NO FAST OFTEN 1 CAT=CATEGORY, P=PROBABLE, UF=UNFOUNDED, UC=UNCERTAIN MOD=MODERATELY, MIN= MINIMALLY, ?=DO NOT KNOW MOST CHILDREN SAW BOTH PARENTS, 1=LIVES WITH ONE PARENT AT A TIME RELATIONSHIP OF CHILD VARIABLES TABLE I -66-these d i f f e r e n c e s appeared to be r e l a t e d to how much information these c h i l d r e n were l i k e l y to provide in regard to questions about being touched in the anal and g e n i t a l areas. As o u t l i n e d i n Table I, Section 4.4.5 c h i l d r e n who explored the o r i f i c e s of the d o l l s were most l i k e l y to f a l l i n t o the unfounded category. However the one c h i l d assessed as "probable" a l s o explored the o r i f i c e s . The three year olds, as a group, c o n s i s t e n t l y volunteered more information, i n c l u d i n g information on being touched. They were a l s o more l i k e l y to s t i c k t h e i r f i n g e r s i n t o the d o l l s ' o r i f i c e s . Due to the s i z e of the sample i t i s not p o s s i b l e to s t a t e i f t h i s i s r e l a t e d to age, to i n d i v i d u a l d i f f e r e n c e s or to some common h i s t o r i c a l f a c t o r . Females as a group appeared, at l e a s t i n i t i a l l y , to be s l i g h t l y more r e t i c e n t than the males but were more l i k e l y to provide more than minimal information to the female i n t e r v i e w e r on the touch questions. As there was only one interviewer, i t was not p o s s i b l e to t e s t f o r the i n t e r v i e w e r as a v a r i a b l e . There were no other patterns apparent among the i n d i v i d u a l c h i l d v a r i a b l e s in Table I in t h i s s e c t i o n . 67 CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS 5.1 OVERVIEW This chapter w i l l d i scuss the l i m i t a t i o n s i n t h i s e x p l o r a t o r y study, the unexpected f i n d i n g s , and those f i n d i n g s which r e l a t e to the use of the an a t o m i c a l l y d e t a i l e d d o l l s i n i n v e s t i g a t i v e interviews with young c h i I d r e n . 5.2 LIMITATIONS 5.2.1 DUE TO SAMPLE The sample was small i n s i z e . Findings were not expected to g e n e r a l i z e to the t o t a l population of c h i l d r e n but r a t h e r to p o i n t out areas t h a t might be focused on in f u r t h e r research s t u d i e s and areas where caution should be e x e r c i s e d i n conducting and a s s e s s i n g i n v e s t i g a t i v e i n t e r v i e w s . Responses of the c h i l d r e n to the s i t u a t i o n as might be expected, v a r i e d widely i n some areas and l e s s i n others. Factors to be kept i n mind are that the c h i l d r e n were interviewed by a stranger but in a f a m i l i a r environment where support f o r t h e i r p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the interviews was conveyed by people known to the c h i l d r e n . The c h i l d r e n were a l s o considered to be a r e l a t i v e l y homogeneous group compared to the general population of three, four and f i v e year o l d c h i l d r e n . 5.2.2 DUE TO INTERVIEWER As the interviews were a l l conducted by the same interviewer, i t i s impossible to estimate the e f f e c t of the s p e c i f i c i n t e r v i e w e r on the type and range of the responses of the c h i l d r e n . I t i s al s o p o s s i b l e that the sex of the i n t e r v i e w e r may have a f f e c t e d the c h i l d r e n ' s responses to the 68 touch questions. For example, i f a male c h i l d , was being molested by a woman he might be less l i k e l y to convey t h i s information to another woman. F i n a l l y s i n c e the int e r v i e w e r was a l s o the researcher, she might have been biased in her a n a l y s i s of the interviews 5.3 UNEXPECTED IMPLICATIONS 5.3.1 RECORDING DEVICES Comparing the information on the videotapes with the mate r i a l a v a i l a b l e from the two process type recordings done at the completion o f the interviews i t became c l e a r that process recordings were inadequate f o r r e t a i n i n g information gained i n t h i s type o f interview. In f a c t , as tapes and t r a n s c r i p t s continued to be reviewed, i t was obvious that how the in t e r v i e w e r i n t e r p r e t e d the i n t e r v i e w a f f e c t e d how the in t e r v i e w was remembered. This can lead to s i g n i f i c a n t f a c t u a l d i s t o r t i o n . I t may be important t o have tapes assessed by someone other than the in t e r v i e w e r . This can lead to increased c r e d i b i l i t y of the assessments of whatever concepts ( a l l e g a t i o n s ) being explored. Audio tapes would not have recorded the c h i l d r e n ' s nonverbal behaviours i n c l u d i n g those i n d i c a t i n g negative or a f f i r m a t i v e responses. Goldman [1984a; 1984b] i n her a r t i c l e s on c h i l d r e n ' s testimony i n court discusses two cases where the i n v e s t i g a t i v e interviews with young c h i l d r e n were audiotaped. These tapes f a i l e d to i n d i c a t e when the c h i l d r e n had responded a f f i r m a t i v e l y but nonverbally. I t was then p o s s i b l e to assume that the c h i l d r e n had been led i n t o making these responses. This c o n t r i b u t e d to the f a c t t h a t the offender was not charged i n e i t h e r case. 69 5.3.2 POWER RELATIONSHIPS I t was a l s o very c l e a r from examining the interviews that i t was the agenda of the a d u l t i n t e r v i e w e r t h a t was c o n s i s t e n t l y c a r r i e d out d e s p i t e the v a r i e d r e a c t i o n s of the c h i l d r e n . Even the one i n t e r v i e w when the c h i l d chose not to undress the d o l l s and the i n t e r v i e w e r chose to leave them dressed rather than undress the d o l l s h e r s e l f , the i n t e r v i e w e r s t i l l encouraged the c h i l d to provide h i s words f o r g e n i t a l s and anus and answer the touch questions. The type of a d u l t / c h i l d r e l a t i o n s h i p which supports the i n t e r v i e w i n g process i n v o l v e s the same power d i f f e r e n t i a l which places a c h i l d at r i s k of sexual abuse when d e a l i n g with an a d u l t whose agenda i s to e x p l o i t her i n t h a t manner. Jones and McQuiston [1985], from a s i m i l a r p e r s p e c t i v e , comment on the a u t h o r i t y of the a d u l t i n t e r v i e w e r in r e l a t i o n s h i p to the c h i l d . The i n t e r v i e w e r i n these s i t u a t i o n s should s e n s i t i v e l y u t i l i z e an awareness of the c h i l d ' s perception of t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p . 5.4 CHILD BEHAVIOURS 5.4.1 INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES With ten out of the fourteen c h i l d r e n o f t e n v o l u n t e e r i n g a d d i t i o n a l information and only two c h i l d r e n being slow or d i f f i c u l t to warm up t h i s i s u n l i k e l y to be a t y p i c a l sample. When a c h i l d ' s spontaneity d i d a f f e c t the amount of d e t a i l provided i t d i d not always ensure that the d e t a i l r e l a t e d to t o p i c . The tendency to leave the t o p i c area appeared to have some connection to age and developmental stage, with three year olds d r i f t i n g o f f t o p i c more often than the o l d e r c h i l d r e n . This age group were a l s o more spontaneous than the o l d e r c h i l d r e n . These f a c t o r s should be explored in subsequent research p a r t i c u l a r l y as they r e l a t e to o b t a i n i n g 70 more, on t o p i c , d e t a i l from younger c h i l d r e n . The responses of d i f f e r e n t c h i l d r e n to d i f f e r e n t i n t e r v i e w e r s a l s o needs f u r t h e r e x p l o r a t i o n , i n c l u d i n g same sex and opposite sex c h i l d and i n t e r v i e w e r combinations. 5.4.2 USE OF DOLLS I t was perhaps s u r p r i s i n g that twelve of the c h i l d r e n d i d not approach the d o l l s on t h e i r own i n i t i a t i v e nor d i d they undress them. I t i s possibe that t h i s may have been due to day care p r o t o c o l , to the c h i l d r e n , s i n t e r e s t i n conversing with an a d u l t or to some other unknown f a c t o r s . I t i s worth noting t h a t Wells [1983] recommends that the d o l l s not be undressed unless the c h i l d i n i t i a t e s t h i s . Thus i n an i n t e r v i e w done according to Well's p r o t o c o l these c h i l d r e n would not have undressed the d o l l s . The d e c i s i o n here was to ask the c h i l d to take part i n what i s o f t e n standard d o l l play as a way to meet the agenda requirements. The d o l l s were provided with night c l o t h e s and the c h i l d was encouraged to get them ready f o r bed. The r e s i s t a n c e of one c h i l d to engage in t h i s play was respected. Research should be undertaken which compares the responses of c h i l d r e n engaged in t h i s manner with the d o l l s with the responses of c h i l d r e n who are simply given permission to explore the d o l l s as suggested by Wells. There were a number of other i n t e r e s t i n g issues r e l a t i n g to the d o l l s . Many c h i l d r e n , when asked, appeared to be able to i d e n t i f y gender and r o l e when the d o l l s were clothe d as well as to c o r r e c t l y name the g e n i t a l s . Some c h i l d r e n even volunteered the information on gender and r o l e without being asked. Anatomically d e t a i l e d d o l l s may not be necessary in o b t a i n i n g the names c h i l d r e n use f o r various body p a r t s . In f a c t the manner i n which 71 these d o l l s were d e t a i l e d appeared confusing to some of the c h i l d r e n who i n d i c a t e d t hat they d i d not look l i k e people and confused body parts even the vagina, anus and penis. The d o l l s do, however, make i t easy to ask c h i l d r e n f o r names of body parts or f o r demonstrations of p o s s i b l e sexual c o n t a c t . I t i s important to ensure, however, that the i n t e r v i e w e r .and c h i l d c l a r i f y t h e i r understanding of the meanings of one anothers' questions and responses. T h i s i s p a r t i c u l a r l y so i n regard to the d o l l s who are not i d e n t i c a l to r e a l people and who do not have a l l t h e i r p a r t s . As these c h i l d r e n pointed out, through t h e i r responses, some s i m i l a r d e t a i l s can create as many problems as they r e s o l v e . Comparative research i s needed using anatomically d e t a i l e d d o l l s , r e g u l a r c l o t h or other ma t e r i a l d o l l s and no d o l l s i n i n v e s t i g a t i v e i n t e r v i e w s . 5.4.3 RESPONSE TO DOLLS The seven c h i l d r e n who put t h e i r f i n g e r s i n the vagina or anus or f i n g e r e d the penis were g e n e r a l l y t o be found i n the more v e r b a l l y and b e h a v i o u r a l l y e x p r e s s i v e group. T h e i r responses.ranged from p e r f u n c t o r y i n t e r e s t t o d i s c u s s i o n s i n i t i a t e d by the c h i l d of what he was doing. The behaviour p o s s i b l y r e f l e c t e d t h e i r general degree of comfort with the i n t e r v i e w s i t u a t i o n and t h e i r comfort with strange s i t u a t i o n s i n general. Six o f the seven c h i l d r e n who engaged i n t h i s behaviour were assigned to e i t h e r the probable or unfounded category. T h i s behaviour appeared to r e l a t e most s t r o n g l y to a comfort with touching and t a l k i n g about these body p a r t s . C h i l d r e n , with one exception, who d i d not explore the d o l l s ' vaginal and anal o r i f i c e s a l s o provided minimal or no information on anal or g e n i t a l 72 contact. These c h i l d r e n might be e q u a l l y r e t i c e n t in p r o v i d i n g information i f they had been s e x u a l l y abused. These c h i l d r e n had as f r e e l y explored the tongues as had the other group of c h i l d r e n . Only the " p r i v a t e p a r t s " were avoided. Further s t u d i e s of the connection between e x p l o r i n g the d o l l s ' anal and g e n i t a l o r i f i c e s and appendages and d i s c u s s i n g anal and g e n i t a l contact need to be undertaken to f u r t h e r c l a r i f y assumptions as to what t h i s behaviour might i n d i c a t e . A hypothesis r i s i n g from t h i s study i s that e x p l o r a t o r y play with the d o l l s ' g e n i t a l s and anus i s not, i n and of i t s e l f , an i n d i c a t o r of c h i l d sexual abuse. Instead t h i s e x p l o r a t o r y play i s an i n d i c a t o r that the c h i l d i s l i k e l y to d i s c u s s anal and g e n i t a l contact made by the c h i l d or by others with the i n t e r v i e w e r . 5.4.4 FANTASY AND SUGGESTIBILITY The i n t e r v i e w e r was concerned that she accepted as f a c t what l a t e r turned out to be c h i l d r e n ' s f a n t a s i e s . I t i s p o s s i b l e that i f the c h i l d r e n had been asked i f these were f a c t s they would have d i f f e r e n t i a t e d f a c t from fantasy. Even i n r e t r o s p e c t , however, there were no c l u e s to a s s i s t in d e t e c t i n g unexpected fantasy material from that which i s t r u t h f u l . This i n t e r v i e w experience points out how easy i t i s to m i s i n t e r p r e t what the c h i l d i s a c t u a l l y saying. In these cases the r e s u l t s were thought to be r e l a t i v e l y harmless even though the f a n t a s i e s were f u r t h e r enlarged upon because of the i n t e r v i e w e r ' s responses. The c h i l d , however, who s a i d f i r s t t h a t she had been touched under her panties by someone l i k e a grandfather and who a l s o t a l k e d of an imaginary 73 s i s t e r and b a l l e t lessons was a more s e r i o u s concern. The statement, concerning touch, needed to be v e r i f i e d as e i t h e r f a c t or fantasy. The p r e s e n t a t i o n o f other fantasy as f a c t confused the issue p a r t i c u l a r l y as the sexual a c t i v i t y d e s c r i b e d might be engaged i n by young c h i l d r e n . I t i s e a s i e r to b e l i e v e a c h i l d ' s statements when the a c t i v i t i e s they d e s c r i b e are c l e a r l y a d u l t sexual a c t i v i t i e s . C e r t a i n l y more needs to be known about how and when c h i l d r e n present fantasy as f a c t and the s i g n a l s that help d i f f e r e n t i a t e the two. Greenspan [1981] s t a t e s that most c h i l d r e n can d i f f e r e n t i a t e f a c t from fantasy when asked. The problem i s when and how to ask. C h i l d r e n ' s f a n t a s i e s may have a f a c t u a l basis which can c o n t r i b u t e to the dilemma. The person upon whom the s i s t e r was modeled, f o r example, was someone J knew. Sgroi [1982] and Wells [1983] s t a t e that c h i l d r e n do not l i e about sexual abuse and as well s t a t e that d e t a i l s help v e r i f y the abuse. The c h i l d i n the sample was able to provide r e a l i s t i c d e t a i l s i n regard to her imaginary s i s t e r and b a l l e t lessons but then she had experiences to draw on f o r those d e t a i l s . C e r t a i n l y i t i s hard to imagine t h a t c h i l d r e n could make up f a n t a s i e s about sexual contact such as e j a c u l a t i o n without having at l e a s t witnessed an occurence. Such i s not the case f o r behaviours the c h i l d may have witnessed or engaged in with an age mate. D e s c r i p t i o n s of behaviours a l s o do not e s t a b l i s h the i d e n t i t y of the adult o f f e n d e r . Indeed Jones [1985] suggests that c h i l d r e n may l i e about the i d e n t i t y of the offender and i f they have been s e x u a l l y abused by someone may l a t e r on go on to accuse someone e l s e . Research should be undertaken 74 to determine what leads a c h i l d to g e n e r a l i z e in such a manner and i f t h i s i s c o n s i s t e n t with other g e n e r a l i z a t i o n s that c h i l d r e n might make. As a p p l i e d to J i t w i l l be necessary to e s t a b l i s h who i s " l i k e a g r a n d f a t h e r " f o r her as well as to e s t a b l i s h d e t a i l s of time and place of the c o n t a c t ( s ) so t h a t these aspects of her s t o r y can be checked out with other people. Some c h i l d r e n responded to fantasy questions ( l e a d i n g questions with f a n t a s y content) with fantasy r e p l i e s while others responded with laughter and even other fantasy questions. Almost a l l c h i l d r e n provided more, apparently f a c t u a l m a t e r i a l to the concluding question asking whether anyone put anything in t h e i r mouth than to the i n i t i a l question. What part d i d the l e a d i n g , o f t e n fantasy o r i e n t e d questions p l a y i n enhancing f a c t u a l r e c a l l ? Fantasy and s u g g e s t i b i l i t y appear to be complex processes and were somewhat l i n k e d i n t h i s study. S u g g e s t i b i l i t y , according to Piaget and Inhelder [1966], i s a l s o l i n k e d to i m i t a t i o n which i s one of the processes by which c h i l d r e n l e a r n . Melton [1981] i n f e r r e d that s e l f esteem may a f f e c t s u g g e s t i b i l i t y but t h i s was not at l e a s t outwardly evident among the sample interviewed. There was no attempt in t h i s study to measure s e l f esteem in the c h i l d r e n . The c h i l d r e n who appeared to be the l e a s t r elaxed i n the i n t e r v i e w s i t u a t i o n , and who might have been thought to have lower s e l f esteem, were a l s o l e s s responsive to the leading questions, and l e s s l i k e l y to i m i t a t e the i n t e r v i e w e r ' s behaviours. Studies on c h i l d r e n ' s f a n t a s i e s need to be undertaken to e s t a b l i s h the 75 purposes that they serve f o r the c h i l d , the c o n d i t i o n s that encourage fantasy production, and the approaches that a s s i s t the c h i l d to c l a r i f y what i s f a c t and what i s fantasy and what i s n e i t h e r but in s t e a d wishes, b e l i e f s , or assumptions. There a l s o needs to be f u r t h e r c l a r i f i c a t i o n of the apparent d i f f e r e n c e s between i m i t a t i n g and being lead through d i r e c t or i n d i r e c t suggestion. The former i s valued as a way of l e a r n i n g and the l a t t e r i s d e c r i e d as a c o n d i t i o n of u n r e l i a b i l i t y . U n t i l the knowledge base of these type of thought processes i s more p r e c i s e l y e s t a b l i s h e d i t i s o n l y p o s s i b l e to r e l y on the judgement of i n t e r v i e w e r s who u t i l i z e t h e o r e t i c a l and e x p e r i e n t i a l knowledge of c h i l d r e n in order to i n t e r v i e w and to assess. T h i s i s c l e a r l y not a i n f a l l i b l e system but i t i s apparently the best model p r e s e n t l y a v a i l a b l e . 5.4.5 MEMORY The production, by the c h i l d , of memories, r a t h e r than the memories themselves i s what i s of i n t e r e s t here. Many c h i l d r e n i n the study v o l u n t a r i l y provided d e t a i l s of some aspect of t h e i r l i v e s (at l e a s t a year previous) i n d i c a t i n g a good memory f o r some long term d e t a i l . The i n t e r v i e w e r u s u a l l y wants s p e c i f i c d e t a i l on a s p e c i f i c t o p i c that the c h i l d may or may not be prepared to d i s c u s s . In t h i s case the information wanted was information on who had touched the c h i l d ' s anus and g e n i t a l s i n c l u d i n g when and where and how. As was discussed p r e v i o u s l y , no c h i l d thoroughly d iscussed t h i s t o p i c but some c h i l d r e n provided much more infor m a t i o n than d i d others. In a genuine i n v e s t i g a t i v e i n t e r v i e w the i n t e r v i e w e r wants to obtain s u f f i c i e n t d e t a i l to e s t a b l i s h t h a t the c h i l d was or was not s e x u a l l y abused and to ob t a i n s u f f i c i e n t d e t a i l to meet the requirements of the l e g a l systems. This may take more than one in t e r v i e w 76 [ S g r o i , 1982]. The need f o r subsequent interviews with J to gain f u r t h e r d e t a i l was apparent i n t h i s study. In these interviews a l l of the c h i l d r e n provided more d e t a i l i n regard to someone p u t t i n g food i n t h e i r mouths a f t e r a s e r i e s of questions designed to be leading and suggestive. These young c h i l d r e n , in t h i n k i n g about unusual items being put i n t h e i r mouths, were a l s o stimulated to think about r e a l items being put in t h e i r mouths. The d o l l s apparently s t i m u l a t e d one c h i l d to t h i n k about tugging on r e a l penises. Research should be undertaken on the e f f e c t s of c e r t a i n s t i m u l i in producing e v o c a t i v e m a t e r i a l as well as the e f f e c t s of m u l t i p l e interviews f o r the same end. 5.5 ASSESSMENT OF ALLEGATIONS This i s the primary focus of the study. What can be learned from young c h i l d r e n who are not known to have a h i s t o r y of c h i l d sexual abuse about the i n v e s t i g a t i v e i n t e r v i e w using the a n a t o m i c a l l y d e t a i l e d d o l l s i n c l u d i n g the assessment phase? As might have been expected in a sample of fourteen young c h i l d r e n , given the i n c i d e n c e of c h i l d sexual abuse, there was a p r o b a b i l i t y that one c h i l d would have an unrecognized h i s t o r y of abuse. Six c h i l d r e n did provide s u f f i c i e n t i nformation on being touched i n the anal and g e n i t a l area that i t was f e l t that i f they had been abused there would have been c o n s i d e r a b l e l i k e l i h o o d t h a t information concerning the abuse would have been provided as w e l l . They were assessed as having a very low p r o b a b i l i t y of having been abused. 77 The unexpected f i n d i n g was that f o r seven of the c h i l d r e n i n s u f f i c i e n t information was obtained to assign them to the unfounded category. The c l i n i c a l e x p e c t a t i o n i s t h a t one i s uncertain as to the l i k e l i h o o d of c h i l d sexual abuse only i f there are i n d i c a t o r s of high r i s k . In s p i t e of having a low l i k e l i h o o d of sexual abuse these c h i l d r e n ' s behaviours do not match with the assumptions of what separates c h i l d r e n who have a high p r o b a b i l i t y of having been abused from those who do not. A l l of these c h i l d r e n e x h i b i t e d some behaviours that might have lead some p r a c t i t i o n e r s to suspect t h a t they had been abused. Some common assumptions in regard to behaviours i n d i c a t i v e of c h i l d sexual abuse are presented i n Table II, S e c t i o n 5.5. The only one t h a t i s c o n s i s t e n t l y accepted as a v a l i d a t i o n of an a l l e g a t i o n of c h i l d sexual abuse i s the p r e s e n t a t i o n by the c h i l d of a h i s t o r y of such abuse. Even then c e r t a i n c r i t e r i a must be met such as the p r o v i s i o n of d e t a i l b e l i e v a b l e to the experienced i n t e r v i e w e r . Only one c h i l d met t h a t c r i t e r i a and she was assessed as a probable v i c t i m of c h i l d sexual abuse. The other i n d i c a t o r s are more t e n t a t i v e l y held assumptions. C e r t a i n l y the r e s u l t s from t h i s study do not support the assumptions as to the i n t e r a c t i o n s with the d o l l s as being able to d i s t i n g u i s h between c h i l d r e n who have been abused and c h i l d r e n who have not. P r o v i d i n g or not p r o v i d i n g information on anal and g e n i t a l contact i n c l u d i n g normal bathing and t o i l e t i n g a c t i v i t i e s i s not an i n d i c a t o r which makes t h i s d i s t i n c t i o n . Instead there are i n d i c a t o r s that not enough i s known about the behaviours 78 BHAVIOURS THAT ARE SOMETIMES ASSUMED TO BE INDICATIVE OF CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE BEHAVIOURS THAT CHILDREN DISPLAYED IN THE RESEARCH STUDY INTERVIEWS PUTTING FINGERS INTO ANAL AND VAGINAL ORIFICES AVOIDING DOLLS - NOT APPROACHING DOLLS PROVIDING LITTLE OR NO INFORMATION ABOUT ANAL OR GENITAL CONTACT HISTORY OF SEXUAL ABUSE HISTORY OF SEXUAL ABUSE ATTRIBUTED TO ANOTHER CHILD SAME BEHAVIOUR - 7 CHILDREN SAME BEHAVIOUR - 12 CHILDREN SAME BEHAVIOUR - 7 CHILDREN SAME BEHAVIOUR - 1 CHILD SAME BEHAVIOUR - 0 CHILDREN COMPARISON OF POSSIBLE INDICATORS AND CHILDREN'S INTERVIEW BEHAVIOURS TABLE II 79 of c h i l d r e n without a h i s t o r y of c h i l d sexual abuse in i n v e s t i g a t i v e i n t e r v i e w s with the d o l l s to be able to make assumptions about what behaviours are i n d i c a t i v e of c h i l d sexual abuse. Behaviours cannot be both part o f the range of behaviours any c h i l d might e x h i b i t i n such an in t e r v i e w and i n d i c a t i v e that a c h i l d has been s e x u a l l y abused. 80 CHAPTER 6 SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS 6.1 SUMMARY 6.1.1 PERSPECTIVE C h i l d sexual abuse i s a serious problem. As stated, of the adult population i n North America, i t i s estimated that at l e a s t twenty-five percent of the women and ten percent of the men have a h i s t o r y of having been s e x u a l l y abused as c h i l d r e n . As t h i s knowledge becomes more widespread there i s increased i n t e r e s t i n improving s e r v i c e s to a l l of the i n d i v i d u a l s p e r s o n a l l y involved i n t h i s problem. The focus i n t h i s study i s the use of the d o l l s in an i n v e s t i g a t i v e interview of an al l e g e d young c h i l d v i c t i m . This interview plays a s i g n i f i c a n t r o l e in determining the responses to a l l e g a t i o n s of c h i l d sexual abuse. Unfortunately these interviews, p a r t i c u l a r l y with younger c h i l d r e n , pose problems. One tool that i s fre q u e n t l y thought to improve communication with young c h i l d r e n i s the anatomically d e t a i l e d d o l l s . Assumptions as to behaviours of the c h i l d i n the interview with the d o l l s that are considered to be i n d i c a t i v e of sexual abuse, based on a mix of the l i t e r a t u r e , formal and informal t r a i n i n g sessions, p r a c t i c e experience and personal biases, have developed. These assumptions are c u r r e n t l y the basis f o r the d e c i s i o n s as to the p r o b a b i l i t y that the a l l e g a t i o n i s true. Despite t h i s , there i s l i m i t e d l i t e r a t u r e a v a i l a b l e on how to conduct an i n v e s t i g a t i v e interview with young c h i l d r e n with or without the d o l l s . There i s , as we l l , l i t t l e material on how to assess these interviews once they have been conducted. Furthermore there have been no published studies on the behaviours of 81 c h i l d r e n who e i t h e r do or do not have a h i s t o r y of c h i l d sexual abuse in such an interview. 6.1.2 PROBLEM The purpose of an i n v e s t i g a t i v e i n t e r v i e w of an a l l e g e d l y s e x u a l l y abused c h i l d i s to d i f f e r e n t i a t e between the c h i l d who has been so abused and the c h i l d who has not. There i s a need to develop a more p r e c i s e understanding of the verbal and nonverbal behaviours that can i n these interviews i n d i c a t e which c h i l d has been s e x u a l l y abused and which has not. Of p a r t i c u l a r concern to the p r a c t i t i o n e r has been the u n c e r t a i n cases where there appear to be no c l e a r i n d i c a t o r s e i t h e r way. My hypothesis i s that a knowledge of the behaviours of nonabused c h i l d r e n i n the i n v e s t i g a t i v e i n t e r v i e w using the d o l l s would a s s i s t in these assessments by: f i r s t l y p r o v i d i n g a base a g a i n s t which to match the assessment assumptions that may lead to v a l i d a t i o n or i n v a l i d a t i o n of the a l l e g a t i o n s of c h i l d sexual abuse; and secondly p r o v i d i n g a range of behaviours i n such interviews that are u n l i k e l y to be i n d i c a t i v e of c h i l d sexual abuse. T h i s . e x p l o r a t o r y study i s designed to explore t h i s hypothesis in order to determine what subsequent s t u d i e s should be undertaken. 6.1.3 METHODOLOGY The research involved interviews with fourteen c h i l d r e n , ages three to f i v e , with no known h i s t o r y or i n d i c a t o r s of sexual abuse. They were interviewed with the a s s i s t a n c e of the a n a t o m i c a l l y d e t a i l e d d o l l s using an approximation of a c h i l d sexual abuse i n v e s t i g a t i v e i n t e r v i e w that had been e t h i c a l l y approved by the behavioural sciences screening committee at the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia f o r the purpose of t h i s study. Some of 82 the more s i g n i f i c a n t questions involved asking the c h i l d r e n i f they had been touched i n the g e n i t a l and anal area i n c l u d i n g how, when and by whom. As w e l l , l e a d i n g questions of a non-sexual nature were asked to determine what e f f e c t that had on the c h i l d r e n ' s responses. The c h i l d r e n ' s parents were a l s o interviewed to o b t a i n some demographic and developmental information on the c h i l d , to e s t a b l i s h how the parents expected the c h i l d r e n to deal with some of the i n t e r v i e w questions, and to v e r i f y where p o s s i b l e some of the c h i l d r e n ' s statements made during t h e i r i n t e r v i e w s . Q u a l i t a t i v e a n a l y s i s was a p p l i e d to the data. There were some assumptions from the l i t e r a t u r e and from p r a c t i c e to be examined in regards to the f i n d i n g s from t h i s study. In la r g e part, however, the plan was to look f o r the unknowns i n t h i s area. The requirement, t h e r e f o r e , was to begin the analyses of the data p u t t i n g preconceptions, as much as p o s s i b l e , aside. Comparisons were made both w i t h i n each i n d i v i d u a l interview, as well as across i n t e r v i e w s i n regard to s i m i l a r segments. Later these f i n d i n g s were reexamined in r e l a t i o n s h i p to the questions t h a t had f i r s t given r i s e to the study, p a r t i c u l a r l y those assumptions on which assessments as to the p r o b a b i l i t y of the v a l i d i t y o f a l l e g a t i o n s are based. 6.1.4 FINDINGS AND THEIR IMPLICATIONS The i m p l i c a t i o n s of the f i n d i n g s are l i m i t e d by the s i z e and homogeneity of the sample in t h i s e x p l o r a t o r y study as well as the use of a s i n g l e i n t e r v i e w e r / r e s e a r c h e r . The unexpected i m p l i c a t i o n s of t h i s study were an increased awareness of the value of video t a p i n g such int e r v i e w s and of the power r e l a t i o n s h i p any adult has with a c h i l d j n c l u d i n g offenders and 8 3 i n t e r v i e w e r s . I t was found that even the behaviours of c h i l d r e n , b e l i e v e d to have a low l i k e l i h o o d of a h i s t o r y of sexual abuse, do not f a l l i n t o any preconceived p a t t e r n . C h i l d r e n responded to the d o l l s by s t i c k i n g t h e i r f i n g e r s in the b o d i l y o r i f i c e s or by a v o i d i n g the d o l l s which had been thought to i n d i c a t e p o s s i b l e sexual abuse. They responded minimally to questions about being touched in the g e n i t a l s and anus which had been thought to i n d i c a t e p o s s i b l e sexual abuse. C h i l d r e n presented f a n t a s y m a t e r i a l i n an apparently f a c t u a l manner, were more i n t e r e s t e d in the d o l l s ' tongues than the g e n i t a l s and i n general p r e f e r r e d t a l k i n g to the i n t e r v i e w e r to engaging in other forms of behaviour. I f the c h i l d r e n i n the study had been a l l e g e d to have been s e x u a l l y abused the a l l e g a t i o n s could be considered to have been "probable" in one case, "unfounded" i n s i x cases and " u n c e r t a i n " in seven cases. Since these c h i l d r e n had been thought to have had a low l i k e l i h o o d of having a h i s t o r y of sexual abuse they were a l l expected to have been placed i n the unfounded category. The behaviours of these c h i l d r e n c l e a r l y i n d i c a t e d that many of the t e n t a t i v e assumptions, thought to d i s t i n g u i s h between a c h i l d who has been s e x u a l l y abused and a c h i l d who has not, are unable to do so. 6.2 CONCLUSIONS 6.2.1 FURTHER RESEARCH As was expected t h i s e x p l o r a t o r y p r o j e c t r a i s e d many questions. The wide range of responses of t h i s l i m i t e d sample of c h i l d r e n to the i n t e r v i e w and to the d o l l s included behaviour that could be viewed as i n d i c a t i v e of sexual abuse. C l e a r l y not enough i s known of the responses of "normal" 84 c h i l d r e n to such s i t u a t i o n s . Not only do s i m i l a r s t u d i e s need to be undertaken with c h i l d r e n sought from d i f f e r e n t c u l t u r a l and socioeconomic groups but a l s o from groups b e l i e v e d to have higher or lower p r o b a b i l i t i e s of having been s e x u a l l y abused such as s i b l i n g s of abused c h i l d r e n , c h i l d r e n whose parents have a h i s t o r y of c h i l d sexual abuse and c h i l d r e n who come from c u l t u r a l groups b e l i e v e d to d i f f e r from the population norm in terms of i n c i d e n c e of c h i l d sexual abuse. Both s i n g l e and m u l t i p l e interviews need to be undertaken to determine j u s t how e f f e c t i v e the former are with young c h i l d r e n . Research with c h i l d r e n without a h i s t o r y of sexual abuse does not r e p l a c e research with c h i l d r e n who have been so abused. Instead i t augments t h a t work. C e r t a i n l y a more p r e c i s e understanding of the use of s i n g l e or m u l t i p l e i n t e r v i e w s as an i n v e s t i g a t i v e t o o l must be developed i n work with abused c h i l d r e n as w e l l . Again the use of d o l l s in the i n t e r v i e w can only be f u l l y explored and understood when s t u d i e s with c h i l d r e n a l l e g e d to have been s e x u a l l y abused are a l s o undertaken. Some important v a r i a t i o n s are an i n i t i a l i n t e r v i e w without d o l l s and a second i n t e r v i e w with d o l l s compared to a reverse procedure and p o s s i b l y no use of the d o l l s . The advantages of using o r d i n a r y d o l l s as compared to the d e t a i l e d d o l l s should a l s o be explored. There were i n d i c a t o r s that some s p e c i f i c f a c t o r s in regard to the behaviours of young c h i l d r e n in the i n v e s t i g a t i v e interviews with the d o l l s needed to be explored more p r e c i s e l y than t h i s type of study permits: 1) the r e s u l t s of the supposedly lea d i n g questions i n producing e v o c a t i v e memories of a s i m i l a r genre needs to be explored in determining 85 e x a c t l y what aspects of that s i t u a t i o n were most e f f e c t i v e ; 2) a l l aspects of the p r e s e n t a t i o n of material that i s at l e a s t p a r t i a l l y f antasy as f a c t needs to be explored as i t e f f e c t s the c r e d i b i l i t y o f c h i l d r e n ' s evidence; 3) the e f f e c t d i f f e r e n t adult i n t e r v i e w e r s , i n c l u d i n g d i f f e r e n c e s of sex, age and s t y l e o f i n t e r v i e w i n g , have on the behaviours o f c h i l d r e n ; t h i s would i n c l u d e an e x p l o r a t i o n of the aspects of s u g g e s t i b i l i t y as i t a r i s e i n these i n t e r v i e w s . 4) f u r t h e r e x p l o r a t i o n o f c h i l d r e n ' s developmental stages p a r t i c u l a r l y as they i n t e r a c t with environmental d i f f e r e n c e s need to be undertaken i n regards to such t o p i c s as t h e i r understanding o f sexual matters and i n t e r e s t in t h e i r own and other's bodies and t h e i r understanding o f t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p s with a d u l t s . 6.2.2 SUGGESTIONS FOR PRACTICE A recommendation from t h i s study i s that a l l i n v e s t i g a t i v e interviews with c h i l d r e n be videotaped so t h a t both verbal and nonverbal behaviours are r e t a i n e d . Such tapes can then be examined and reexamined f o r fantasy m a t e r i a l appearing to be f a c t u a l as well as evidence of leading and s u g g e s t i b i l i t y . The assessments of the interviews and the assumptions on which these are based can be shared and explored with other p r a c t i t i o n e r s when d e c i s i o n s are d i f f i c u l t . The need f o r such equipment may be seen as eq u i v a l e n t to the need f o r a s k i l l e d i n t e r v i e w e r . The argument a g a i n s t using an u n s k i l l e d i n t e r v i e w e r i s that the questions they ask and the approach they take may be suggestive or le a d i n g . In such a case, even an expert i n t e r v i e w e r may not be able, in subsequent in t e r v i e w s , to determine what a c t u a l l y occurred. This study supports the need f o r inte r v i e w e r s knowledgable in the areas of c h i l d sexual abuse and 86 c h i l d development. The other important aspect o f an i n t e r v i e w e r i s experience. Even the i n v e s t i g a t i v e i n t e r v i e w e r in t h i s study n o t i c e d the changes i n her s k i l l s as she progressed from the f i r s t i n t e r v i e w to the fourteenth in l e s s than two months. U n t i l more researched information i s a v a i l a b l e the best t o o l the i n t e r v i e w e r has i s experience. The d o l l s are useful as a t o o l f o r leading the conversation around to t o p i c s of gender d i f f e r e n c e s , names f o r body parts and anal or g e n i t a l contact. Since none of these c h i l d r e n was t r y i n g to e x p l a i n complex kinds of sexual c o n t a c t there was of course no need to use the d o l l s f o r t h i s purpose. However the d o l l s do not appear to be i n d i s p e n s i b l e and i n f a c t u n d e t a i l e d d o l l s may be j u s t as u s e f u l i n most int e r v i e w s . D o l l s may be h e l p f u l i n a s s i s t i n g some c h i l d r e n convey information about sexual i n t e r a c t i o n s f o r which they have no words. D e t a i l e d d o l l s , however, as these c h i l d r e n i n d i c a t e d are not l i k e r e a l people and may confuse a c h i l d as o f t e n as they help. Caution should be e x e r c i s e d i n using the d o l l s and even more caution should be used in assessing the c h i l d r e n , s i n t e r a c t i o n s with the d o l l s . C h i l d r e n ' s c r e a t i v e e x p l o r a t i o n of the d o l l s or d i s i n t e r e s t i n them should not be viewed as p o s s i b l e i n d i c a t o r s of c h i l d sexual abuse. A l l assumptions as to i n d i c a t o r s of c h i l d sexual abuse should be a p p l i e d with c a u t i o n . Even the assumption t h a t c h i l d r e n t e l l the t r u t h about sexual abuse should be questioned. Young c h i l d r e n do present fantasy as f a c t i n other s i t u a t i o n s . Sexual abuse i s not l i k e l y to be exempt from these d i s t o r t i o n s . What can be kept i n mind i s that the more b e l i e v a b l e the f a n t a s y the more l i k e l y t h a t some aspects of the fa n t a s y are r e a l . The 87 v e r i f i c a t i o n of c h i l d sexual abuse should be undertaken with a t t e n t i o n to d e t a i l , without haste and with u n c e r t a i n t y as to outcome. Every case presents i t s own piece o f research which can c o n t r i b u t e to a b e t t e r understanding of the in t e r v i e w and assessment process. Since t h i s study was conducted with c h i l d r e n b e l i e v e d not to have been s e x u a l l y abused i t cannot c o n t r i b u t e to assumptions about the behaviours of c h i l d r e n who have been s e x u a l l y abused i n an i n v e s t i g a t i v e interview. I t has, however, r a i s e d a number of questions about some of the assumptions p r e s e n t l y used to assess the behaviours of c h i l d r e n i n i n v e s t i g a t i v e i n t e r v i e w s . One of the c h i l d r e n even presented a b e l i e v a b l e h i s t o r y of c h i l d sexual abuse. T h i s i s l i k e l y to be a v a l i d h i s t o r y o f such abuse. Nonetheless a l l of these bahaviours support the need f o r cau t i o n i n gatheri n g information i n an i n v e s t i g a t i v e interview, i n assessing t h i s m a t e r i a l and i n a c t i n g upon t h i s assessment. When i n v e s t i g a t i n g c h i l d p h y s i c a l abuse, p a r t i c u l a r l y with young c h i l d r e n , there may be a need to act even before knowing e x a c t l y what b e f e l l the c h i l d . The only requirement may be the knowledge t h a t the adults r e s p o n s i b l e f o r the c h i l d are not able to p r o t e c t the c h i l d s u f f i c i e n t l y to prevent reoccurrence o f the i n i t i a l abuse. The b e l i e f here i s that the c h i l d may s u f f e r i r r e p a i r a b l e damage such as death or disablement before the c o n c l u s i o n o f the i n v e s t i g a t i o n and assessment. With c h i l d sexual abuse, while r e c o g n i z i n g the trauma to the c h i l d o f having the abuse continue, the trauma of the i n v e s t i g a t i v e response must be a l s o taken i n t o c o n s i d e r a t i o n . 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Toronto. 92 APPENDIX A OUTLINE OF CHILD'S INTERVIEW Beginning: The i n t e r v i e w e r e x p l a i n s the i n t e r v i e w to the c h i l d i n simple language as helping the i n t e r v i e w e r to l e a r n more about i n t e r v i e w i n g c h i l d r e n . The i n t e r v i e w e r asks the c h i l d f o r permission to conduct the i n t e r v i e w . The i n t e r v i w e r then begins a s e r i e s of questions on who the c h i l d l i v e s with, pets, f r i e n d s and f a v o u r i t e toys. This continues u n t i l the c h i l d approaches the d o l l s or begins to i n d i c a t e r e s t l e s s n e s s or approximately ten minutes has passed. I f the c h i l d has not approached the d o l l s the i n t e r v i e w e r w i l l draw the d o l l s to the c h i l d ' s a t t e n t i o n . The c h i l d w i l l be t o l d t h a t these are d i f f e r e n t d o l l s because they have some d i f f e r e n t p a r t s . Middle: I f the c h i l d has not begun to undress the d o l l s the i n t e r v i e w e r w i l l ask f o r the c h i l d ' s a s s i s t a n c e i n p u t t i n g the pyjamas on the d o l l s . I f the c h i l d i s not prepared to do t h i s the i n t e r v i e w e r w i l l ask the c h i l d questions s i m i l a r to those asked of the c h i l d r e n who d i d remove the d o l l s ' c l o t h e s . The i n t e r v i e w e r w i l l not remove the d o l l ' s c l o t h e s without the c h i l d ' s cooperation. The c h i l d w i l l be asked the names of various body parts beginning with ears, eyes, elbows and knees and l a t e r proceeding to the g e n i t a l s and anus. The questions w i l l be asked i n regard to a l l four d o l l s . I f the c h i l d i s r e s i s t a n t to doing t h i s the r e s i s t a n c e w i l l be respected. Questions e x t r a c t e d from a medical protocol f o r c h i l d r e n [Herbert, 1985] w i l l then be asked. A same sex c h i l d d o l l w i l l be used to demonstrate the areas under d i s c u s s i o n . The words the c h i l d uses to designate these areas 93 w i l l be used. The questions w i l l begin by having the c h i l d demonstrate touch. The c h i l d w i l l then be asked i f any one touches her mouth. Later she w i l l be asked i f anyone ever puts anything in her mouth. The s e r i e s of questions w i l l then be asked of the g e n i t a l s and the anus. Other t o p i c s may be r a i s e d i f the c h i l d i s responding i n a l i m i t e d manner or loses i n t e r e s t i n responding. The question format: Has anyone ever touched you there (word f o r mouth, g e n i t a l s , or anus)? Who? Can you remember when t h a t happened? What d i d they touch you with? Did they touch you with anything e l s e there? Did they touch you anywhere e l s e ? Did anyone e l s e touch you there? These questions continue u n t i l o nly negative responses are r e c e i v e d to the l a s t q u e s t i o n . The i n t e r v i e w e r maintains a f r i e n d l y but f l a t a f f e c t throughout t h i s s e c t i o n . The next s e r i e s of questions were designed to explore a c h i l d ' s response to l e a d i n g questions. The i n t e r v i e w e r p o s i t i v e l y r e i n f o r c e s a l l the c h i l d ' s responses in t h i s s e c t i o n . The i n t e r v i e w e r begins by demonstrating to the c h i l d t h a t small o b j e c t s or a f i n g e r t i p can be i n s e r t e d i n the dol1's mouth. Questions: Has anyone ever put anything in your mouth? -a cookie? -a candy? -an elbow?, a chocolate frog? and so on. 94 This s e c t i o n concludes with the in t e r v i e w e r again asking the c h i l d i f anyone ever puts anything in t h e i r mouth i n c l u d i n g who, what and when. Endings: The i n t e r v i e w e r d e b r i e f s the c h i l d by f i r s t ensuring that the d o l l s are f u l l y c l o t h e d . The i n t e r v i e w e r asks the c h i l d what she thought o f the d o l l s and i f these d o l l s are d i f f e r e n t from other d o l l s i n c l u d i n g how they are d i i f f e r e n t . The i n t e r v i e w e r thanks the c h i l d f o r her help i n p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n the interv i e w . The c h i l d i s then shown a s e c t i o n of the video tape i f she wishes to see i t . 95 APPENDIX B PARENT INTERVIEW FORM CHILD PARENT'S NAME AGE OCCUPATION LIVE'S WITH TYPE OF ACCOMODATION, CHILD'S AGE BIRTH DATE BEGAN AT DAY CARE FRIENDS FAVOURITE TOYS_ PETS PLAY WITH DOLLS EXPOSURE TO NUDE (WHO): ADULT MALE ADULT FEMALE_ CHILD MALE CHILD FEMALE SEX EDUCATIONJWHO & WHAT)_ STRANGERS (WHO & WHAT) NAMES FOR BODY PARTS: ANUS VULVA/VAGINA PENIS BREAST NIPPLE_ TEMPERAMENT WITH FAMILY WITH STRANGERS TRAUMAS, PROBLEMS PARENT'S OPINION ON HOW CHILD WILL RESPOND TO TOUCH QUESTIONS AND REASON QUESTIONS BASED ON CONTENT OF CHILD'S INTERVIEW. 96 APPENDIX C This study was submitted to the Behavioural Sciences Screening Committee f o r Research and Other Studies Involving Human Subjects of The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia f o r approval. A copy of the C e r t i f i c a t e of Approval f o l l o w s . 

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