Title

Can the motivation of child abusers to "fake good" be negated through an interview?

Presentation Type

Poster

Abstract

A structured interview assessment, the Child Guidance Interview (CGI) (Infant/Preschool Form), is being developed to distinguish child abusers from nonabusers. The CGI includes features intended to counteract abusive parents’ motivation to “fake good.” One such feature is to increase the stress participants experience during the interview in follow-up questions, thereby overcoming some parents’ “fake good” presentation. Because previous research establishes that parental stress is a risk factor for child abuse, we anticipate that stress during the interview may elicit an emotional state that provokes maladaptive responses from abusers. Using archival data, 55 transcribed CGI interviews (with abusive and nonabusive parents) were coded to produce adaptive and maladaptive response scores. The parents were given a hypothetical situation in which their child was misbehaving and were asked how they would react. The interviewer then asked twice more what the parent would do if his/her initial proposed response failed. It was hypothesized that all parents would produce more maladaptive and fewer adaptive proposals on their third response than on the first response. Also, nonabusive parents would demonstrate less of an increase in maladaptive responses across questions than would abusive parents. Further, abusive parents were expected to produce more maladaptive responses in general. Support for these hypotheses would indicate that repeating questions to reduce the likelihood of fake-good responses is a useful technique in identifying risk of child abuse.

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Apr 13th, 11:00 AM Apr 13th, 12:00 PM

Can the motivation of child abusers to "fake good" be negated through an interview?

UC Ballroom

A structured interview assessment, the Child Guidance Interview (CGI) (Infant/Preschool Form), is being developed to distinguish child abusers from nonabusers. The CGI includes features intended to counteract abusive parents’ motivation to “fake good.” One such feature is to increase the stress participants experience during the interview in follow-up questions, thereby overcoming some parents’ “fake good” presentation. Because previous research establishes that parental stress is a risk factor for child abuse, we anticipate that stress during the interview may elicit an emotional state that provokes maladaptive responses from abusers. Using archival data, 55 transcribed CGI interviews (with abusive and nonabusive parents) were coded to produce adaptive and maladaptive response scores. The parents were given a hypothetical situation in which their child was misbehaving and were asked how they would react. The interviewer then asked twice more what the parent would do if his/her initial proposed response failed. It was hypothesized that all parents would produce more maladaptive and fewer adaptive proposals on their third response than on the first response. Also, nonabusive parents would demonstrate less of an increase in maladaptive responses across questions than would abusive parents. Further, abusive parents were expected to produce more maladaptive responses in general. Support for these hypotheses would indicate that repeating questions to reduce the likelihood of fake-good responses is a useful technique in identifying risk of child abuse.