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Interview in Child and Family Settings

Introduction

Interview can be defined as a system of communication, typically dyadic, aimed at acquiring information. The interview is a basic tool in many social sciences, including psychology. In every field of child psychology, from basic research to professional practice, sooner or later one will be faced with the task of discovering what a child thinks, feels or knows. Nevertheless, the validity of the interview (and more generally the use of verbal protocols; see Praetorious & Duncan, 1988) is continually debated, especially with children (Bruck & Ceci, 1996).

Interviewing is dangerously similar to everyday conversations. In fact, asking and answering are basic human activities (Flammer, 1981), which take place in the most varied occasions: a dialogue between friends, a school exam, a medical interrogation, a police questioning, ...

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