Do early interviews affect children’s long-term event recall

Margaret-Ellen Pipe, Rachel Sutherland, Nalini Webster, Carolyn Jones, David la Rooy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present study examined the effects of the timing of an initial interview on children’s recall of an event over delays of one and two years. Fifty-five children who had originally participated in a novel event when they were between 5 and 6 years old and had been interviewed about it following either short (1 week or less) or long (1 or 6 month) delays were reinterviewed 1 and 2 years after the original experience. An additional 20 children not interviewed prior to the 1-year interview were included as a no-prior interview control group. Long delays to the initial interview led to better open-ended recall at the 1-year delay than short delays to initial interview or no prior interview. However, initial interviews that followed short delays had a greater impact on children’s responses to specific questions. The results suggest that prior interview history is an important consideration when examining the effects of long delays on children’s event reports, and that the effects of the timing of an initial interview depend on the nature of the information recalled.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)823-839
Number of pages17
JournalApplied Cognitive Psychology
Issue number7
Early online date16 Sept 2004
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2004

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