Vulnerability to interrogative suggestibility from negative life events. A comparison of separated asylum-seeking youth and age-matched peers

Samantha Childs, Zoe Given-Wilson, Stephen Butler, Amina Memon, Gisli Gudjonsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Downloads (Pure)


The consistency of young asylum-seeker’s verbal testimony is often critical in determining the outcome of their claims. It is well established that an interviewee may change their answers to appease an interviewer or in response to suggestions. Experiencing adversity during childhood may increase vulnerability in such interview situations. Here, the vulnerability to interview pressure of asylum-seeking youth separated from their caregivers as minors was compared with age-matched peers. Thirty participants (16-23 years) completed the Gudjonsson Suggestibility Scale (GSS2 , measures of negative life events (NLEs) and non-verbal cognitive functioning measures. Vulnerability to interrogative suggestibility, non-verbal cognitive functioning and number of NLEs was compared between two groups. This preliminary data showed asylum-seeking youth as significantly more vulnerable to Shift; changes in response to interviewer feedback. NLEs and lower non-verbal cognitive functioning were significantly more common among the separated youth increasing vulnerability to Shift. The implications are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number110600
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Early online date7 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021

Cite this