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Police interviews of parents suspected of filicide: Do interviewing officers allow their emotions to get the better of them?

By Colin Burgess


The full text of this dissertation is available only to University of Leicester members. Please log in with your CFS username and password when prompted.This study examined police interviewers‟ use of negative emotional language (NEL) during\ud interviews with homicide suspects. It was hypothesised that (i) interviewers would use\ud more NEL when they interviewed parents suspected of killing their own child (filicide) than they did when interviewing an individual suspected of killing a non-family member (non-filicide homicide). In addition, it was hypothesised that (ii) during a filicide interview an interviewing officer would use more NEL when interviewing a father than when interviewing a mother and, (iii) regardless of the sex of the suspect, a male interviewer would use more NEL than a female interviewer. Content analysis was conducted on fortyfive interview transcripts. During filicide interviews male interviewers did use significantly more NEL than female interviewers. However, no significant difference was found in the amount of NEL used in filicide interviews and non-filicide homicide interviews, nor in the filicide interviews of fathers versus mothers. With regard to the significant finding for interviewer gender, caution is suggested because the sample was small and the data were not normally distributed. Such caution notwithstanding, further research is suggested in order to establish whether there is indeed a training need for male\ud interviewers who conduct filicide interviews.University of Leiceste

Year: 2008
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