Interviewing Adolescents about Sensitive Topics: Increasing Disclosures of Harm and Violence

Chancellor's Fellow and Professor Jodi Quas speaks
Wed, 06/26/2024 - 9:00am to 10:00am

The Society for Child and Family Policy and Practice, Division 37 of the American Psychological Association (APA), presents UC Irvine Chancellor's Fellow and Professor of psychological science Jodi Quas, a leading expert on children’s and adolescents’ memory and reporting capabilities.

In contrast to the large number of trainings available on best-practice approaches for interviewing children exposed to maltreatment or violence, less attention has been devoted to training professionals on how best to question adolescent victims and witnesses. The lack of attention is particularly concerning given that adolescents (i.e., youth ages 12-18), especially those from minoritized backgrounds, are highly likely to experience or witness violence and harm and as a result may be questioned by a wide range of professionals (legal, psychological, school) about what happened.

Dr. Quas will present new research on interviewing specifically for adolescents. She will begin by discussing the types of harm diverse groups of adolescents are most likely to experience and witness followed by reasons why they are reluctant to discuss those experiences. She will then describe how adolescent reluctance is expressed in interviews, including how that reluctance might be expressed differently based on adolescents’ history, culture, and experiences. Finally, she will describe new work that is documenting interview tactics that can increase adolescents' comfort in a variety of interview contexts and willingness to discuss negative personal experiences. Attendees will come away with knowledge of evidence-based recommendations regarding best practice questioning approaches for adolescents, a unique and particularly vulnerable youth population.

Learning Objectives:
-Identify the types of negative experiences adolescents are likely to experience and witness and about which they might be questioned by professionals
-Describe typical disclosure tendencies in adolescents and explain motivational and developmental factors underlying those tendencies
-List effective questioning phrasing and rapport building tactics that can improve adolescents’ comfort and disclosure in interview settings about negative experiences and sensitive topics

Psychologists are the intended audience; Instructional Level: Basic; 1 CE Credit Registration closes June 26, 2024, at 12 p.m. EST/9 a.m. PST

Fees: Students or NO CE Credits – FREE; 1 CE Credit - $15 (Division 37 members)/$35 (non-Div 37 members).

Registration is required. Click the RSVP button below to receive the Zoom link for the webinar.

If you also want to earn and pay for CE credits (a SEPARATE STEP from registering), CLICK HERE.

Division 37: Society of Child and Family Policy and Practice is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Division 37: Society for Child and Family Policy and Practice maintains responsibility for the program and its content.

For questions or inquiries, please contact the Division 37 CE Chair, Dr. Joaquín Borrego, Jr, at If you require accommodations, please notify Dr. Borrego by 06/17/24.