The computer-assisted interview In My Shoes can benefit shy preschool children’s communication

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© 2017 Fängström et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Interviewing children is a cognitively, socially, and emotionally challenging situation, especially for young and shy children. Thus, finding methods that aid rapport and increase these children’s communication is important. The present study investigated whether children’s verbal and non-verbal communicative behavior developed differently during the rapport phase, depending on whether children were situationally shy or not, and whether the interview was conducted using the computer-assisted interview In My Shoes (IMS) or a Standard verbal interview. The sample consisted of 60 children aged 4 to 5-years-old. The results showed that for the shy children in the IMS group their talkativeness increased and their answer latency decreased including the amount of encouragement the child needed to talk, while no changes were observed for the shy children in the Standard verbal interview group. There were no significant differences in the non-verbal behavior for the shy children regardless of the interview method used. For the non-shy children, overall, the interview method did not affect either the verbal or the non-verbal outcomes. Our findings indicate that IMS can be a useful tool during the rapport-building phase with shy children as it helps these children to improve their verbal communication.




Fängström, K., Salari, R., Eriksson, M., & Sarkadi, A. (2017). The computer-assisted interview In My Shoes can benefit shy preschool children’s communication. PLoS ONE, 12(8).

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