Psych Attack

In this episode, I catch up with Associate Professor Lindsay Malloy to hear about her research in developmental psychology and the law. In particular, ways to improve investigative interviewing with people who have experienced maltreatment and. In this discussion, Lindsay explains some developmental differences when interviewing children, adolescents and older adults. Much of the conversation focuses on reasons why children might recant disclosures of maltreatment.

Dr Lindsay Malloy is Associate Professor in the Faculty of Social Science and Humanities, Ontario Tech University, Canada. To follow Lindsay's work, you can visit the Development, Context, and Communication Lab website or reach out on Twitter (@LMalloy).

Research papers discussed in this episode
Malloy, L. C. & Mugno, A. P. (2016). Children’s recantation of adult wrongdoing: An experimental investigation. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 145, 11-21.

Wyman, J. & Malloy, L. C. (2023). Increasing disclosures of older adult maltreatment: A review of best practices for interviewing older adult eyewitnesses and victims. Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, DOI: 10.1080/13218719.2023.2192260

Sensitive content warning
This episode refers to maltreatment experienced by children, adolescents and older adults. The episode focuses predominantly on barriers to disclosure and issues in investigative interviewing. Specific case examples and lived experience are not discussed. Please take care while listening and if you are feeling discomfort and think you would benefit from some support, please reach out to your GP or contact a service like Lifeline.

Cite this episode
MacDonald, J. B. (Host). (2024, March 2). Developmental insights for investigative interviewing about maltreatment with Associate Professor Lindsay Malloy (No. 17) [Audio podcast episode]. In Psych Attack. www.psychattack.com

Transcript
The transcript for this episode was developed using transcription software. There may be some errors in the content as I do not have capacity to review for accuracy.

What is Psych Attack?

Psych Attack focuses on the diversity of the domain of psychology. Join us for a relaxed conversation with experts discussing the topics they are passionate about in psychological research and/or practice. The aim is to better understand the spectrum of human experience, the methods used in psychology, and the people attracted to working within it. The conversations will be of interest and accessible to novice and experienced psychology listeners alike.

Hosted by Dr Jasmine B. MacDonald (jasminebmacdonald.com.au).

Dr Jasmine B. MacDonald (00:25):
Hello and welcome to Psych Attack. I'm Dr. Jasmine B. MacDonald. Today I'm catching up with associate professor Lindsay Malloy to hear about her research in developmental psychology and the law, in particular ways to improve investigative interviewing with people who have experienced maltreatment. And in this discussion, Lindsay's gonna help us understand some developmental differences when interviewing children as compared to older adults. Welcome Lindsay.

Associate Professor Lindsay Malloy (00:52):
Hi. Thank you. Thanks for having me.

Jaz (00:54):
Yeah, it's great to be able to make this time to talk about such a really serious, but very interesting topic.

Lindsay (01:02):
Yeah, no, it is a heavy topic, but, um, it's interesting to me, I know I'm a bit biased, but hopefully interesting to others as well, like think it crosses a quite a few different fields. And so, um, I like that about it.

Jaz (01:16):
Yes. Yeah, and that was something that I wanted to touch base with you about so we could just dive into that, which is Sure. Okay. Probably what I'm thinking about this topic, I think broadly about forensic psych. So would you mind just painting a little bit of a picture of the aspects of psychology or, you know, policy more broadly that this work is relevant to?

Lindsay (01:37):
So, when I first started in this field, I remember my undergraduate mentor actually gave me an article that was called, what is Forensic Psychology Anyway, . So that was the name of it. So that was published in the early two thousands. And I think a lot of people are still asking that question, like, what is forensic psychology? So I tell my students, um, it who are in a forensic psychology program that, you know, it is the, it the research and and application of psychology to the legal system. So that's kind of the formal definition. I think sometimes people think of forensic as just being clinical, right? Mm-hmm. like, um, sort of synonymous with clinical psych, but it can have all these different aspects, right? Developmental, social, cognitive, clinical. And so I really like that about the field, but it's really any, any research area in psych that can be applied to the legal system. And in my case, that's typically been the intersection of like developmental psych and forensic psych or issues that are relevant to the law.

Jaz (02:38):
If we could backtrack a little bit and hear about your, your kind of journey into psychology and forensic psychology, what did that look like?

Lindsay (02:47):
Yeah, and I've asked, I had guest speakers in my grad seminar, um, during CVID and it was really interesting to get to hear everyone's journey and everyone said the same thing. We all kind of ended up in this field of sort of developmental psych and the law. And we all started out by saying, oh, we had ki I had kind of a weird journey to get here. And then everyone described something that was actually relatively similar. So it seemed like all of us were in our undergraduate years, had some sort of mentor that introduced us to this area of psychology that we didn't know existed. And so that's kind of how it happened with me as well. Like, I had a honor seminar with the professor, Dr. Deborah Poole at Central Michigan University, who used to talk about the work that she was doing and would talk about like expert witness cases she was working on.

Lindsay (03:35):
And I just thought, this is so fascinating. I always had an interest in kids and sort of broadly speaking, like helping kids or doing something that would benefit children's lives, but I hadn't ever thought about it in this broader way of like not helping individual children per se or working with them in a clinical sense, but in working on research that would hopefully benefit kids more broadly who are undergoing or involved in these really, you know, bad experiences, essentially, like something that has to do with the legal system. So kind of met her through learning that this field even existed, you know, started doing research, honors thesis research as an undergrad, and then, um, she sort of, I honestly didn't even know what graduate school was and, uh, she kind of walked me through, you know, doing research on different programs and deciding kind of where I wanted to go. But I had applied to a lot of different kinds of programs in a way. Um, and I was even considering law school for a while, but it just seemed to be that this is where, this is where I ended up wanting to be like in psychology and, and, um, the rest is kind of, it just, I don't know, sort of happened , like one step led to another and, uh, I kind of went to school and never left.

Jaz (04:53):
What keeps you working in this space now?

Lindsay (04:55):
The thing I really love about the work is the application piece of it. Like is the real world applied part of it? I mean, I know that it's not like cool to say that or whatever it's, or it's, you know, it's, there's this still this thing in psychology where, you know, the more basic the science is, the more prestigious it is. You know, I'm using air quotes there. I know you can't see me, but , um, , I, uh, but I really love the applied side of it and I wouldn't, I've done work like basic, you know, experimental work and stuff, but I like that typically everything that comes out of my lab has some sort of applied angle that hopefully has implications for real people's lives. And that's what really keeps me feeling good about it and like wanting to keep pushing.

Jaz (05:48):
Mm. I relate to that very much and writing about applied issues, how motivating that is because you can see the people at the other end of it. And I've had that in episodes where I'll have people on board and say, and so what's the practical implication for this? And they'll go, well, now we know this really niche thing. I'm like, oh yeah, that is cool. That's, that's my applied bias coming out .

Lindsay (06:11):
Yeah. Yeah. No, I mean, I, I can't, I mean, that is definitely what keeps me, um, intrigued about it. Now, obviously, like a lot of the work has theoretical, um, there's theoretical underpinnings or we might be testing theory. Yeah. And, but it can be both and right. You can have advancements of theory and the advancements of the practice side of things. Um, it doesn't have to be one or the other. Um, but I also think it's okay to just, you know, look at an entirely applied issue that is of interest, but doesn't have to be one or the other. And I think traditionally that's been, uh, somewhat of the, you know, the norm has been like, oh, you have to pick a lane. And yeah, I don't think that's the case.

Jaz (07:00):
Mm. Alright. Well, to dive in and focus on your work, a nice place to start could be, uh, key learnings and the work that you've done around interviewing for disclosures with children.

Lindsay (07:13):
Yeah, so I mean, obviously it would take probably way longer than this conversation to go over all the stuff that we've learned, but I think, you know, since the mid eighties when we had a lot of these daycare child sexual abuse cases that emerged and people started asking these questions of, well, wait a second. Like, can you lead kids to make false allegations like this? Like, can this really happen the way that, that people are saying it happened in this case? So in some ways these real life cases like pushed this work into existence, or at least the types of questions that we're actually asking about children's suggestibility, their eyewitness testimony. And that's kind of how I got involved in the field, was originally thinking about memory and suggestibility, like I'm interested in those things. Then started moving away, not totally away, but a bit away from these questions about memory per se, and like, what are the factors that influence whether a child remembers an event and how we can get the most, you know, accurate and truthful reports from them.

Lindsay (08:20):
But to the questions more so of what are the social and motivational factors that might influence a child and whether they even report something in the first place. So we can't interview them and get those details if we don't even know about, you know, that the experience, um, took place, uh, in, in the first place. So when it comes to child maltreatment, or actually several kinds of maltreatment, we need to really rely on the disclosures from kids. It's pretty rare that you can identify maltreatment, um, without a disclosure from a child. I mean, surely in some cases, like extreme neglect, you know, there might be signs that a teacher could pick up on maybe some kinds of physical abuse, but largely we rely on kids to tell us what's going on in their lives and what's happened to them. So it makes this issue of, of disclosure and like the patterns there and who they disclose to and when and what factors influence it, really important.

Lindsay (09:19):
So I got really interested in that. I think we know a lot, um, at this point, like we know a lot about how to interview cooperative victims and witnesses, right? So kids who wanna tell us what's going on, um, how to maximize the amount of, of accurate and detailed information that we get from them. We know even very young kids can give us good accounts of their experiences. Um, we know though that also kids can be influenced to say things happened when they really didn't happen, right? We learned a lot over the years about that. And I think in recent, maybe the last decade or two, we've become very interested in the, in the question on the other side of that too, which is like, what factors influence kids saying something didn't happen when it actually did. So for a long time the emphasis was on like the false allegation piece, which is obviously really important.

Lindsay (10:13):
But, um, so is kids saying that something didn't happen when it actually did. So these are both real risks that have real consequences. We now know about lots of techniques that can help us when we know a child has disclosed and we, we are trying to get the most accurate and detailed report from them. We have lots of good methods for doing that. Um, and minimizing suggestion and everything like that, we know a bit less, uh, I would say about like how do we encourage truthful disclosures from kids when they are reluctant to talk and when they don't wanna tell us what happened. Like how do we get them to disclose without also being suggestive or leading? And so those are some of the questions that I'm the most interested in these days. Those like the social motivational factor piece interviews aren't happening like in a vacuum. So thinking too about not just what's happening in the interview, in the forensic interview where a lot of the focus has been, but thinking, well, what's happening outside that context in the child's life and how is that influencing what they're bringing up, what they're willing to disclose in the interview

Jaz (11:20):
Hmm. The other adults in their life and the influence that they have on them and the fact that those are likely, especially moms are likely to be the people who were disclosed to in the first place. And mm-hmm, that's that practical part of sitting back, reading the paper and thinking actually before they even get in that room, there are these interactions that probably happen with mom or other adults first

Lindsay (11:40):
And after, right after the fact. So my first kind of foray into this was a study that I did in grad school, which is still my most highly cited paper and was on recantation in actual cases. And we looked at this big sample of over 250 cases and we found that yeah, maternal support, um, was a really key factor in whether kids recanted. So during the course of the investigation, if mom reacted poorly to the disclosure, right, if mom was, didn't believe the child or blame the child for the abuse and things like that, then kids were more likely to recant during that, the few months of those investigations. I mean, it makes a lot of sense. Like it's not , you know, it's not that surprising in many ways. Like we know parents have an enormous influence on kids. A lot of times the parents were putting maybe even direct pressure on the child, or the child was seeing the way that their lives or families had kind of fallen apart as a result of this disclosure.

Lindsay (12:39):
And so they were hoping that taking it back would kind of have everything go back to normal. How moms react is so important for whether kids keep disclosing, but also for how they adjust after disclosure, how the case moves through the system for a lot of things. So not just like the forensic issues, but the kind of clinical mental health issues as well. So that's such a key piece and it's one that I don't wanna say other people have ignored. It's, it's hard to study. You know, we can, we can really control what happens in the investigative interview. We can't necessarily control what happens outside of it, but we do have to consider that. And I think forensic interviewers, social workers need to know when case comes across their desk, like, okay, if these factors are present in this case, that means that this is a case where there's an especially high risk of recantation and maybe we need to provide extra resources to that family or to that child and just be aware of that risk.

Jaz (13:38):
It's tricky, right? Because as you've said, the legal processes really likely going to require multiple interviews and a high level of clear and consistent telling of a a series of events from a child. Yeah. Shifts in social pressure in between, um, I think is really interesting context for people to keep in mind in this show. I, I like to try to tie in the aspects of methods. So how do we know this stuff? How do we know this maternal influence on recantation? Would you mind describing that study? Because I I thought it was quite, quite clever.

Lindsay (14:18):
Yeah, thank you. I loved that study. I really, it's still one of my favorites. Um, so basically, you know, I, I said in the field work, so actual looking at actual cases, we had identified these factors as having predicted recantation, but obviously that's a field study. We're just looking at these case files and coding these variables. We can't draw causal conclusions from those findings because, well, you know, it's not experiment. We didn't manipulate anything, no random assignment, all of that stuff. So what we then did in a few different studies was we experimentally tested some of those factors that we had identified in the field work. And that's kind of a common theme I think throughout, uh, you know, my research program is like, find something interesting in the field to figure out a way to test it in the lab or find something interesting in the lab, go back and look in the field and see what's happening.

Lindsay (15:09):
So we had found this variable of essentially, you know, how supportive mom was, was really influential in whether kids recanted in the real world. So we designed a study where kids came into the lab. We picked the ages of kids that were especially high risk for recantation in our field study. So we had six to nine year olds come in and they played this, you know, did this whole scripted event with a research assistant during which this, this puppet broke that, um, was designed to break it broke, um, as the research assistant was doing this big demonstration. Now they weren't supposed to play with the puppets. There's a big sign that says like, you know, there's a X through it, like, do not touch. And they're told at the beginning like, Hey, just don't leave those alone. 'cause they're really fragile and you know, we're not supposed to touch them.

Lindsay (15:57):
But the research assistant who comes in is like, oh, it's no big deal. Like, I'm sure it'll be fine, we can play with these. And then of course this breakage happens and the research assistant is like, oh no, I knew we shouldn't have played with these. Like, I, I might get into big trouble if anyone finds out. So let me just put these away, let me kind of, she kind of puts it at the bottom and is like, okay, let's have this be our secret. And, you know, not tell anyone about it. The child is, is interviewed by a research assistant about what happened during this health and safety scripted event. And all of the kids end up disclosing the broken puppet, uh, that we analyzed. So there were actually seven kids. Those are like these, you know, hardcore deniers who never would admit that the lady broke the puppet, but for the most part, the kids eventually disclosed, the lady broke the puppet in the first interview.

Lindsay (16:49):
Then we had moms, uh, randomly assigned to either be supportive or unsupportive of that disclosure. So mom either came in and was like, oh, I heard you told the about the lady breaking the puppet. That's so great. Like, you know, it's great to tell the truth. If anyone asks you again, I think you should keep saying that the lady broke the puppet versus, oh, you know, I heard you told that the lady broke the puppet and I think the lady's gonna get into big trouble for that. So I think you should try to fix it and say that she didn't break the puppet. So these were very direct suggestions that they should recant essentially. We had another RA come in to do the second interview, which was identical to the first, but they're like, oh, the other research assistant had to leave and we lost her notes. So unfortunately we're gonna have to ask you all the same questions again. And these kids are pretty young, so they're like, yeah, that's fine. That's a good cover story . So I gotta ask you all the same questions. And so sorry to

Jaz (17:43):
Interrupt your flow of thought, Lindsay. Yeah. In the health system or potentially in the legal system as well. Well that's not unheard of, right? , like you need to tell a new person the same, you know, in mental health practice experience that I have, it's like people saying, do I have to tell you my story again? Like, don't you have this on file? So

Lindsay (18:01):
It's like, no, that's true, that's true. That is true. Or even when you're doing like a customer service thing or something and you have to keep getting transferred and you're like, okay, let me start again, . Um,

Jaz (18:12):
Exactly. Yeah, absolutely. So sorry. Absolutely sorry to interrupt the flow. No, we've got No, that's great. We've got a new RA come in.

Lindsay (18:19):
Yeah, they do the interview, they do the same thing, same questions, and they give the child kind of open-ended like, tell me what happened. And so for that, it's pretty easy for the kid to just not mention the puppet, right? But then there's direct questions that ask about the puppet, and then there's even highly suggestive questions that ask about the puppet. Like, when the lady broke the puppet, was she happy or mad? So at that point, you know, if the kid wants to deny it, they have to say, well, she didn't break the puppet instead of just answering one of the options provided. So anyways, we found that, uh, you know, about half of the kids who got that unsupportive language from mom, where mom said, Hey, you know, I think the lady's gonna get into trouble. You should probably try to fix it and say she didn't do it.

Lindsay (19:02):
Half of the kids recanted their disclosure of the broken puppet. So after they'd already said the lady broke the puppet, they then denied that in the second interview. So it was a pretty substantial proportion of the kids, right? Like moms, mom's suggestion there had a pretty powerful influence on what kids were willing to say in the second interview. And actually a fair number of the kids, and especially the older kids, the eight to nine year olds maintained their reconation throughout the entire second interview. Mm-Hmm, . So when they were asked three direct questions about the puppet, when they were asked three suggestive questions about the puppet, like they continued to say like, Nope, she didn't do it and continued to recant. In other words, they gave a a pretty convincing recantation. Hmm. Yeah. So that one was, was nice because we were able to draw causal conclusions that then, because you know, experimental, right?

Lindsay (19:54):
Obviously it's not maltreatment, we're talking about a broken puppet. So there's issues of ecological validity and such, but there are elements, right? So it's like this forbidden thing happened, they weren't supposed to be touching this, the kid is kind of involved in it because they are playing with one of the puppets and the research assistant's holding the other. And so it's like they're sort of implicated in the wrongdoing, you know, a pretty basic suggestion for mom kids took back what they said. And in the real world, you know, a lot of the things in our cases were much more severe than that kids are being blamed for their, their grandmother's health problems because they disclosed or they're arranging for them to meet with the alleged perpetrator and, and things like that. So yes, the event is fairly mild, but so is the the pressure that we put on the kids because of course it's a, it's a study, right? You

Jaz (20:47):
Talk about some interesting differences in that sense between the younger half of the sample and the older half that's six to seven compared to that eight and nine around moral reasoning, cognitive reasoning, and that being able to, well, leading the witness, Lindsay, you you tell the audience

Lindsay (21:07):
Well, yeah. So, so in our, in our real life study, I mean, we didn't break down the ages this much in the study, but when we looked, you know, in the actual publication, but when we looked, it's like the eight to nine range or roughly around then was like an especially high risk of recantation. And so again, that's kind of why we focused on that in the lab studies that we did. So this is one of 'em. But we also looked at children's perceptions of wrongdoing, disclosure of adults using like hypothetical vignettes in these stories that we gave kids and stuff. And there does seem to be a shift that happens, you know, from the ages of like maybe six to nine where they just get a better understanding of family loyalty and secrecy and, and what it means to keep a secret and the sort of the importance of secret keeping for relationships and for trust understanding like obligation to parents and to family members and things. And so like I think that's one of the reasons that we see this shift in kind of how they think about telling on someone essentially.

Jaz (22:09):
Yes. And that just unlocked a memory for me in reading the paper of older kids having a better sense of whether police would be told when maltreatment had occurred, my heart broke . It was like that idea of like, oh, this is something that's happened in the family that probably police won't even be told about this. And that impacting what kids would talk about was like, yeah, of course. Having that awareness of, well this means now I know this means a bad outcome for this person in my family or Yeah. Yeah, it's interesting.

Lindsay (22:39):
Yeah. And older kids tend to have a better sense of that kind of stuff, you know, through experience and just kind of life experience. And, and some of our work we've compared maltreated and non maltreated kids, so kids who've had like substantiated maltreatment cases versus kids who, well, it's possible they could have, they're in our non maltreated sample, but they haven't had any formal, uh, cases of, of maltreatment and some of that work yet is pretty heartbreaking to see. I know one of my colleagues did a study where she looked at kids' understanding of fantasy and reality and it was the maltreated kids who were more likely to say like, yes, this bad thing can happen in real life parents fighting or someone being arrested or things like that. It's like the maltreated kids were more aware, like, yes, this kind of stuff could happen in real life. Whereas the non maltreated kids sort of saw that as like fan, you know, fantasy, just like monsters and other things, right? So Right. They were actually more accurate, but the accuracy is based on, you know, the negative life experiences that they've had. Mm,

Jaz (23:43):
For sure. Let's shift focus and talk a little bit about these same kinds of processes, investigative interviewing when we're talking about the population having experienced maltreatment being older adults.

Lindsay (23:57):
Yeah, so we, we don't, as a field we don't know nearly as much about older adults and disclosure of maltreatment as we do about kids. Um, but it, it is kind of an, a shift that's maybe sort of odd in some ways, but I've always been interested in vulnerable populations, uh, period in terms of, you know, these are individuals who are at greater risk of being abused, um, and also at risk of potentially not having their reports believed or kind of come to the attention of authorities. And so that's kind of how, what got us started on this. So I had a postdoc a couple years ago now, um, Dr. Joshua Wyman, he spearheaded a lot of this work. We focused together on older adults. And there, it's not like there hasn't been attention on older adults in memory, obviously. Like we know a lot about like cognitive declines and memory declines as we age.

Lindsay (24:52):
And, and that's been investigated very fully. And looking at eyewitness testimony, even like lineup identifications and accuracy, people have looked at older adults, but not a lot again on that like social and motivational factor of what might influence someone to disclose that they're being maltreated. And how can we encourage those kinds of disclosures? Like what are the barriers to disclosures? So first can we understand those and then figure out how we might remove some of those barriers. Because we have an aging population, the over 75 group is supposed to double in the next 15 years. Wow. And we know that older adults are at greater risk of being victims of crimes, especially certain kinds of crimes than younger adults. And so there is this vulnerability there with actually experiencing crime and a vulnerability with maybe being questioned about it or being willing to disclose it.

Lindsay (25:49):
So that kind of led us to, um, focus on this older adult population. But I don't wanna make it seem like, oh, they're so similar to kids, right? Like they're, it, it's another vulnerable population. And I think sometimes it's talked about in that way, like, and it it can be patronizing for older adults that sure don't know. It's not like interviewing a child and, um, no. So I just wanna point that out. 'cause when we're talking about older adults, generally that definition means like 65 and up according to a lot of different organizations and definitions. But that's a really heterogeneous population. Um, yeah. You know, when you think about like, you know, what is the average 75 year olds? Well, there's a lot of variability there and I think even more so than what's the average 5-year-old? Like, there's probably Yeah. You know, more, um, similarities there. So we've got a big range, lots of heterogeneity, so very important not to necessarily lump them into all one group, but, um, yes. But there is a risk there, there is a risk and there is a need and it's gonna be an increasing need for law enforcement to be able to interview older adults and get accounts of their experiences.

Jaz (27:06):
Hmm, absolutely. What are some of the kind of key lessons for doing investigative interviewing with older adults that is going to lead to the best outcomes and the most accurate versions of people's experiences?

Lindsay (27:20):
I think first, like recognizing that heterogeneity and not, you know, lumping, you know, thinking of all older adults as being vulnerable or having these certain patterns or risk factors is important. Um, but I, let me back up and just say like, I don't think we really know first, so I'm gonna, I'm gonna say a few things. Like these are things that we probably wanna think about and, and do, but we don't know, uh, enough at this point. Like there really are no specific protocols. So for kids we have like several specific protocols for interviewing them, um, that recognize some their developmental capacities and limitations. We don't have the same thing for older adults. And I'm not saying that we necessarily need to, but just that in some cases we might need to and that we need a lot more research. So let me start by saying that we need a lot more research on understanding, but we know enough, we know that people including law enforcement have more negative opinions about the credibility of older adults and about the memory accuracy of older adults versus younger adults.

Lindsay (28:25):
So I think there, interesting, there are some, yeah, there are some biases there. Like sort of like, again, with kids, like we have these, a lot of people have these biases about kids and their abilities and accuracy. There are some similarities in circumstances, a bit to child maltreatment when we think about like, uh, maltreatment of older adults, some of them are in a position of being more dependent or more like financially dependent or, you know, emotionally or physically dependent on others, on, on caregivers. And so that puts them in this vulnerable position. They might also be isolated, like kids are isolated, they don't have as many outlets. Um, they're very much dependent on others and uh, it's harder for them to, like, they're not gonna necessarily call the police to make a report, right? Yeah. So their social world is smaller than adults. And I think that can be the case for older adults as well in some circumstances.

Lindsay (29:19):
And so thinking about those risk factors and the similarities there, we publish a study looking at law enforcement and what they think the barriers to disclosure are for older adult maltreatment. And they talked about a lot of the same things as we see with kids, like people being ashamed or embarrassed to disclose people being fearful of the consequences of disclosure. Mm. Fearing that their loved ones will get into trouble or they'll, they'll be removed from home. So for kids that might be being removed from their family, but for older adults it might be like, well if I disclose this, like am I gonna have to go live in a, in a long-term care facility? Like I want to stay at home. So there are, there are those fears of consequences. Um, lack of training and protocols in what to do and concerns about privacy. Like just some of the police officers in our study talked about how, you know, oh, they're from a different generation and it's just different.

Lindsay (30:20):
Like they're not as open about talking about some of this stuff. Like some of these topics are more taboo and they don't really wanna share this stuff with a stranger. One of the things I thought was really interesting was there's no such thing as like an older adult police officer, right? Right. Like they tend to retire pretty early, I think, you know, commonly retire, maybe some even in their forties but in their fifties. So when you have an older adult who is trying to, or an officer who's trying to build rapport with let's say, you know, an 85-year-old who is, they suspect maybe being maltreated, the officers talked about that difficulty of trying to build rapport and trying to have like common ground and experiences. Mm-Hmm. . And they said they often would approach them like they might approach their parents or other older adults in their lives, but it might be really challenging and difficult for an older adult to disclose something that they feel ashamed or embarrassed about to like a 23-year-old , you know, who that is.

Lindsay (31:24):
Interviewing them. I mean, like, I'm not saying it has to be age matched or anything like that, but just it's interesting to think about the social dynamics there and like the big age gaps that can exist between interviewee and interviewer and what that might mean about life experience and ability to build rapport and gain trust enough with someone that they're willing to tell you these things. I don't even necessarily mean like sexual abuse or things. I mean the shame factor came up a lot when it came to financial abuse or, um, older adults falling victim to like financial scams and stuff online. They felt really right. Embarrassed about like, I can't believe I fell for this and you know, I don't really wanna tell anyone about it. Um,

Jaz (32:08):
Which can happen to anyone. But you can see how with the tech aspect this feeds into stereotypes or even whether or not the law enforcement officer has that stereotype, the likelihood that the older adult will perceive them to, are they gonna judge me? 'cause I'm older enough fallen for this.

Lindsay (32:26):
Yes. Yeah. And actually that comes up in the research too. They have less trust of their memory and sort of start believing some of those stereotypes a bit. And then that can influence, you know, their, um, how they respond in an interview.

Jaz (32:40):
Backtrack for context of what's in my brain before I ask you this. Mm-Hmm. . Okay. Some of the work I've been working on in the last couple of years is around intimate partner violence and coercive control and this kind of coming up with financial abuse and various different kinds of abuse. And this idea of a barrier to disclosure and, and being able to address this as a a social issue is acknowledging that there is maltreatment or something problematic is happening in the first place. Mm-Hmm. and I think about this because of you mentioning with older adults like that there's likely to be this big generational gap between law enforcement and potentially there's cultural aspects as well, but gendered aspects. Yeah. Is this something that you've found coming out in your work of accessing and trying to support groups who may not acknowledge what's happening despite the law, seeing that says something that shouldn't be happening, that they personally don't realize a crime is being committed? Being

Lindsay (33:35):
Committed? Absolutely. I'm glad you reminded me of it actually, because one of the themes that came out in the interviews that we did with the police officers was this idea of like, not even recognizing that it was that abuse was occurring, right? Mm-Hmm. just having normalized a certain kind of behavior or being from a different time, quote unquote, not recognizing that abuse is abuse and that, that they were experiencing it. So not even realizing that they should be telling someone what was going on 'cause either they didn't know it was happening, like in the case of maybe financial abuse or they didn't recognize that it was abusive. So I mean, we see that sometimes in our work with kids and then we, we saw it come up in these interviews now we're doing some work now where we're trying to get, actually look at the older adults' perceptions of what they consider abuse or not and sort of like giving hypothetical vignettes and having them indicate like, would you consider this abusive and would you tell someone about this if this was happening to you? And like, who would you tell? So trying to get a sense of those disclosure processes in that way rather than asking about their own situation. There's

Jaz (34:47):
A lot in this conversation and in reading your work that found really fascinating and I know that the audience will as well. Are there any other things that you've, you'd wanna kind of pique people's interest in on what you have coming up?

Lindsay (34:59):
So I think, um, been talking about kids, been talking about older adults and we're recently started doing some work on adolescents. And so I'm excited about that too. Well, I shouldn't actually say. So I've done work with adolescents before, but looking more at like the interrogations and confessions side of things and looking at their risk for when they're interviewed as a suspect. But if you look at the protocols for interviewing kids, um, like the N-I-C-H-D protocol is the most empirically based and has the most research on it. Uh, but it's for kids up to age 14, you know, in some of the aspects of it. The way the ground rules are kind of set, set in the beginning might be sort of too young for even like the younger teenagers. So my graduate student Sydney right now is trying to look at ground rules with adolescents and kind of how do they perceive them setting ground rules, like sort of telling kids that they can say that they don't understand a question if they don't understand telling them that they can say, I don't know if they don't know an answer.

Lindsay (36:02):
A lot of this work has been done on, again, very young kids, like disproportionately looking at preschool age kids or like elementary school age kids. And, uh, Sonya Brubaker and her colleagues in the last couple years have looked at these ground rules with older adults and actually found that older adults find the ground rules quite useful that they don't find them patronizing. Um, and so our question is really about, well what about adolescents and can we look at better ways to interview this group who we know is actually at greater risk for being involved in the legal system and being a victim of a crime than the younger kids are? Right? So we do need to figure out like, how is, how can we best interview them? And they have these different characteristics, like they have a greater desire for autonomy than the younger kids.

Lindsay (36:48):
You know, they want to be kind of recognized as being more adult, but they also have these like psychosocial and cognitive limitations compared to adults. So how can we make sure that we're like respecting them and building rapport with them and getting trust with them, but also getting, you know, accounts of their experiences. So yeah, so we're gonna do a lab study looking at these ground rules with adolescents, see how they feel about them. Do they find them to be baby-ish and you know, do they or do they find them to be useful, uh, like the older adults did, so, mm-Hmm. Um, so yeah, I'm excited about that. 'cause I think that's a gap, uh, in the research where, you know, not a lot of focus specifically on the adolescent population

Jaz (37:32):
Seems like as well. If we think about the most kind of extreme end of experiences that if someone's hit adolescents before they've had the chance to disclose or have a conversation with someone about their mistreatment or maltreatment, then, um, I don't know, maybe I have stereotypes in my head about , about teenagers, but that, you know, that's a long time and a period of time of, like you said, around autonomy of having to be, um, self-dependent and a distrust for adults and systems that seems like it would make this particularly complex period of time.

Lindsay (38:10):
Yeah, absolutely. And there's a, there's, you know, certain groups of, even within that adolescent population, um, you know, others have, have looked at commercially sexually exploited youth. And so in those cases it's really, you know, the, the teens can be really reluctant to talk and there might be a greater likelihood of perceiving that they're in a sexual relationship or a consensual relationship with the person that's abusing them. And so it's like, oh, there's, yeah, that's a whole host of of, of things going on and, and how to, you know, encourage disclosures. Um, it's a particularly tricky group, so we're just tackling the ground rules piece for now. But I think hopefully eventually there will be a lot of different protocols and techniques we can use depending on the population. That would be the big goal, I think.

Jaz (38:59):
I feel as though we've covered a lot of like really interesting, important topics and aspects of your work, but I also feel like we have barely skimmed the surface. And I, you have a life outside of this, and I wanna let you go shortly, but I really genuinely want to acknowledge how I like even in the couple of papers that I've read recently, you know, we, we really have skimmed the surface of the impressive work that you've done and if people wanna reach out or keep track of the things that you're working on and and see some updates, what's the best way for them to do that?

Lindsay (39:32):
I tend to post stuff on Twitter quite regularly. Um, that's, uh, at l Malloy, L-M-A-L-L-O-Y, although I have to say like, it's been a balance ever since Covid happened of like personal and professional. So there's a bit of both in there. Um, I used to keep it entirely professional and then Covid just sort of blew the doors down on everything. And so, uh, now I find that it's, I don't know, I haven't really stopped, so be aware of that. Uh, it's not just the work stuff. Um, and

Jaz (40:05):
I really value that. I like seeing that, you know, you're, you're an impressive researcher, but you're a human as well. I've quite liked it.

Lindsay (40:14):
Yeah. Thanks. Uh, I try to keep it real on there, . Um, and I, I delete, i I tweet and delete a lot too, so I'll tweet something and then 60 seconds later I'll panic and delete it. Um,

Jaz (40:27):
That's surprisingly common, I think.

Lindsay (40:29):
Yeah. Yeah, I would say I'd delete about 50% of all of the tweets that I do. So, but that, that can be a decent way of keeping up with the work. And then I do have a website. Our lab has a website talking to kids lab.com. I've been notoriously bad about updating it, so I will say that, but that the, the website is there and we just updated our research assistant application, so we do update it sometimes.

Jaz (40:52):
Yeah, lovely. And I'll, I'll link to those things in the show notes. Thank you.

Lindsay (40:56):
Okay.

Jaz (40:57):
I like to conclude episodes with, you know, talking about appreciating the human behind the research. What do you do when you're not researching? Um, you know, the, the overlap of psychology and the law?

Lindsay (41:09):
Yeah, so I shuttle kids back and forth to different activities. , that's been my, like, that's what I feel like I do right now. Um, but actually I love it. Like, I know people talk about overscheduling and like kids being involved in too many activities and you know, you don't just get to rest. And I, I think we do, I mean we, we get to rest a fair amount, but I love like all the different activities like the dance classes and um, soccer and drum lessons and, you know, it's kind of like they're at the age where it's kind of figuring out like what is their thing and what are they good at and what do they like and what do they gravitate towards? And you kind of gotta try a few things in order to do that. So I spend a lot of my time doing that.

Lindsay (41:51):
And, um, listening to audio books is like one of my big things. Nice. So I love listening to fiction. Uh, mostly fiction or memoirs on, um, I use the Libby app, so it's all free, it's all like through my library, which I love. And then trying to heal my back, although that's less fun and more like just doing phy physio for my back, uh, because that's a longstanding problem. So those are, oh, and my dog, you know, I love my dog and I, I do post pictures of him on Twitter sometimes too, and he's just the best.

Jaz (42:26):
Yeah. Yeah. I, I've fallen in love with him, . Aw,

Lindsay (42:29):
Thanks.

Jaz (42:31):
Yeah,

Lindsay (42:31):
He is, I mean, I really didn't know, I really didn't get it how much, but he is just, we just love him. He's just like another, another baby .

Jaz (42:42):
Totally. Yeah. The silliness and the the love. Mm. With audio books. Do you have to kind of finish up the episode? Do you have a recommendation for people, some that you've enjoyed a lot recently?

Lindsay (42:55):
So I just did this 'cause I went through all the, I listened to 76 books in 2023 and Oh, so I went through and yeah, so I went through, I like listen all the time. So if I'm getting ready in the morning, if I'm driving, if I'm washing dishes, you know, I'm, I'm just constantly like listening to the book, so it feels like, I don't know, it's feels almost like cheating, but, um, but so I've managed to listen to a lot last year and I loved demon copperhead. It's really heavy and it's, it's definitely like trigger warning for opioid crisis, um, for anyone. But it's, it's really, really good. And I like the audio book because it's sort of in the accent seems, uh, a big part of it. Uh, and so there was that one and I loved Lessons in Chemistry, which is kind of a bit rage inducing, especially as a, like a female scientist, but it's really worth, yes,

Jaz (43:52):
This is, there's a, a series on Apple TV on this, right? Yeah. Yes,

Lindsay (43:58):
I've heard that. Yeah, I haven't seen that yet. I've only listened to the book, but, um, but I really loved it. It's very good, especially for like being in academia. It's a different part of science, but it's obviously than, than psychology, but it was really good. So, um, so I loved, I I loved listening to yeah, memoirs and fiction all about it.

Jaz (44:22):
Perfect. Well thank you for those recommendations. I am usually the kind of person who needs the same thing to be suggested two or three times. And just yesterday at work someone suggested the series to me and said, you will really like this, but basically what you said, you, you will be filled with rage at certain points, . Yeah. So that's too, alright. Better do it . And

Lindsay (44:44):
It, it's funny, so, 'cause I went to a talk today and, and um, the speaker had the cover of that book up and then I asked her about it after and she said that she'd done both, she'd watched the series and read the book and that the book is better than the series. But I mean, obviously that's usually the case, right? But if you can only do one, like do you know, it's it's a good story. It's very, um, entertaining. Yeah.

Jaz (45:09):
Awesome. Awesome. Lindsay, thank you so much for your time. It's been absolute pleasure and uh, I appreciate you coming to have a chat with me.

Lindsay (45:16):
Thank you. Yeah, it was great meeting you and, and thanks for having me on.