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Title: The use of why questions in child and adolescent mental health assessments
Authors: Kiyimba, Nikki
Karim, Khalid
O'Reilly, Michelle
First Published: 18-Dec-2017
Publisher: Equinox Publishing
Citation: Research on Children and Social Interaction, 2017, 1(2)
Abstract: Questions form the basis of mental health assessments and yet there is limited empirical evidence about the linguistic structure of question formats in these clinical environments. While many types of questions are used, the focus of this research was on why-prefaced questions with children. Interaction analysis was employed to interrogate the data, paying specific attention to the interactional organisation of how 'why-prefaced' questions were asked and responded to. Analysis demonstrated that when three core components were present in the question, then it was usual for a reason/explanation to be provided in response, and when one or more component was missing, it rarely elicited a reason or explanation in response. The three components were the sequential position of the question, how the question was indexically tied to the child’s prior statement, and the epistemic domain of the question. Implications for therapeutic communication and training were discussed.
DOI Link: 10.1558/rcsi.30280
ISSN: 2057-5807
eISSN: 2057-5815
Embargo on file until: 18-Dec-2019
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © 2017, Equinox Publishing. Deposited with reference to the publisher’s open access archiving policy. (
Description: The file associated with this record is under embargo until 24 months after publication, in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy. The full text may be available through the publisher links provided above.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, College of Arts, Humanities & Law

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