Interviewees' psychological well-being in investigative interviews: a therapeutic jurisprudential approach

Kent Madsen, Ulf Holmberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Therapeutic jurisprudence sees the law as a social force; its underlying idea is that legal procedures should promote the psychological well-being (PWB) of individuals involved in juridical actions. In this experimental study, 146 subjects were assigned to one of two groups: one undergoing humanitarian rapport interviews, the other undergoing non-rapport interviews. Each group underwent two interviews separated by a six-month interval. The causal effects of interview style on interviewees’ PWB were measured using sense of coherence and StateTrait Anxiety inventories, both pre and post interview at Interviews I and II. Analysis of covariance of scores from both interviews showed interaction effects between interview style and interviewees’ anxiety and sense of coherence, respectively. At Interview I, a non-rapport approach was related to increased anxiety, that is, decreased PWB when comparing pre- and post-interview testing. At Interview II, a humanitarian rapport approach promoted improved sense of coherence, thus, increased PWB. More empirical research on PWB in relation to therapeutic jurisprudence is needed. The discussion focuses on how PWB should be measured in a therapeutic jurisprudential context of investigative interviews.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-74
Number of pages14
JournalPsychiatry, Psychology and Law
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Swedish Standard Keywords

  • Psychology (501)


  • STAI
  • investigative interviewing
  • psychological well-being
  • rapport
  • sense of coherence


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