Dr Sonja Brubacher

STAFF PROFILE

Position

Clinical Lecturer

Faculty

Faculty of Health

Department

School of Psychology

Campus

Off-Campus (Home)

Biography

Dr. Sonja P. Brubacher is a researcher and lecturer in psychology at Deakin University, and a member of the Centre for Investigative Interviewing.
Click here to find out more about the Centre for Investigative Interviewing http://investigativecentre.org

She received her PhD from Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada, (2011) and in 2012 was awarded a Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship; Canada’s most prestigious award for postdoctoral fellows.  She became a member of the school of psychology at Deakin in October 2014. 

Her research focuses on understanding children’s cognitive development; including both their limitations and capacities, and using this knowledge to inform research concerned with uncovering the best methods for interviewing children about their experiences. Her work has previously been funded by two of the primary granting councils in Canada, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), and focused on developing and modifying techniques for interviewing children about events they had experienced repeatedly, and helping them to accurately describe specific occurrences of these events, in spite of competing generic information about what “usually happens.”

Sonja continues to live, and work with industry partners, in North America; developing, refining, and modifying e-learning exercises for training front-line interviewers of children.

Read more on Sonja's profile

Research interests

Sonja’s overarching research interests focus on understanding the cognitive foundations underlying children’s memory development, and the socio-motivational factors that influence whether and how memories are reported. Specific foci include:


• The ways in which children characterize, organize in memory, and differentiate memories for “repeated” events
• Developing/testing theoretically-based interview practices aimed at helping children to report their experiences while preserving accuracy
• Evaluation of those interviewing practices in the field
• Developing training around the needs of child professionals/mandated reporters (e.g., teachers, daycare workers)    
• Improving the quality of e-learning as a platform to deliver training

Affiliations

Canadian Child Abuse Association: http://www.csicainfo.com/home/

Centre for Investigative Interviewing: http://investigativecentre.org

Knowledge areas

child development; forensic interview protocols; memory; cognitive development; repeated events; repeated interviews; interview preparatory phases

Publications

Filter by

2020

Assessing the training needs of medical students in patient information gathering

C Gilligan, S Brubacher, M Powell

(2020), Vol. 20, pp. 1-11, BMC medical education, London, Eng., C1

journal article

The utility of ground rule instructions with younger and older adult witnesses

M Ali, S Brubacher, B Earhart, M Powell, N Westera

(2020), Vol. 34, pp. 664-677, Applied cognitive psychology, Chichester, Eng., C1

journal article

Forensic interviewers' perceptions of the utility of mock interviews with trained actors as a training tool for child interviewing

M Lawrie, S Brubacher, M Powell, D Boud

(2020), Vol. 106, pp. 1-8, Child abuse and neglect, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1

journal article

The origin, experimental basis, and application of the standard interview method: An information-gathering framework

M Powell, S Brubacher

(2020), Vol. 55, pp. 645-659, Australian Psychologist, London, Eng., C1

journal article

Narrative practice may foster comfort but not enhance cognition in adult witness interviews about a mock sexual assault

Sonja Brubacher, Stefanie Sharman, Nina Westera, Hamida Zekiroski, Meaghan Danby, Martine Powell

(2020), Vol. 31, pp. 814-821, Journal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology, Abingdon, Eng., C1

journal article

The effect of question type on resistance to misinformation about present and absent details

S Brubacher, S Sharman, A Scoboria, M Powell

(2020), Vol. 34, pp. 1323-1334, Applied Cognitive Psychology, London, Eng., C1

journal article

Psychometric properties of the Self-assessment Practice Scale for professional training contexts: evidence from confirmatory factor analysis and Rasch analysis

Zi Yan, Sonja Brubacher, David Boud, Martine Powell

(2020), pp. 1-17, International Journal of Training and Development, London, Eng., C1

journal article
2019

Indigenous perspectives on operation RESET: an initiative to improve the identification and prosecution of child sexual abuse incidents in remote indigenous communities

C Bailey, T Knight, J Koolmatrie, S Brubacher, M Powell

(2019), Vol. 54, pp. 187-192, Australian psychologist, Melbourne, Vic., C1

journal article

The effects of episode similarity on children's reports of a repeated event

Meaghan Danby, Stefanie Sharman, Sonja Brubacher, Martine Powell

(2019), Vol. 27, pp. 561-567, Memory, Abingdon, Eng., C1

journal article

How children talk about events: Implications for eliciting and analyzing eyewitness reports

S Brubacher, C Peterson, D La Rooy, J Dickinson, D Poole

(2019), Vol. 51, pp. 70-89, Developmental Review, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1

journal article

"She wanted to know the full story": children's perceptions of open versus closed questions

Sonja Brubacher, Lydia Timms, Martine Powell, Madeleine Bearman

(2019), Vol. 24, pp. 222-231, Child maltreatment, London, Eng., C1

journal article

Tracking labels for occurrences of alleged child abuse from police interviews to trials

M Danby, B Earhart, S Brubacher, M Powell, J Goodman-Delahunty, N Westera

(2019), Vol. 24, pp. 41-54, Legal and criminological psychology, Chichester, Eng., C1

journal article

Probing general routines and specific episodes for decision-making purposes in the family law context

S Brubacher, B Earhart, K Turoy-Smith, M Powell

(2019), Vol. 50, pp. 17-24, Professional psychology: research and practice, Washington, D.C., C1

journal article

Patterns of nonverbal rapport behaviors across time in investigative interviews with children

V Johnston, S Brubacher, M Powell, M Fuller-Tyszkiewicz

(2019), Vol. 43, pp. 411-434, Journal of nonverbal behavior, New York, N.Y., C1

journal article

Effects of interviewer familiarity and supportiveness on children's recall across repeated interviews

Sonja Brubacher, Debra Poole, Jason Dickinson, David La Rooy, Zsófia Szojka, Martine Powell

(2019), Vol. 43, pp. 507-516, Law and human behavior, Washington, D.C., C1

journal article

Information Gathering in Investigative and Medical Interviewing: Drawing Parallels Across Contexts

S Brubacher, C Gilligan, K Burrows, M Powell

(2019), pp. 1-8, Health Communication, London, Eng., C1

journal article

Trial of Three Investigative Interview Techniques With Minimally Verbal Adults Reporting About Occurrences of a Staged Repeated Event

Madeleine Bearman, Sonja Brubacher, Lydia Timms, Martine Powell

(2019), Vol. 25, pp. 239-252, Psychology, public policy and Law, Washington, D.C., C1

journal article

Children's competence to testify in Australian courts: Implementing the Royal Commission recommendation

S Brubacher, N Hodgson, J Goodman-Delahunty, M Powell, N Westera

(2019), Vol. 42, pp. 1386-1410, University of New South Wales Law Journal, Sydney, N.S.W., C1

journal article
2018

A nationwide survey of child interviewing practices in Canada

S Brubacher, K Roberts, B Cooper, H Price, L Barry, M Vanderloon

(2018), Vol. 60, pp. 34-68, Canadian journal of criminology and criminal justice, Toronto, Canada, C1

journal article

A comparison of responses to substantive transition prompts in interviews with children

B Earhart, M Danby, S Brubacher, M Powell, S Sharman

(2018), pp. 1-5, Child maltreatment, London, Eng., C1

journal article

Effects of label training and recall order on children's reports of a repeated event

S Brubacher, B Earhart, K Roberts, M Powell

(2018), Vol. 32, pp. 600-609, Applied cognitive psychology, Chichester, Eng., C1

journal article

Eliciting children's recall regarding home life and relationships

K Turoy-Smith, S Brubacher, B Earhart, M Powell

(2018), Vol. 15, pp. 349-368, Journal of child custody, Abingdon, Eng., C1

journal article

Professionals' views about child interviews for family law assessments

Katrine Turoy-Smith, Martine Powell, Sonja Brubacher

(2018), Vol. 56, pp. 607-622, Family Court Review: an interdisciplinary journal, Hoboken, N.J., C1

journal article
2017

The effects of face-to-face versus live video-feed interviewing on children's event reports

G Hamilton, E Whiting, S Brubacher, M Powell

(2017), Vol. 22, pp. 260-273, Legal and criminological psychology, Chichester, Eng., C1

journal article

Professionals' Perceptions Regarding the Suitability of Investigative Interview Protocols with Aboriginal Children

G Hamilton, M Powell, S Brubacher

(2017), Vol. 52, pp. 174-183, Australian Psychologist, C1

journal article

Children's reasoning about which episode of a repeated event is best remembered

M Danby, S Brubacher, S Sharman, M Powell, K Roberts

(2017), Vol. 31, pp. 99-108, Applied cognitive psychology, London, Eng., C1

journal article

The attrition of indigenous and non-indigenous child sexual abuse cases in two Australian jurisdictions

C Bailey, M Powell, S Brubacher

(2017), Vol. 23, pp. 178-190, Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, Washington, D.C., C1

journal article

Prosecutors' perceptions on questioning children about repeated abuse

M Powell, K Burrows, S Brubacher, K Roberts

(2017), Vol. 24, pp. 74-89, Psychiatry, psychology and law, Abingdon, Eng., C1

journal article

Reporting rates of child sexual abuse in Indigenous communities in two Australian jurisdictions

C Bailey, M Powell, S Brubacher

(2017), Vol. 68, pp. 74-80, Child abuse & neglect, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1

journal article

Differential effects of general versus cued invitations on children's reports of a repeated event episode

M Danby, S Sharman, S Brubacher, M Powell, K Roberts

(2017), Vol. 23, pp. 794-811, Psychology, crime & law, Abingdon, Eng., C1

journal article

The effects of one versus two episodically oriented practice narratives on children's reports of a repeated event

M Danby, S Brubacher, S Sharman, M Powell

(2017), Vol. 22, pp. 442-454, Legal and criminological psychology, London, Eng., C1

journal article

Judges' delivery of ground rules to child witnesses in Australian courts

B Earhart, S Brubacher, M Powell, N Westera, J Goodman-Delahunty

(2017), Vol. 74, pp. 62-72, Child abuse & neglect, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1

journal article
2016

Expressions of shame in investigative interviews with Australian Aboriginal children

G Hamilton, S Brubacher, M Powell

(2016), Vol. 51, pp. 64-71, Child abuse and neglect, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1

journal article

Guidelines for teachers to elicit detailed and accurate narrative accounts from children

S Brubacher, M Powell, P Snow, H Skouteris, B Manger

(2016), Vol. 63, pp. 83-92, Children and youth services review, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1

journal article

Investigative Interviewing of Aboriginal children in cases of suspected sexual abuse

G Hamilton, S Brubacher, M Powell

(2016), Vol. 25, pp. 363-381, Journal of child sexual abuse, Abingdon, Eng., C1

journal article
2015

The effects of e-simulation interview training on teachers' use of open-ended questions.

S Brubacher, M Powell, H Skouteris, B Guadagno

(2015), Vol. 43, pp. 95-103, Child Abuse & Neglect, England, C1

journal article

Developmental differences in the ability to provide temporal information about repeated events

K Roberts, S Brubacher, D Drohan-Jennings, U Glisic, M Powell, W Friedman

(2015), Vol. 29, pp. 407-417, Applied cognitive psychology, Chichester, Eng., C1-1

journal article

Children's performance on ground rules questions: implications for forensic interviewing

J Dickinson, S Brubacher, D Poole

(2015), Vol. 39, pp. 87-97, Law and Human Behavior, Washington, D.C., C1-1

journal article

The use of ground rules in investigative interviews with children : a synthesis and call for research

S Brubacher, D Poole, J Dickinson

(2015), Vol. 36, pp. 15-33, Developmental review, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1-1

journal article

The effects of practice on children's ability to apply ground rules in a narrative interview

M Danby, S Brubacher, S Sharman, M Powell

(2015), Vol. 33, pp. 446-458, Behavioral sciences and the law, Chichester, Eng., C1

journal article

The NICHD protocol: a review of an internationally-used evidence-based tool for training child forensic interviewers

D La Rooy, S Brubacher, A Aromäki-Stratos, M Cyr, I Hershkowitz, J Korkman, T Myklebust, M Naka, C Peixoto, K Roberts, H Stewart, M Lamb

(2015), Vol. 1, pp. 76-89, Journal of criminological research, policy and practice, Bingley, Eng., C1

journal article
2014

Recommendations for interviewing children about repeated experiences

S Brubacher, M Powell, K Roberts

(2014), Vol. 20, pp. 325-335, Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, C1

journal article

An investigation of the question-types teachers use to elicit information from children

S Brubacher, M Powell, H Skouteris, B Guadagno

(2014), Vol. 31, pp. 125-140, Australian educational and developmental psychologist, Cambridge, Eng., C1

journal article

Deficient cognitive control fuels children's exuberant false allegations

D Poole, J Dickinson, S Brubacher, A Liberty, A Kaake

(2014), Vol. 118, pp. 101-109, Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, MO, United States, C1-1

journal article

An examination of "don't know" responses in forensic interviews with children

B Earhart, D La Rooy, S Brubacher, M Lamb

(2014), Vol. 32, pp. 746-761, Behavioral Sciences & the Law, West Sussex, United Kingdom, C1-1

journal article

Sources of unreliable testimony from children.

D Poole, J Dickinson, S Brubacher

(2014), Vol. 19, pp. 382-410, Roger Williams university law review, Bristol, RI, C1-1

journal article

Witness recall across repeated interviews in a case of repeated abuse.

S Brubacher, D La Rooy

(2014), Vol. 38, pp. 202-211, Child Abuse and Neglect, England, C1-1

journal article
2013

Gaze, goals and growing up: effects on imitative grasping

S Brubacher, K Roberts, S Obhi

(2013), Vol. 31, pp. 318-333, British journal of developmental psychology, London, Eng., C1-1

journal article

"Because she's one who listens": children discuss disclosure recipients in forensic interviews

L Malloy, S Brubacher, M Lamb

(2013), Vol. 18, pp. 245-251, Child maltreatment, London, Eng., C1-1

journal article

How do interviewers and children discuss individual occurrences of alleged repeated abuse in forensic interviews?

S Brubacher, L Malloy, M Lamb, K Roberts

(2013), Vol. 27, pp. 443-450, Applied cognitive psychology, London, Eng., C1-1

journal article
2012

Retrieval of episodic versus generic information: Does the order of recall affect the amount and accuracy of details reported by children about repeated events?

S Brubacher, K Roberts, M Powell

(2012), Vol. 48, pp. 111-122, Developmental Psychology, C1

journal article

Induced power changes the sense of agency

S Obhi, K Swiderski, S Brubacher

(2012), Vol. 21, pp. 1547-1550, Consciousness and cognition, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1-1

journal article
2011

Children's ability to recall unique aspects of one occurrence of a repeated event

S Brubacher, U Glisic, K Roberts, M Powell

(2011), Vol. 25, pp. 351-358, Applied Cognitive Psychology, C1

journal article

Effects of practicing episodic versus scripted recall on children's subsequent narratives of a repeated event

S Brubacher, K Roberts, M Powell

(2011), Vol. 17, pp. 286-314, Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, C1

journal article

Expected consequences of disclosure revealed in investigative interviews with suspected victims of child sexual abuse

L Malloy, S Brubacher, M Lamb

(2011), Vol. 15, pp. 8-19, Applied developmental science, Abingdon, Eng., C1-1

journal article

Funded Projects at Deakin

Industry and Other Funding

Supportiveness versus Familiarity effects on Children's Recall across Repeated Interviews

Dr Sonja Brubacher, Prof Martine Powell

  • 2016: $6,241

Supervisions

Associate Supervisor
2017

Catherine Bailey

Thesis entitled: Access to justice: Reporting child sexual abuse in Australian Indigenous communities

Doctor of Philosophy (Psychology), School of Psychology