Exploring interrogation-related stressors: factors influencing apparent stress in investigative interviews with suspects

Philippe-Léopold Bélanger, Francis Fortin, Nadine Deslauriers-Varin, Sarah Paquette

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite the potential significance of stress on individuals during investigative interviews, the examination of its general impact remains an underexplored area of research, with previous studies primarily focused on the specific phenomenon of stress-induced false confessions. As for interrogation-related stressors, they are indirectly addressed in the literature and are poorly elaborated. This article has two objectives: (1) To determine the impact associated with apparent stress on the decision of the suspects to disclose information relevant to the investigation and to confess their crimes, and (2) to determine the factors that influence the suspects’ apparent stress. The current study is based on analysis of 130 videotaped investigative interviews involving individuals convicted of offenses related to online sexual exploitation of children. The study results show that the suspects’ decisions to confess the alleged facts or to disclose information relevant to the investigation do not appear to be influenced by their apparent stress. Furthermore, the suspects’ ages and the interviewers recalling the benefits of cooperation and mentioning the desire to be honest or authentic during the investigative interview reduced the suspects’ apparent stress.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-67
Number of pages21
JournalCanadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2023


  • stress
  • investigative interview
  • interrogation techniques
  • confession
  • disclosure of information
  • online sex offenders

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