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NCJ Number: 121716 Find in a Library
Title: Role of Law Enforcement Agencies in the Reporting of Family Mistreatment
Journal: Journal of Crime and Justice  Volume:12  Issue:2  Dated:(1989)  Pages:1-35
Author(s): S W Webster
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 35
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: One effect of the mandatory reporting laws spawned by the 1974 Federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act has been a steady increase in the reporting of abuse and neglect; since approximately 50 percent of the reports are initiated by nonprofessional citizens, a community survey was conducted to investigate definitions of family mistreatment and reporting behavior.
Abstract: A survey of 180 adult residents in two northeast Ohio counties was conducted using telephone interviews. A random sample was drawn using random-digit dialing to select households, followed by random selection of adult household members. Sociodemographic information was obtained on each respondent; and using a modified factorial survey design, each respondent was read 20 randomly-selected vignettes of various degrees of mistreatment of adult and child victims and asked to judge each on six scales. The most frequently chosen referral source for reports of family mistreatment was the police when the victim was an adult (elderly parent, wife, or husband). Children services agencies were most often called for child victims. Among sociodemographic characteristics, the only variable having a consistent effect on reporting was gender, with males more likely than females to make reporting choices requiring mandatory reports and reflecting a criminal definition of the perceived abuse or neglect. The more severe the abuse was perceived, the more likely was the abuse to be viewed as criminal and warranting a police report. 11 tables, 23 references.
Main Term(s): Citizen crime reporting; Domestic assault
Index Term(s): Ohio
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