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NCJ Number: 135782 Find in a Library
Title: Impact of Case Characteristics on Child Abuse Reporting Decisions
Journal: Child Abuse and Neglect  Volume:16  Issue:1  Dated:(1992)  Pages:57-74
Author(s): G L Zellman
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 18
Grant Number: 90-CA-1213
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examines the impact of selected case characteristics on child-abuse reporting, based on data from a national survey of mandated reporters of suspected child abuse.
Abstract: The survey included vignettes in which case and personal characteristics were systematically varied. A total of 1,196 professionals responded to the survey, an overall response rate of 59 percent. The survey data indicate that respondents noticed and responded to case characteristics. Abuse-relevant judgments and reporting intentions varied, often substantially, as a function of case characteristics. Three case characteristics -- previous abuse, severity of abuse, and recantation -- were powerful predictors of vignette outcomes. A history of previous abuse led to judgments of greater seriousness, a more salutary impact of a report, and greater likelihood of reporting. More severe abuse was more likely to be labeled as abuse and was more likely to be reported. When the alleged victim retracted the accusation upon questioning by an authority figure, respondents were significantly less likely to intend a report. Child age, perpetrator intent, and family socioeconomic status also influenced abuse-relevant judgments and reporting intentions. Respondents were more likely to intend a report when younger children, lazy or angry perpetrators, and children from poor families were portrayed. 3 tables, 25 references, appended methodological information, and summaries in French and Spanish
Main Term(s): Child abuse reporting
Index Term(s): Child abuse detection; Medical evaluation
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