skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 218766 Find in a Library
Title: Attributing Responsibility for Child Maltreatment When Domestic Violence is Present
Journal: Child Abuse & Neglect  Volume:31  Issue:4  Dated:April 2007  Pages:445-461
Author(s): Miriam J. Landsman; Carolyn Copps Hartley
Date Published: April 2007
Page Count: 17
Sponsoring Agency: University of Iowa, Office of the Vice Presidentfor Research
Iowa, IA 52242-1320
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined the factors that influenced how child welfare workers determined responsibility for child maltreatment and child safety in cases involving other forms of domestic violence.
Abstract: Results indicated that the presence of co-occurring domestic violence significantly impacted workers’ assessments of the degree of responsibility for child maltreatment, particularly in terms of inadequate supervision, for exposing the child to domestic violence, and for males, for causing physical harm to the child. The findings also revealed that neither the severity of injury to the child nor the caregiver’s response to the injury had an influence on workers’ assessments of responsibility for maltreatment. This finding contradicts previous research that found severity of injury and caregiver’s attitude to be related to the substantiation of child maltreatment. On the other hand, parental substance abuse significantly influenced worker’s substantiation decisions and their concerns for recurrence of maltreatment. The findings suggest that greater emphasis should be placed on assessing the dynamics of domestic violence and substance abuse during child protective investigations. Future research should utilize field methods to explore the “how” and “why” of the effects of different factors on the decisionmaking process of child welfare workers. The research involved systematically sampling 87 public child welfare workers from a list of current front line child welfare employees in a Midwestern State. Participants were asked to rate vignettes/scenarios regarding male and female caregivers’ responsibility for three different types of child maltreatment. The vignettes were developed by randomly assigning characteristics believed to be related to evaluations about responsibility for child maltreatment. The three forms of child maltreatment included in the vignettes were: (1) inadequate child supervision; (2) causing physical harm to the child; and (3) exposing the child to domestic violence. The vignettes rather than the child welfare workers were used as the unit of analysis, which means the total sample size was 435 case vignettes. Ordinary least squares regression models were used to analyze the data. Tables, references
Main Term(s): Child abuse investigations; Child welfare
Index Term(s): Child protection services; Parental attitudes
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.