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NCJ Number: 222653 Find in a Library
Title: Caseworker Assessments of Risk for Recurrent Maltreatment: Association with Case-Specific Risk Factors and Re-reports
Journal: Child Abuse and Neglect  Volume:32  Issue:3  Dated:March 2008  Pages:377-391
Author(s): Shannon Dorsey; Sarah A. Mustillo; Elizabeth M.Z. Farmer; Eric Elbogen
Date Published: March 2008
Page Count: 15
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Mental Health
Bethesda, MD 20852
Grant Number: MH59672;CAIRN: R24 MH067377
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined the association between caseworkers' risk assessments and demographic, child, parent, and family level risk factors while examining agreements between caseworkers' risk assessments and any subsequent report of maltreatment.
Abstract: Results indicate that caseworkers' assessments of risk for subsequent maltreatment predominately were associated with parent-level risk factors which varied across physical abuse and neglect cases. These factors overlapped minimally with a smaller set of factors that predicted actual subsequent maltreatment reports. Parental risk factors associated with high-risk classification for both maltreatment types included caseworker perception of poor parenting skills and caseworkers' knowledge of a prior record of maltreatment. Caseworkers' assessments of risk were more accurate for low-risk than for high-risk cases. Caseworkers may have appropriately prioritized the importance of past reports, one of the risk factors with the most empirical support. Parent-level risk factors unique to maltreatment type included mental illness and high family stress for physical abuse cases and drug or alcohol abuse for neglect cases; specific types of maltreatment had distinct predictors. In addition to parental risk factors, two parent-level demographic characteristics, ethnicity and marital status, were associated with classification of risk. Caseworkers were less likely to assess cases with parental ethnicity listed as “other” (Asian-American, Pacific Islanders) as high-risk; Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders have had lower rates of maltreatment recurrence. Caseworkers were more likely to classify cases with a married caregiver as high-risk. Neither child nor family-level demographics were related to caseworkers' assessments of risk. Domestic violence was not related to the caseworkers' readings of risk of either physical abuse or neglect cases. Caseworkers gave more weight to parent-level risk factors that they viewed as more proximally related to parent and child interactions, such as poor parenting skills, or parental mental health problems. Data were collected from 2,139 children using the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being. Tables, references
Main Term(s): Children at risk; Victimization risk
Index Term(s): Abusing parents; Child abuse; Child abuse investigations; Neglectful parents; Parental attitudes
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