Document Detail

Case, teacher and school characteristics influencing teachers' detection and reporting of child physical abuse and neglect: results from an Australian survey.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18986704     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
OBJECTIVE: To identify the influence of multiple case, teacher and school characteristics on Australian primary school teachers' propensity to detect and report child physical abuse and neglect using vignettes as short hypothetical cases. METHODS: A sample of 254 teachers completed a self-report questionnaire. They responded to a series of 32 hypothetical physical abuse and neglect scenarios by rating each of the vignettes on a 5-point scale for likelihood of abuse/neglect (detection) and likelihood to report (reporting). Teacher and school characteristics were also captured. RESULTS: Multivariable multilevel analysis was used because of the hierarchical structure of the data with teachers nested within schools. A modest proportion of the variance in teachers' detecting and reporting scores was attributable to school membership. In the full model, case characteristics were found to exert the strongest influence on detecting and reporting tendency, in particular the type, frequency and severity of child physical abuse or neglect were the most important predictors of detection and reporting. At the teacher level, attention to legal reporting obligations was found to be the strongest and most significant predictor of reporting. The effect of teachers' training on both detecting and reporting emerged as a counter-intuitive finding. At the school level, characteristic effects were not as strong. CONCLUSIONS: Teachers detecting and reporting CAN is a complex decision-making process. The most important determinants of teacher decision making are case characteristics. These characteristics impact upon both detection and reporting. Future research should be directed towards identifying and testing the influence of other teacher and, to a lesser extent, school characteristics that were not included in the current study. Further research is also required to identify the components, nature and duration of appropriate training for teachers and the links between these features and reporting outcomes. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: Findings highlight the need for ongoing evaluation and enhancement of teacher education in CAN. The study underlines the importance of educating teachers about: (a) the warning signs and indicators of different types of CAN; (b) the differential effects of CAN; (c) responding to child victims including responses to direct disclosures; and (d) accurate and timely reporting.
Kerryann Walsh; Ruth Bridgstock; Ann Farrell; Mehdi Rassafiani; Robert Schweitzer
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2008-11-04
Journal Detail:
Title:  Child abuse & neglect     Volume:  32     ISSN:  1873-7757     ISO Abbreviation:  Child Abuse Negl     Publication Date:  2008 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-11-17     Completed Date:  2009-03-06     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7801702     Medline TA:  Child Abuse Negl     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  983-93     Citation Subset:  IM    
School of Early Childhood, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia.
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MeSH Terms
Child Abuse / diagnosis*
Child, Preschool
Data Collection
Mandatory Reporting*
Middle Aged

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