Professional Psychologists' Decisions to Report Suspected Child Abuse: Clinician and Situation Influences

  • Kalichman S
  • Craig M
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Abstract

Although all states require reporting of suspected child abuse, there is considerable evidence that many psychologists do not adhere to mandatory reporting laws. Licensed psychologists from Minnesota and Oklahoma (N = 328) responded to experimental vignettes depicting suspected child abuse and a questionnaire addressing experiences related to abuse. Results showed that the age of the child and the child's behavior during a clinical interview interacted with the type of abuse in influencing decisions to report. Also, a 3-way interaction occurred between the child's age, type of abuse, and the perpetrator's relationship to the child. In addition, clinicians who indicated failure to report a case in clinical practice were less likely to report the case presented. Results demonstrate the influence of situational factors and clinician experiences in decisions to report abuse. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved)

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Authors

  • Seth C. Kalichman

  • Mary E. Craig

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