ERIC Number: ED177834
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Sep
Reference Count: 0
Final Report on Defining and Classifying Cases of Child Abuse in Rhode Island.
Gelles, Richard J.
A questionnaire survey of 565 professionals in seven occupational and organizational contexts (physicians, psychiatrists, elementary school counselors and principals, public and private social workers, and police officers) in Rhode Island was undertaken to investigate the process by which child abuse is defined and identified. In addition to the structured questionnaire, informal, unstructured interviews were conducted with 79 professionals who had reported at least one case of child abuse in 1975. Findings indicated that: (1) there is not one, uniform accepted (or acceptable) definition of child abuse used by a majority of professionals who encounter cases of child abuse; (2) definitions of abuse vary among professional groups; (3) the process by which cases are identified and labeled "child abuse" varies, and varies by professional group; and (4) the definitions of abuse and labeling processes employed by professional groups mean that two types of errors in case diagnosis are going to be made--some cases of child abuse will be incorrectly diagnosed as "not abuse," while cases which are not abuse will be incorrectly labeled "child abuse." Tables with statistical data and a copy of the survey instrument are included. (Author/SBH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect (DHEW/OHD), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Rhode Island Univ., Kingston.
Identifiers: Rhode Island