ERIC Number: ED338944
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990
Reference Count: N/A
Mental Health Providers and Child Abuse: An Analysis of the Decision to Report.
Crenshaw, Wesley B.; Lichtenberg, James W.
When deciding to report cases of child abuse, Mental Health Providers (MHPs) must confront legal mandates, concerns for client welfare, and a series of systemic and ethical issues. All 51 jurisdictions in the United States require MHPs to report suspected or known child abuse to appropriate authorities, with criminal penalties for noncompliance. However, research suggests mandatory reporting laws are not universally obeyed. This study examined the child abuse reporting tendencies of MHPs. The Crenshaw Abuse Reporting Survey (CARS) was given to 452 Kansas MHPs. Discriminant analysis and chi-square statistics yielded the following results: (1) knowledge of reporting laws was greater than in previous studies and nearly uniform across respondents; (2) MHPs are supportive of reporting laws, though the majority expressed at least some reservations over the laws; (3) the propensity to report a known physical abuse scenario had increased significantly since previous studies, but was still not uniform across respondents; (4) the propensity to report differed across MHP profession and gender; (5) the majority of MHPs tended not to forewarn clients of the limits of confidentiality until they suspected abuse; (6) a hierarchy of abuse reporting emerged with a scenario of known sexual abuse most often reported, followed by known physical abuse, suspected sexual abuse and emotional abuse; and (7) reporting tendencies were predicted with 81-92 percent accuracy based on a composite of decisional items. A list of 22 references is included and 16 data tables are attached. (Author/LLL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Kansas State Dept. of Social and Rehabilitation Services, Topeka.
Authoring Institution: N/A
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