ERIC Number: EJ725819
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Oct-1
Reference Count: 38
Child Abuse Reporting by School Counselors
Bryant, Jill; Milsom, Amy
Professional School Counseling, v9 n1 p63 Oct 2005
The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of child abuse reporting by school counselors and to examine factors affecting their decisions to report abuse. A sample of school counselors (N = 263) in one Midwestern state completed questionnaires to share their child abuse reporting behaviors, influences with regard to making a decision to report, and perceived barriers to the reporting process. Results showed that elementary school counselors reported significantly more child abuse cases when compared to high school counselors. This difference may correlate with the type of work school counselors do at the secondary level, compared to the elementary level. This study also revealed that in schools with higher percentages of students qualifying for free and reduced lunch, school counselors reported more cases of child abuse. Although it might be purported that child abuse exists to a higher degree in populations with more poverty (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1996), other explanations also must be considered. The significant correlation found in this study also could be due to willingness on the part of school counselors to report child abuse when the family in question is poor and, by some definitions, less empowered. Reporting families from a lower socioeconomic status might be less threatening for school counselors; conversely, it might be very intimidating to report child abuse if the family is middle- or upper-class. Such families may hold more influence and power, may be more connected with the school and administration, and may be more willing to threaten the mandatory reporter with regard to his or her employment.
Descriptors: School Counselors, Child Neglect, Child Abuse, Incidence, Child Safety, Poverty, Socioeconomic Status, Decision Making, Reports, Sexual Abuse, Legal Responsibility, Compliance (Legal)
American School Counselors Association, 1101 King St., Suite 625, Alexandria, VA 22314. Web site: http://www.schoolcounselor.org.
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Hawaii
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act