Reporting tendencies of child maltreatment within a UK based sample of the general population

Wright, Robyn (2018) Reporting tendencies of child maltreatment within a UK based sample of the general population. MSc(Res) thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Objective: The aim of the study was to explore the association between demographic variables and the intentions to report child maltreatment.

Participants: A convenience sample of 241 participants from the general population were recruited. All participants were over the age of 18, located within the UK and had internet access.

Method: Three vignettes were presented containing behaviours of child emotional abuse, physical abuse, and emotional neglect. Participants were asked to complete a questionnaire determining the likelihood of reporting the behaviour. Furthermore, completion of the Interpersonal Reactivity Scale (IRI, Davis, 1980) to measure empathy using 4 separate facets of empathic concern, fantasy, perspective taking, and personal distress was utilised.

Results: Participants were more likely to report emotional abuse in comparison to physical abuse refuting previous research. Participants were least likely to report emotional neglect, consistent with previous research. Using robust multiple regression analysis, general empathy was established as a significant predictor of reporting intention in both the emotional abuse vignette (p = 0.001) and the emotional neglect vignette (p = 0.002). Similarly, general empathy was also distinguished as a significant predictor of seriousness in emotional abuse (p = 0.03) and emotional neglect (p = 0.004).

Conclusion: Certain variables were determined essential to increase the likelihood of reporting. This has important implications for victims of child maltreatment and interventions designed to prevent a culture of concealment when reporting (Smith & Freyd, 2013).

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (MSc(Res))
Supervisors: Bullock, Lydia
Chou, Shihning
Keywords: Empathy; Child abuse; Reporting child abuse; Demographic factors; Reporting tendencies
Subjects: W Medicine and related subjects (NLM Classification) > WA Public health
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Medicine
Item ID: 55358
Depositing User: Wright, Robyn
Date Deposited: 05 Apr 2019 12:47
Last Modified: 07 May 2020 14:00

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