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Dissertation

To report or not to report: Factors that impact child abuse reporting behaviors of psychologists and the impact of discretionary reporting laws

11 July 2014

Abstract

Child abuse is becoming an increasingly important issue for psychologists in the United States. Mandatory reporting laws have been instituted for psychologists in all states, but Oregon additionally allows psychologists discretion in reporting when abuse or neglect is learned through privileged communication. The goal of this project was to begin to examine reporting behaviors of psychologists in Oregon and Washington. Information on demographic variables and experiences as a psychologist was collected. Participants were also asked to read a randomly assigned vignette, and respond to several questions. Results indicate that respondents of the survey were demographically similar across states and in the number of past suspicions of abuse/neglect. Several variables were found to significantly impact reporting behaviors (age, number of years in practice, and gender).


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