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Child Abuse Negl. 2000 Jul;24(7):901-10.

Opinions among mandated reporters toward child maltreatment reporting policies.

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University of Connecticut Health Center, Department of Community Medicine & Health Care, Farmington, CT, USA.



This study investigates the opinions of social workers, pediatricians, and physician assistants in their support for the existing child maltreatment mandated reporting policy and an alternative reporting policy. Differences in professional training, age, gender, reporting behavior, attitudes towards reporting, and level of certainty needed to report were considered in determining which group of mandated reporters was most likely to support either the existing or an alternative policy.


A total of 382 social workers, pediatricians, and physician assistants in Connecticut and Massachusetts completed a self-report questionnaire. This sample represented an overall adjusted response rate of 76%.


There was slightly more support for the existing reporting policy compared to the alternative policy. After controlling for age, attitudinal variables, and reporting behavior, social workers were significantly more likely to favor an alternative child maltreatment reporting policy than pediatricians or physician assistants. Also, those mandated reporters who had not consistently reported all suspected cases of maltreatment were significantly more likely to favor the alternative policy than consistent reporters.


Because the majority of mandated reporters do not consistently report all suspected cases of maltreatment and support for an alternative reporting policy varies among different groups, consideration of alternative strategies and policies that address the concerns of different types of professionals may be appropriate.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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