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Issues Compr Pediatr Nurs. 1992 Oct-Dec;15(4):239-47.

Parent gender, victim gender, and family socioeconomic level influences on the potential reporting by nurses of physical child abuse.


In 1974, the Federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act required reporting of child abuse in all states. Although nurses have since this time been designated as mandated reporters of abuse, only recently have nurses begun to hold positions where they are directly responsible for abuse reporting. This study investigated whether the gender of the victim, the gender of the abusing parent, or the family's socioeconomic level influences the potential reporting of child abuse by nurses. Participants were shown three vignettes of children being admitted to an emergency room with symptoms of possible abuse. When asked if they would or would not report the incident as child abuse, participants indicated they were significantly less apt to report abuse when the victim was female rather than male, and when the family was perceived as being from a middle rather than a low or high socioeconomic background. The implication of this finding is that female children from middle-class backgrounds may be left less protected than others as nurses become more actively involved in child abuse reporting.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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