Children's reasoning about sexual abuse reporting

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Cheryl V. Tennant (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Nicholas Vacc

Abstract: Children's reasoning about sexual abuse reporting was investigated to clarify the possible relationships between such reasoning and children's age and gender. The need for such a study was supported by research suggesting that the prevalence of childhood sexual abuse significantly exceeds the incidence of reported cases of abuse and that abuse is harmful to the victim. Lawrence Kohlberg's five-stage developmental theory of moral reasoning was applied to children's reasoning about sexual abuse reporting. An interview about the reporting of abuse was developed using Kohlberg's Moral Judgment Interview as a prototype. An equal-sized stratified sample consisting of three age strata (10, 13, and 16 years) and both genders, with 10 children in each age-gender combination, was selected from students enrolled in a county school system in rural North Carolina. These subjects were interviewed, using both Kohlberg's interview and the sexual abuse interview. Children's responses were categorized according to stage of reasoning. Each subject was assigned a categorical global stage score (GSS) and a weighted average score (WAS) for both interviews.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1989
Child abuse $x Reporting
Sexually abused children $x Attitudes
Abused children $x Attitudes
Sex crimes $x Investigation

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