Author(s)

Alan SmithFollow

Date

9-2014

Department

School of Education

Degree

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Chair

Amanda Rockinson-Szapkiw

Keywords

abuse, child maltreatment, neglect, reporting practices, speech-language pathology, theory of reasoned action

Disciplines

Disability and Equity in Education | Education | Educational Leadership | Humane Education | Pre-Elementary, Early Childhood, Kindergarten Teacher Education | Special Education Administration | Special Education and Teaching | Student Counseling and Personnel Services

Abstract

The pervasiveness of child maltreatment is a global issue, although its impact on the United States is markedly severe. The mortality rate for children four years of age and younger continues to rise annually, with an especially alarming increase present for children with disabilities. Although inservice and preservice educators, including speech-language pathologists, are mandated to report suspected maltreatment, several obstacles appear to hinder their actions. Understanding the factors that predict an individuals' likelihood of reporting malfeasance may help minimize maltreatment occurrence and child mortality. Preservice speech- language pathologists attending accredited programs in the United States were surveyed regarding their attitudes (e.g., commitment, confidence, and concern) toward child maltreatment, including the likelihood they will report alleged abuse and neglect. The study controlled for ethnicity and gender. The results of the survey were analyzed using hierarchical multiple regression and showed the strength of the relationship between the predictor variables (e.g., commitment, confidence, and concern), including the covariates (e.g., gender and ethnicity) on the criterion variable (e.g., reporting practices). The results of the study suggested that the attitudinal dimensions of commitment and concern, including the covariate gender, have a statistically significant contribution to the likelihood that preservice speech-language pathologists will report alleged child maltreatment.