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Concordance between Adolescent Reports of Childhood Abuse and Child Protective Service Determinations in an At-Risk Sample of Young Adolescents

Citation

Everson, Mark D.; Smith, Jamie B.; Hussey, Jon M.; English, Diana J.; Litrownik, Alan J.; Dubowitz, Howard O.; Thompson, Richard; Knight, Elizabeth Dawes; & Runyan, Desmond K. (2008). Concordance between Adolescent Reports of Childhood Abuse and Child Protective Service Determinations in an At-Risk Sample of Young Adolescents. Child Maltreatment, 13(1), 14-26.

Abstract

This study examines the concordance between adolescent reports of abuse and abuse determinations from Child Protective Service (CPS) agencies. It also compares the utility of adolescent reports of abuse, relative to CPS determinations in predicting adolescent psychological adjustment. The sample included 350 early adolescents, ages 12 to 13 years, who were initially identified prior to age 2 years as being at elevated risk of maltreatment. An Audio-Computer Assisted Self Interview (A-CASI) was used to assess lifetime experiences of physical, sexual, and psychological abuse. The A-CASI interview elicited prevalence rates of abuse 4 to 6 times higher than those found in CPS records. However, 20 of 45 adolescents with CPS determinations of abuse failed to report abuse during the study interview. Adolescent psychological adjustment was more strongly associated with self-reports than with CPS determinations. The implications of these findings are discussed for validity of adolescent self-reports of childhood abuse and for the ongoing debate about disclosure patterns among victims of child sexual abuse.

URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1077559507307837

Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published

2008

Journal Title

Child Maltreatment

Author(s)

Everson, Mark D.
Smith, Jamie B.
Hussey, Jon M.
English, Diana J.
Litrownik, Alan J.
Dubowitz, Howard O.
Thompson, Richard
Knight, Elizabeth Dawes
Runyan, Desmond K.