Year Published Part of a series of manuals designed to provide guidance on child protection practices, this manual explains court processes most relevant to child abuse and neglect cases.
What is the relationship between confidentiality certificates and mandatory reporting requirements?
The panel also selected several legal issues for review, although the scope of effort in this area was limited by the composition of the panel and the mandate of the study. Comprehensive reviews of legal issues in the field of child maltreatment have recently been published see, for example, Myers,but such reviews focus primarily on legal issues associated with the treatment of child abuse cases within administrative agencies and the courts rather than research studies.
The questions noted above are not completely resolved in the following discussion, but the panel has identified areas in which further research may assist in their resolution. Framework Of Analysis Ethical and legal issues that require consideration in formulating a research agenda The issues of child physical and sexual abuse studies of child maltreatment fall within the following three categories: Research with human subjects involves a well-documented set of ethical and legal issues, associated with many different types of scientific studies and investigations, including experimental, field, and clinical research, surveys, observational studies, and interviews Levine, ; Sieber, b; Stanley and Sieber, The developmental status of the child requires special consideration, since differences in the maturity between a preschool child and an adolescent may alter their needs for protection Thompson, Scientists involved in child maltreatment studies must confront ethical and legal questions similar to those that arise on other socially sensitive topics that sometimes include criminal activities, such as research on substance abuse behaviors, prostitution, sexual behaviors, and violence.
Page Share Cite Suggested Citation: Understanding Child Abuse and Neglect. The National Academies Press. Such issues should be raised explicitly now to strengthen this area of empirical study and to inform the development of policies, regulations, and legislation that may affect subject rights and researcher obligations.
The panel anticipates that ethical and legal issues will gain increasing prominence with the growth of research activities on child maltreatment, especially as researchers acquire the ability and resources to conduct long-term prospective studies of nonclinical samples involving large numbers of children and families.
Appropriate consideration of such issues can strengthen the integrity of research on child maltreatment. Disregard for these issues can disrupt research investigations and can stimulate additional legislative or bureaucratic requirements that could diminish the scope or creativity of future efforts.
Issues In Research On Human Subjects Three fundamental principles have guided the ethical framework for research on human subjects: In most cases, these principles are mutually reinforcing and potential conflicts can be resolved by appropriate research designs and informed consent procedures Levine, But at times, value conflicts and ethical dilemmas can arise.
For example, a scientist might be uncertain whether to emphasize the principle of beneficence or respect for persons in determining whether or not to disclose to a parent information revealed by a child, especially if the child is an adolescent. Research on both victims and offenders in child maltreatment studies is subject to the same federal regulations that govern all human subjects research 45 CFR In addition, federal regulations require additional protections for children involved in research Subpart D.
Some studies of child maltreatment may also be governed by Section In addition to federal regulations, several professional associations such as the American Psychological Association have adopted guidelines that apply to human subjects research.
Federal regulations and professional guidelines generally address the following substantive norms: There should be 1 a good research design, 2 competent investigators, 3 a favorable balance of harm and benefit, 4 informed consent, and 5 equitable selection of research subjects.
Federal regulations require that the scientist prepare a protocol that seeks to achieve scientifically valid results. The interest of the scientist in validity affects all phases of the research project, including the development of the research design, recruitment and selection of the project sample, assignment of research subjects to control and experimental groups, choice of research instrumentation, and evaluation of research outcomes.
In addition, the research protocol discusses the need for human subjects, associated risks and benefits, and the use of appropriate safeguards for risks associated with the research. The research protocol is reviewed by an appropriately constituted institutional review board to assess the impact of the proposed research on human subjects and to ensure that the safeguards are adequate.
In the research protocol, the research investigator must develop an appropriate informed consent procedure that includes an explanation of potential risks of the research project to each research subject. The assent of the child who is too young to give legal consent must also be obtained.
Both the child and the parent or guardian have the right to veto participation in the study at any point during the procedure.
A waiver of requirements of some aspects of informed consent can be obtained as long as certain limits are observed Levine, For example, consent might be waived if the procedure presents no greater burden than mere inconvenience and appropriate safeguards for confidentiality are in place, such as in the use of records without identifiers.
Research that involves deception or unusual psychological stress often includes provision for a session to debrief or desensitize research subjects following any period of experimental manipulation to ensure that they have not been harmed as a result of the research procedure. All human subjects research should be voluntary and noncoercive.
This condition is particularly important when the research involves persons of dependent status, such as children, prisoners, and the mentally disabled.There are many forms of child maltreatment, including neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, exploitation and emotional abuse.
Read through the sections below . Harms Caused by Child Abuse and Neglect in the Home Children who suffer abuse and neglect may sustain a variety of devastating physical, psychological, cognitive, and behavioral problems.
The effects vary with the age and personality of the victim and also with the type and duration of the abuse. Child abuse is an act or set of acts that results in serious harm or risk of harm, including physical or emotional abuse, exploitation or death, inflicted by a parent, caregiver, or other person who has responsibility for the child.
Child sexual abuse, also called child molestation, is a form of child abuse in which an adult or older adolescent uses a child for sexual stimulation.   Forms of child sexual abuse include engaging in sexual activities with a child (whether by asking or pressuring, or by other means), indecent exposure (of the genitals, female nipples.
Child abuse can result from physical, emotional, or sexual harm. While child abuse is often in the form of an action, there are also examples .
One major methodological problem associated with studies of child abuse and neglect is how to get a sample of young children to talk candidly about abuse and attempted abuse, especially abuse involving sexual behavior (Finkelhor and Strapko, ).