An Examination of Mississippi Teachers’ Likelihood to Report Child Sexual Abuse and the Potential Effect on the Rates of Victim Disclosure

Cox, Marjorie M (2018) An Examination of Mississippi Teachers’ Likelihood to Report Child Sexual Abuse and the Potential Effect on the Rates of Victim Disclosure. Undergraduate thesis, under the direction of Rosemary Oliphant-Ingham from School of Education, The University of Mississippi.

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Within the last year alone, hundreds of news reports have swept the United States about the experiences of sexually abused children, shocking citizens with chilling accounts from both perpetrators and victims. Once their initial reaction plays out, many people resume their daily lives with little thought to the details or repercussions of the abuse; after all, incidents of that nature only befall other peoples’ children. How does this secondary response affect child victims? Are children more or less likely to divulge their abuse with a societal response such as this? These are questions that the researcher sought to answer within the context of teachers and students in the state of Mississippi. The researcher distributed a survey to middle and high school teachers and undergraduate junior and senior education majors at the University of Mississippi to measure their attitudes and beliefs towards reporting child sexual abuse. Participants’ responses showed a willingness to report child sexual abuse but an ignorance concerning the details of the legislation about professionals’ duty to inform and immunity for reporters; the survey revealed how the difference in amount of experience between pre- and in-service educators influenced each groups’ answers. Using the results of the survey and a review of the existing literature surrounding data on rates of victim disclosure, the researcher concluded that low victim-to-teacher disclosure rates is a result of both the relationships between teachers and students and the amount of child sexual abuse prevention and intervention training the educator has had.

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Creators: Cox, Marjorie M
Student's Degree Program(s): Secondary English Education
Thesis Advisor: Rosemary Oliphant-Ingham
Thesis Advisor's Department: School of Education
Institution: The University of Mississippi
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
Depositing User: Marjorie Cox
Date Deposited: 07 May 2018 17:14
Last Modified: 07 May 2018 17:14

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