Factors associated with nurses' intention to report child abuse: A national survey of Taiwanese nurses

Jui-Ying Feng, Murray Levine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: The objectives were to determine the experiences of Taiwanese nurses with a new child abuse reporting law and to assess attitudinal correlates of nurses' intention to report. Method: A stratified quota sampling technique was used to select registered nurses working in pediatric, psychiatric and emergency care units in Taiwan. A total of 1400 (return rate 88%) questionnaires from 1617 nurses were used. The questionnaire includes demographic information, attitudes toward and knowledge of child abuse and reporting laws, and eight vignettes of child abuse. Results: Most nurses (86%) said they had never reported a child abuse case; 21% said they had failed to report a suspected case of child abuse. Most (80%) had never had any child abuse education. About 75% felt their nursing education and in-service training was inadequate or absent. Most had an inadequate knowledge of the reporting law (mean score: 60% correct). Nurses only answered 17-43% of the law-related questions correctly. The majority accepted the professional responsibility to report. There were some differences among pediatric, psychiatric and emergency care nurses. In general, these Taiwanese nurses had negative attitudes toward corporal punishment and toward parents who abuse their children. The study also identified a variety of attitudes related to intention to report relevant to the Theory of Planned Behavior. Conclusions: Nurses accept responsibility for reporting but they believe their professional preparation for reporting is inadequate. There is a strong need for in-service and pre-service education about child abuse among nurses in Taiwan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)783-795
Number of pages13
JournalChild Abuse and Neglect
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Jan 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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