Objective: The objectives were to examine factors associated with reporting child abuse among kindergarten teachers in Taiwan based on the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB). Method: A stratified quota sampling technique was used to randomly select kindergarten teachers in Taiwan. The Child Abuse Intention Report Scale, which includes demographics, attitudes about child discipline, punishment for perpetrators, and professional responsibility for reporting, subjective norms regarding support for reporting from the general and specific important persons, perceived behavioral control, and vignettes of child abuse, was used to collect data. A total of 598 kindergarten teachers (return rate 47%) provided data. Results: While 97% of teachers reported having no experience with reporting a child abuse case, 11% indicated they had failed to report a suspected case of child abuse. Multiple regression revealed that, except for social norms, attitudes toward child discipline, punishments for perpetrators, and professional responsibility as well as perceived behavioral control explained 22.4% of variance of kindergarten teachers' intention to report child abuse. Conclusions: With the exception of the subjective norms, the findings of this study supported the TPB that kindergarten teachers' intention to report child abuse is associated with attitudes toward child discipline, punishment for perpetrators, professional responsibility, and perceived behavioral controls over reporting. This study revealed the problem of underreporting child abuse among kindergarten teachers in Taiwan, and highlighted the discrepancy between child abuse training and expected reporting outcomes suggesting an insufficiency in the current training programs on child abuse. Practice implications: There is a need to scrutinize the current training in child abuse and develop standardized training and clear reporting guidelines that will increase kindergarten teachers' confidence when confronted with suspected victims and perpetrators of child abuse in Taiwan.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health