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TitleA comparison study between official records and self-reports of childhood adversity
Author(s)Pinto, Ricardo
Maia, Ângela
Household dysfunction
Issue date2013
JournalChild Abuse Review
Abstract(s)The aim of this paper was to assess the degree and nature of any mismatch between officially recognised child maltreatment and adolescent self-report of adverse child experiences. Participants included 136 adolescents (72 males, 64 females, Mage = 17 years, age range 14–23 years) who had been confirmed as victims of maltreatment prior to age 13 by Child Protective Services. Participants' self-reports were obtained in adolescence, at least four years after identification. Physical neglect was the most prevalent experience found in the records (87%, n = 118). When this experience was assessed through self-report, only 36 per cent (n = 49) of participants reported physical neglect. Sexual abuse was self-reported by 17 per cent (n = 23) of the sample, compared with eight per cent (n = 11) in the records. Only 17 per cent (n = 23), a small number of self-reports, were consistent with official records. Kappa values show that agreement is low (under 0.40) for seven of the ten categories. Our findings suggest substantial unreliability in the reporting of child abuse and neglect, including household adverse experiences. They also suggest the failure of professionals to discover several adverse experiences during childhood, even after identification by authorities.
DescriptionArticle first published online: 13 NOV 2012
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Appears in Collections:CIPsi - Artigos (Papers)

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