Child Maltreatment: Investigating Attitudes and Reporting Practices of School-Based Speech-Language Pathologists*Corresponding Author:
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Purpose: Mandated reporting of suspected child maltreatment is an essential step in promoting child safety. Given
the age range of maltreated children in the United States, school-based speech-language pathologists (SLP) have an
opportunity to play an important role in the prevention of such acts. Understanding the factors that predict an individual’s
likelihood of reporting abuse can potentially abate maltreatment occurrence and child mortality. The Theory of Reasoned
Action (TRA) served as the theoretical framework on which this study was based. The specific aims centred on examining
whether a significant relationship exists between school-based speech-language pathologists’ reporting practices and
their attitudes toward maltreatment (e.g., commitment, confidence, and concern) while controlling for demographic
variables (e.g., gender and ethnicity).
Method: This study utilized a convenience sample (N=117) of licensed school-based SLPs employed full-time
throughout the United States; respondents completed an online survey that used Likert-style questions, short vignettes,
and dermatologic images of possible maltreatment. Analysis was completed using hierarchical multiple regression.
Result: The final model explained 85.4% of the variance of reporting practices of school-based SLPs.
Conclusion: The findings suggest that as school-based SLP’s attitudes - commitment, confidence, and concern -
increase, so does the likelihood they will report alleged child maltreatment.