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Teachers' and Education Majors' Ratings of Parentâ€“Child Interactions as Child Abuse
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by Jamie R. Tribble, Karen L. Yanowitz, and Emmanuelle Monte - Arkansas State University
Although actions that endanger a child's life are clearly instances of child abuse, other situations may be more ambiguous. Because teachers may be in a unique position to report cases of potential abuse to the authorities, their definitions about what constitutes child abuse are particularly important. We used 12 parent-child interaction scenarios to examine education majors' and teachers' definitions of child abuse. Each scenario described a potential emotional or physical abuse situation. Participants rated each scenario as to how strongly they agreed or disagreed the situation was an example of child abuse. Professional teachers more strongly agreed the emotional parent-child interactions were examples of child abuse than education majors. In contrast, teachers and education majors did not differ in their ratings of the physical situations.