BEHS 453 Discussion 5: Reporting Child Abuse

BEHS 453 Discussion 5: Reporting Child Abuse

In this discussion, we’re going to take a look at issues associated with reporting known or suspected cases of child abuse.

According to the American Psychological Association Presidential Task Force on Violence and the Family, “Surveys of health care professionals, including mental health providers, indicate that professionals often fail to report identified child maltreatment, despite being trained to identify child abuse and neglect. Many professionals indicate that they do not believe others will follow through to provide the help needed by a family coping with violence.” (APA, 1996, p. 63)

For the purposes of this discussion, choose a state that you are interested in and respond to all of the following questions and at least 2 of your classmates’ posts.

Helpful web site:

Name of State:

  1. How is child abuse defined in the statute?
  2. Who are the mandated reporters?
  3. Is any group specified as “exempt”? If yes, please explain
  4. What are the penalties for failing to report?
  5. Are child witnesses to domestic violence addressed in the statute? If yes, please explain
  6. Do you think there is ever a good reason for a professional to fail to report child abuse?
  • Post your original discussion response by Saturday, 11:59 p.m. ET.
  • Post replies in two other students’ threads by Tuesday, 11:59 p.m. ET.
  • See the Syllabus under “Project Descriptions” for a detailed description of expectations for both original question posts and replies to others.

Week 5: Child Abuse

Last week, we talked about partner abuse/intimate partner violence. This week, we’ll take a more in-depth look at child abuse. Child abuse is an act resulting in serious physical or emotional harm, exploitation or death. Child abuse includes physical, emotional, sexual and neglect. While we will learn this in class, it is important to note that each child’s response to domestic violence is unique and is affected by the frequency and severity of the abuse, her or his relationships with adult caregivers, and a host of other complex factors.

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BEHS 453 Discussion 5: Reporting Child Abuse
BEHS 453 Discussion 5: Reporting Child Abuse

This week we will discuss how children in the United States experience violence in many forms, yet American children are more likely to be killed, physically or sexually assaulted, pushed, shoved, slapped, or beaten up in their own homes by family members than anywhere else or by anyone else. As true today as at any point in the history of the United States, these facts are also accurate assessments of family life throughout much of the Western world.

This week we will dive deeper into how domestic violence is a widespread epidemic impacting children and families. As we will discuss, it is estimated that over 15.5 million children in the U.S. are exposed annually to adult IPV at home, with young children making up the majority of exposed youth among families who seek police involvement for domestic violence.

Lastly, this week we will focus on vulnerabilities – familial, parental, and societal – as well as appropriate response systems, while we examine the effects of physical abuse, developmental consequences of child sexual abuse, effects of domestic violence on its youngest victims, and other controversial topics.

Estimated Time

Over the next week, you should spend approximately 9 – 12 hours to fully engage in the materials and to complete all the activities. Note, this is just an estimate of the time you will need to complete this week’s work. Each student works at a different pace, so you may spend more time or less; however, be sure to keep this estimate in mind when planning your week. Remember to build in time to work on longer term projects as well.


  • Discuss the ambiguities associated with the term child abuse and the problems inherent in the social support system because of differences in definitions
  • Analyze the societal causes of violence against children
  • Evaluate the vulnerabilities associated with child abuse within the personal response system
  • Synthesize the components of the personal system that place a child at risk for incest and the individual and family characteristics associated with intrafamilial child physical and sexual abuse
  • Summarize the emotional problems of adult survivors of various forms of family violence
    evaluate treatment and interventions for dealing with child victims of physical and sexual violence
  • Discuss and articulate what you have learned about the reporting child abuse with other students in this week’s discussion

Activity List

  • Read and explore all required and optional materials. This will provide you the background knowledge to successfully engage in the content.
  • Complete Discussion 5.
    • Post your original response to the discussion prompt by Sunday evening at 11:59 p.m. ET.
    • Post high quality responses to at least two classmates by Tuesday evening at 11:59 p.m. ET.
  • Submit your Media Review Project.

If you have any questions, please send an email or add your question on “Ask the Professor.”

APA Writing Checklist
Use this document as a checklist for each paper you will write throughout your GCU graduate program. Follow specific instructions indicated in the assignment and use this checklist to help ensure correct grammar and APA formatting. Refer to the APA resources available in the GCU Library and Student Success Center.
☐ APA paper template (located in the Student Success Center/Writing Center) is utilized for the correct format of the paper. APA style is applied, and format is correct throughout.
☐ The title page is present. APA format is applied correctly. There are no errors.
☐ The introduction is present. APA format is applied correctly. There are no errors.
☐ Topic is well defined.
☐ Strong thesis statement is included in the introduction of the paper.
☐ The thesis statement is consistently threaded throughout the paper and included in the conclusion.
☐ Paragraph development: Each paragraph has an introductory statement, two or three sentences as the body of the paragraph, and a transition sentence to facilitate the flow of information. The sections of the main body are organized to reflect the main points of the author. APA format is applied correctly. There are no errors.
☐ All sources are cited. APA style and format are correctly applied and are free from error.
☐ Sources are completely and correctly documented on a References page, as appropriate to assignment and APA style, and format is free of error.
Scholarly Resources: Scholarly resources are written with a focus on a specific subject discipline and usually written by an expert in the same subject field. Scholarly resources are written for an academic audience.
Examples of Scholarly Resources include: Academic journals, books written by experts in a field, and formally published encyclopedias and dictionaries.
Peer-Reviewed Journals: Peer-reviewed journals are evaluated prior to publication by experts in the journal’s subject discipline. This process ensures that the articles published within the journal are academically rigorous and meet the required expectations of an article in that subject discipline.
Empirical Journal Article: This type of scholarly resource is a subset of scholarly articles that reports the original finding of an observational or experimental research study. Common aspects found within an empirical article include: literature review, methodology, results, and discussion.
Adapted from “Evaluating Resources: Defining Scholarly Resources,” located in Research Guides in the GCU Library.
☐ The writer is clearly in command of standard, written, academic English. Utilize writing resources such as Grammarly, LopesWrite report, and ThinkingStorm to check your writing.