Disclosure of child abuse may enable initiating interventions to end maltreatment and mediate its negative physical and psychological consequences. The present study reviews the field of disclosure and examines factors affecting disclosure among a service population of abused children who were placed in residential care due to various forms of abuse (e.g., physical, sexual, emotional, neglect and witnessing domestic violence). The sample consisted of 286 Israeli (Hebrew and Arabic speaking) children aged 12-17 (mean. = 14. ±. 1). Following approval of the Ethics committee of the University and parents' written consent, participants were administered a self-report questionnaire that included the following measures: a Socio-Demographic Questionnaire, the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ), the Juvenile Victimization Questionnaire (JVQ), and the Disclosure of Trauma Questionnaire (DTQ). Results indicated that the three key factors enhancing the likelihood of disclosure were: moral factors, external initiatives and intolerable physical pain. The three key factors inhibiting disclosure were feelings of shame, fear of losing social support and uncertainty as to how and to whom to disclose. Results also showed that children preferred to disclose to their nuclear family members (parents and siblings) in comparison with professionals.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was funded by Traiana Technologies, Ltd .
- Child abuse and neglect
- Child maltreatment
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health