Reluctance Versus Urge to Disclose Child Maltreatment: The Impact of Multi-Type Maltreatment

Rachel Lev-Wiesel, Maya First, Ruth Gottfried, Zvi Eisikovits

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Child maltreatment is a major public health issue in Israel. According to a recent Israeli national epidemiological survey, approximately half of Jewish and Arab girls and boys between the ages 12 and 17 experienced at least one type of child maltreatment, at any severity level. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the influence of multi-type maltreatment on Israeli children and youth survivors’ reluctance versus urge to disclose; with the effects of gender, age, and ethnicity taken into account. The study is important since non-disclosure has deleterious effects in terms of continuation of the abuse, delays in criminal prosecution and commencement of treatment. A self-report questionnaire incorporating the following instruments was administered: the Juvenile Victimization Questionnaire, the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire, and the Disclosure of Trauma Questionnaire. The sample consisted of 6,253 Jewish and Arab children and youth who reported experiencing at least one lifetime child maltreatment event. Study results indicated that children and youth’s reluctance to disclose is positively associated with their emotional reactions to disclosure, as well as with higher instances of child maltreatment exposure; whereas urge to talk is negatively correlated with their emotional reactions to disclosure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3888-3914
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Volume34
Issue number18
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: The research study was funded by Traiana Technologies Ltd., CEO Gil Mandelzis.

Funding Information:
The authors thank Traiana Technologies Ltd., CEO Gil Mandelzis, the Israeli Ministry of Education, the Emili Sagol Creative Arts Therapies Research Center at Haifa University; as well as the Tel Aviv University B.I. and Lucille Cohen Institute for coordination of the data collection. The authors appreciate the valuable time and contributions of all of the children who participated in the survey. The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: The research study was funded by Traiana Technologies Ltd., CEO Gil Mandelzis.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2016.

Keywords

  • Child abuse
  • disclosure
  • ethnicity
  • multi-type maltreatment
  • neglect
  • physical abuse
  • psychological abuse
  • sexual abuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology

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