Preventing Child Maltreatment in Military Families: Evaluating the Effectiveness of a Web-Based Tutorial for Mandated Reporters
AuthorPhipps, Lorri Marie
Committee ChairMichaels, Cathy L.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractIntroduction: Child maltreatment continues to be a significant public health concern in civilian and military communities alike. Child maltreatment has profound short and long term negative effects on children and families and is tremendously costly to society. There are several correlates of child maltreatment unique to the military family: deployment of the active duty service member and living in an overseas duty locations.Rationale: The high rate of deployments within the Marine Corps military community in Japan makes these children particularly vulnerable to child maltreatment. Many forms of child maltreatment are most significant in school aged children, and nearly all maltreated children display recognizable signs and symptoms including physical, emotional, and behavioral characteristics, but also academic difficulties which can be best detected by the educator or other school personnel. Thus, the importance of improving school personnel's knowledge regarding the recognition and response of child maltreatment is especially important. Department of Defense Dependent Schools (DoDDS) teachers, school professionals, and staff with direct student contact spend a significant amount of time with military children and are in a prime position to recognize and respond to at-risk and maltreated children.Purpose/Objective: The purpose of this study was to pilot a web-based child maltreatment tutorial for DoDDS teachers, school professionals and support staff with direct student contact within the Marine Corps community in Japan. The goal was to determine whether these professionals would gain information about child maltreatment in general and specific to the military families in Japan.Methods: Thirty-three eligible school personnel within the DoDDS school district in Japan participated in the study. A pre-test /post-test design was used to determine the effectiveness of the tutorial in increasing participant knowledge of risk factors, signs and symptoms, and reporting procedures for child maltreatment.Results: Findings indicated that participants' post-test scores were significantly higher than pre-test scores (p <0.001). The majority of participants indicated that they liked the format and self-paced nature of the tutorial.Conclusions: This exploratory study demonstrated the effectiveness of a web-based tutorial to disseminate information about child maltreatment in military families.