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Child-Maltreatment-Research-L (CMRL) List Serve

Database of Past CMRL Messages

Welcome to the database of past Child-Maltreatment-Research-L (CMRL) list serve messages. The table below contains all past CMRL messages (text only, no attachments) from Nov. 20, 1996 - December 22, 2017 and is updated quarterly.

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Message ID: 9098
Date: 2012-02-07

Author:E. Christopher Lloyd

Subject:Re: training and reporting protocols on college campuses--research implications?

Ethically, it would seem to me that researchers are required to report on-going child maltreatment they identify. In the early 2000s (I think), researchers from Johns Hopkins were investigating something to do with lead abatement in children's homes and failed to fully inform parents when lead levels were rising in their children (in at least some instances). If failing to report elevated lead levels to parents because it's harmful to children (and failing to report cannot be justified by any degree of scientific merit a study might possess), then I'm at loss to understand why child maltreatment would be addressed any differently. We should already be reporting maltreatment found in the course of a reseach project. True, in the Hopkins case the lead levels were the focus of the study whereas maltreatment might be disclosed in a study about something entirely unrelated. But suppose the Hopkins study was about nutrition and discovered the lead levels as part of routine blood testing during the course of the study. Would it be ethical for the research team to have not reported the lead levels? Moreover, would any IRB have regarded not reporting elevated lead levels as acceptable, keeping in mind their role in protecting the institution from criminal and civil liability and bad press? Health care workers, mental health providres, and child care workers who work for organizations based in academia are already covered by existing reporting laws. I believe researchers are covered by ethical research requirements. I don't know PA law, but wouldn't Sandusky and everyone else at PSU involved in the children's program in question have been covered by their mandatory reporting laws already as coaches or other athletic trainors working with children? Really, very few people who are likely to be in contact with children aren't mandatory reporters so the current actions would seem to have little practical effect beyond the training and recording-keeping burden. It widens the net, but only into waters unlikely to produce more than a very few fish. If the public and legislatures are concerned with preventing child maltreatment, I'm sure we could think of some more productive waters for them to fish in... E. Christopher Lloyd, PhD, LCSW Assistant Professor School of Social Work University of Arkansas at Little Rock 2801 South University Avenue Little Rock, AR 72204 501.569.8486

Ethically, it would seem to me that researchers are required to report on-going child maltreatment they identify. In the early 2000s (I think), researchers from Johns Hopkins were investigating something to do with lead abatement in children's homes and failed to fully inform parents when lead levels were rising in their children (in at least some instances). If failing to report elevated lead levels to parents because it's harmful to children (and failing to report cannot be justified by any degree of scientific merit a study might possess), then I'm at loss to understand why child maltreatment would be addressed any differently. We should already be reporting maltreatment found in the course of a reseach project. True, in the Hopkins case the lead levels were the focus of the study whereas maltreatment might be disclosed in a study about something entirely unrelated. But suppose the Hopkins study was about nutrition and discovered the lead levels as part of routine blood testing during the course of the study. Would it be ethical for the research team to have not reported the lead levels? Moreover, would any IRB have regarded not reporting elevated lead levels as acceptable, keeping in mind their role in protecting the institution from criminal and civil liability and bad press? Health care workers, mental health providres, and child care workers who work for organizations based in academia are already covered by existing reporting laws. I believe researchers are covered by ethical research requirements. I don't know PA law, but wouldn't Sandusky and everyone else at PSU involved in the children's program in question have been covered by their mandatory reporting laws already as coaches or other athletic trainors working with children? Really, very few people who are likely to be in contact with children aren't mandatory reporters so the current actions would seem to have little practical effect beyond the training and recording-keeping burden. It widens the net, but only into waters unlikely to produce more than a very few fish. If the public and legislatures are concerned with preventing child maltreatment, I'm sure we could think of some more productive waters for them to fish in... E. Christopher Lloyd, PhD, LCSW Assistant Professor School of Social Work University of Arkansas at Little Rock 2801 South University Avenue Little Rock, AR 72204 501.569.8486