Methodological and ethical challenges associated with child self-report of maltreatment: Solutions implemented by the LongSCAN Consortium.
Knight, E. D., Runyan, D. K., Dubowitz, H., Brandford, C., Kotch, J., Litrownik, A., & Hunter, W. (2000). Methodological and ethical challenges associated with child self-report of maltreatment: Solutions implemented by the LongSCAN Consortium. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 15(7). pp. 760-775.
Abstract: The conduct of research in the area of child abuse and neglect may be one of the most difficult tasks in social science research. One requirement for valid research is knowledge of the type and amount of exposure. Official reports have been demonstrated to provide a serious undercount of the frequency of maltreatment, and parent report is of limited usefulness. LongSCAN, a consortium of longitudinal studies of abuse and neglect, made the decision to ask children for self-report, but with five independent study sites with unique study-to-sample relationships, ethically implementing this choice demanded customized participant protocols. This article describes the consortium’s approach to asking children for direct reports at age 12, the relevant methodological and ethical challenges , and solutions developed with institutional review boards at 4 of the 5 study sites. The wording of consents and the variations in protocol related to reporting to Child Protective Services are discussed. (The final, definitive version of this paper has been published in Journal of Interpsersonal Violence, 15/7, 07/2000 by SAGE Publications, Inc., All rights reserved. © Sage Publications Inc.)