Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Kathleen M. Hanna
child abuse, neglect, schoolteachers, Oman, reporting behavior
Child abuse and neglect is a global problem that can result in severe negative consequences for victims and their societies. Numerous initiatives have been launched by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) to combat this problem. Recently, Sultanate Oman, an Arab country, has mandated schoolteachers to report suspected abuse and neglect cases to comply with UNICEF's recommendations. As schoolteachers spend a great deal of their time with children, they are in a good position to recognize and report suspected abuse and neglect cases so the victims can get the needed help and treatment. There is a dearth of information about Omani schoolteachers' reporting behavior and the potential cultural influence. There were no previous published studies to describe the factors associated with reporting behavior of schoolteachers in this country.
Further, the current reporting system in Oman did not track the number of reports done by schoolteachers. So, there was no scientific evidence to evaluate the effectiveness of the mandatory law. Therefore, a multi-methods study was designed to describe the factors associated with the intention of Omani basic education schoolteachers (cycle one) in the Muscat governorate to report suspected abuse and neglect cases. The first aim was to synthesize the literature related to factors associated with the reporting by school personnel of child abuse (schoolteachers, principals, counselors, early educators, kindergarten teachers, and daycare teachers) across cultures in an integrative review. The integrative results were used to develop the qualitative and quantitative portions. The qualitative part aimed to describe factors associated with the intention to report suspected cases using five or six focus groups. A direct content analysis was utilized using prior definitions from the theory of planned behavior (TPB). The quantitative portion examined the predictive contribution of attitude toward reporting, subjective norms about reporting, and perceived behavioral control on intention to report. Predictive correlational design using a self-administered questionnaire, developed by the researcher based on the TPB, was employed with a sample size of 124 participants. Structural equation modeling was used for quantitative data analysis. The results of the integrative review indicated that factors associated with school personnel reporting behavior could be classified into three categories: reporters' characteristics, victims' characteristics, and systems' characteristics. The qualitative portion revealed three themes which were 1) Reporting within an environment of educational resource scarcity; 2) Reporting within an environment of competing female social roles and their professional reporting role; 3) Reporting within an environment of complex and diverse abuse and neglect cases. The findings of the quantitative portion indicated that 38% of the variance in Omani schoolteachers' intention to report was explained by the three predictors (attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control). The knowledge gained from this research provided a scientific foundation for effective nursing intervention, targeting schoolteachers to facilitate reporting. Also, it informed future studies that design to examine the reporting behavior of schoolteachers.
Alazri, Zeinab N., "Factors Associated with Omani’s Schoolteachers’ Reporting Behavior of Suspected Cases of Child Abuse and Neglect" (2021). Theses & Dissertations. 580.