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What Predicts the Actions Taken Toward Observed Child Neglect? The Influence of Community Context and Bystander Characteristics

Authors

  • Jasmine Fledderjohann,

    1. The Pennsylvania State University
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    • Direct correspondence to Jasmine Fledderjohann, Department of Sociology, Pennsylvania State University, 211 Oswald Tower, University Park, PA 16802 <jjf244@psu.edu>. The authors shall share all data and coding for replication purposes. This research was supported by a grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Development (HD044144).

  • David R. Johnson

    1. The Pennsylvania State University
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Abstract

Objective

Using data from a sample of 3,679 respondents in 50 rural and urban communities in a midwestern state, the authors explore the relationship between individual and community characteristics and the provision of helping behavior when child neglect is observed.

Method

Telephone surveys of community residents were analyzed in a series of logistic regression models.

Results

At the individual level, age, gender, place of residence, and sentinel status were all found to have a significant effect. The level of role overlap, cohesion, comfort, and belongingness perceived to exist in the community were found to be important community-level predictors.

Conclusion

Individual and contextual characteristics affected observation of a case of child neglect and the action taken.

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