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Resources :: Guide :: Vulnerable and risk sensitive participants :: Risk-sensitive populations :: Child abuse

Child Abuse

Relating the bulleted points in the Risk Sensitive Populations introduction to this section, studies can focus on abused children, they can include abused children in the study but abuse is not the topic of the study, or the researcher inadvertently learns of child abuse during his interaction with the participant. For the first two scenarios, it is important to consider the points in the How do I include a risk-sensitive population section and apply these to your protocol and procedures. In addition, specific concerns related to this group are described in the Including abused children in a study.

The remaining pages in this section cover how to report an abusive situation if you encounter it while conducting your study. If your study involves children, especially if you are working intimately with them, there is always the possibility that you could discover evidence of child abuse. In addition, all UVa employees are legally obligated to report child abuse. It is important to make yourself aware of the signs of child abuse, your reporting responsibilities, and where to report any suspicion. If you are working with at-risk minors, you will need to demonstrate that you are qualified and capable of working with this population. For more information about including minors in a research study, see Minors. In addition, if you are working in an educational setting, there may be additional requirements for reporting abuse; please see Education: Child Abuse.

University Human Resources has developed a web page that defines child abuse and provides information about how to report an incident. All UVa employees should become familiar with this page but it is particularly relevant to researchers who work directly with children.

Section Topics

Including Abused Children in a Research Study
Reporting Child Abuse

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