Knowledge and Perceptions of Child Protection and Mandatory Reporting: A Survey of Nurses in Hong Kong

C. Y. Mark, P. Y. Yim, G. W.K. Ho, A.C.Y. Chan, W.L. Cheng, Y. N. Lin, K. W. Ma, L. C. Yan, K. W. Yim

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


In the absence of a mandatory reporting (MR) structure, it is unclear how nurses perceive or exercise their role in child protection. This study examined knowledge and perceptions of child protection and MR among nurses working in Hong Kong. This cross-sectional web-based survey used the Child Abuse Report Intention Scale to measure nurses’ child protection knowledge and attitudes, and their perceived norms, control, and intention to report suspected maltreatment. Nurses also indicated if they support MR and to provide an explanation for their preference. Quantitative data were described and analyzed using bivariate and regression analyses. Open-ended responses were analyzed using directed content analysis. A convenient sample of 91 nurses working in Hong Kong completed the survey. The majority (86%) were female with a mean of 9.5 years of nursing experience; their mean knowledge score was 6.64 out of 13 (range 2–10). Compared with other maltreatment types, sexual abuse was perceived to be most severe and most likely to be reported. Perceived severity and attitudes toward child maltreatment was significantly associated with nurses’ intention to report. Over half (58%) supported MR; those against MR expressed concerns about lack of support from management. Although nurses working in Hong Kong still hold polarized views about MR, findings point to the importance of creating a supportive reporting culture, and designing training programs that focus on changing perceptions about child protection in order to improve their tendency to report.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-64
Number of pages17
JournalComprehensive Child and Adolescent Nursing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2020


  • child abuse reporting
  • Child maltreatment
  • child protection
  • mandatory reporting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics


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