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The attitudes of medical professionals toward children and children at risk of separation from parents in Eastern Europe

Shelton, Katherine, Haddock, Geoffrey and Ottaway, Heather 2018. The attitudes of medical professionals toward children and children at risk of separation from parents in Eastern Europe. Children and Youth Services Review 87 , pp. 26-33. 10.1016/j.childyouth.2018.02.009

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Abstract

This article reports the findings of a multi-country study of medical professionals' perceptions and evaluations of children. The primary aim of the study was to establish the perceptions medical professionals working in three Eastern European countries (Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova) hold toward children identified as “typical”, “at-risk” and “with disability”. A second aim was to explore the existence of country-level differences in medical professionals' perceptions of children. The third aim was to examine the pattern of associations between attitudes toward children and a change in use of institutional care to family and community-based alternatives. Over 800 respondents provided survey responses using paper-based and online returns. Findings indicated that positive affect toward children was associated with the favourability of attributes generated about “typical” children. In contrast, positive affect toward children was associated with less favourability toward at-risk children. Attribute favourability ratings generated for at-risk children were positively associated with attributes generated for children with disability. Differences were identified between respondents working across the three countries. No association was identified between attitudes toward children and endorsement of a statement supportive of de-institutionalisation as part of child protection reforms. These findings illuminate how children are conceptualised and understood by a group of medical professionals who hold considerable sway over decisions and recommendations about their relative risk and vulnerability.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0190-7409
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 7 February 2018
Date of Acceptance: 6 February 2018
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2018 20:45
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/108933

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