Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp 239–255 | Cite as

Methodological and ethical issues in child abuse research

  • E. Jane Bradley
  • R. C. L. Lindsay


The child abuse literature was surveyed but found lacking in analyses of fundamental ethical and procedural issues. The present paper, supported by a review of the relevant research, explores the problems surrounding the definition of physical child abuse, the gender and recruitment of subjects, the use of informed consent and deception, and the problem of maintaining confidentiality in this area. Greater detail in reporting of methods employed by researchers is recommended as an important first step to expanding discussion of these issues.

Key words

child abuse methodology ethical issues 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. Jane Bradley
    • 1
  • R. C. L. Lindsay
    • 1
  1. 1.Queen's UniversityKingstonCanada

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