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Child sexual abuse research: challenges of case tracking through administrative databases

Version 2 2024-06-13, 09:17
Version 1 2015-08-26, 15:04
journal contribution
posted on 2024-06-13, 09:17 authored by C Leach, GN Baksheev, M Powell
Child sexual abuse has a serious impact on victims, their families and the broader community. As such, there is a critical need for sound research evidence to inform specialist responses. Increasingly, researchers are utilising administrative databases to track outcomes of individual cases across health, justice and other government agencies. There are unique advantages to this approach, including the ability to access a rich source of information at a population-wide level. However, the potential limitations of utilising administrative databases have not been fully explored. Because these databases were created originally for administrative rather than research purposes, there are significant problems with using this data at face value for research projects. We draw on our collective research experience in child sexual abuse to highlight common problems that have emerged when applying administrative databases to research questions. Some of the problems discussed include identification of relevant cases, ensuring reliability and dealing with missing data. Our article concludes with recommendations for researchers and policy-makers to enhance data quality.

History

Journal

Psychiatry, psychology and law

Volume

22

Pagination

912-919

Location

London, Eng.

ISSN

1321-8719

eISSN

1934-1687

Language

eng

Publication classification

C Journal article, C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2015, The Australian and New Zealand Association of Psychiatry, Psychology and Law

Issue

6

Publisher

Taylor & Francis