Date of Award


Degree Type


University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)


School of Social Work

Degree Name


First Advisor

Dr. Gale Horton


The purpose of this study was to analyze the factors that affect social workers' decision-making in the medical setting. Social workers, working in the are of child abuse and African- American families, from the Metropolitan Atlanta area. Case vignettes were used to examine the relationship between a series of decision-making about the cases described in he vignettes. Dependent variables are the perception and judgement of the social workers. Independent variables are characteristics of the social worker, such as: Education, ethnicity age marital status, children, sex, socio-economic status time in the field, personal experience with corporal punishment, and working experience in child abuse.

Thirty-seven social workers from five hospitals in the Metropolitan Atlanta area responded to the questionnaire. This research model used practice case vignettes for analyzing decision-making in child abuse. This model has implications for other medical and child protective agencies by proving:

1) training for staff in decision-making in child abuse, and 2) classroom teaching in schools of social work for both undergraduate and graduate students. These could enhance social workers' skills and increase their knowledge in the practices in the area of child abuse.

Signature Location_Supplemental file.pdf (45 kB)
Notice to Users, Transmittal and Statement of Understanding

Included in

Social Work Commons