Date of Award

Fall 2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Virginia Consortium Program in Clinical Psychology

Committee Director

Kelli J. England

Committee Member

Michelle L. Kelley

Committee Member

James F. Paulson


The present study sought to examine how state-level mandatory reporting policies are associated with child maltreatment reporting through analysis of the National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect (NDACAN, 2021). This study aimed: 1) to examine how the implementation of substance abuse counselor reporting requirements is associated with the reporting process, including the disposition of reports and the presence of substance abuse; and 2) to examine differences in the above outcomes based on associations between non-specific reporting requirements and specific requirements that mention substance use counselors. A quasi-experimental approach with repeated cross-sectional data was utilized, as it is a common analytic method in research involving larger, administrative and policy outcomes based on the difference-in-differences technique, whereby exposure to a policy change is evaluated by comparing pre- and post-implementation differences in an outcome for policy groups to those for nonpolicy comparison groups. Results of multivariate logistic regression analyses did not indicate a significantly higher proportion of substantiated or indicated CPS reports (OR= 1.07, 95% CI [.189, 6.14]) or those involving substance abuse (OR= 1.13, 95% CI [.737, 1.74]) when and, in the states, where substance abuse counselors are mandated to report suspected child maltreatment. Results and limitations could aid in informing future policy and mandatory reporting efforts.


The VIRGINIA CONSORTIUM PROGRAM IN CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY is a joint program of Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk State University, and Old Dominion University.


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