Some studies have linked birth defects, disability, and chronic illness with an increased incidence of child abuse. Nurses who are involved with disabled children face a challenge in preventing child abuse and in intervening in cases in which abuse has occurred. Nurses must become aware of the risk factors and signs of abuse, understand the role of their personal attitudes toward abuse and abusers, and develop the skills to intervene effectively and deal with abusers. Thus, the authors of this article undertook a study to ascertain nurses’ attitudes about emotional, sexual, and physical abuse of children with disabilities and to determine if nurses’ anticipated level of comfort differed when dealing with abusers of children with disabilities in contrast to abusers of children without disabilities.
State University of New York at Buffalo School of Nursing, 124 Kimball Tower, 3435 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14214
Marietta Stanton is associate professor and director of continuing education at State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo School of Nursing in Buffalo, NY. Ann Seidl, Adele Pillitteri, and Carol Smith are assistant professors at the SUNY-Buffalo School of Nursing.