Kerryann Walsh

Kerryann Walsh
Queensland University of Technology | QUT · School of Early Childhood and Inclusive Education

PhD

About

99
Publications
41,625
Reads
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1,869
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Introduction
Kerryann Walsh currently works as a Professor in the Faculty of Education at Queensland University of Technology. Kerryann is a pre-eminent scholar in the interdisciplinary field of child maltreatment prevention and has researched and published in the areas of child protection policy, school-based child sexual abuse prevention programs, professionals’ reporting of child abuse and neglect, and training interventions for mandatory reporters. She has a strong record of effectively translating the findings of her academic research into policy and practice.

Publications

Publications (99)
Article
Background Child sexual abuse (CSA) prevention is dominated by a focus on child education. However, evidence that this education reduces CSA risk is limited and mixed. Objective We investigated whether participants' history of receiving school-based child sexual abuse prevention (CSAPP) was associated with experiencing CSA. Uniquely, we also inves...
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Purpose The purposes of this systematic review were to systematically summarize components in existing school-based child sexual abuse (CSA) prevention programs and identify predictors for program effectiveness. Method Building upon the most comprehensive systematic review on this topic, we conducted systematic searches in both English-language fr...
Article
Understanding parental practices and attitudes regarding child sexual abuse (CSA) prevention could be used to improve CSA prevention, but little information is available. In this study, we summarise survey data collected from 248 Australian and UK parents (87% female) with at least one child aged 6-11 years ( M = 8.6, SD = 1.8). This is the first s...
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Epidemiological surveys measuring the prevalence of child maltreatment generate essential knowledge that is required to enhance human rights, promote gender equality, and reduce child abuse and neglect and its effects. Yet, evidence suggests Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) may assess the risk of these studies using higher than normal thresholds,...
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Child maltreatment rates remain unacceptably high and rates are likely to escalate as COVID-related economic problems continue. A comprehensive and evidence-building approach is needed to prevent, detect and intervene where child maltreatment occurs. This review identifies key challenges in definitions, overviews the latest data on prevalence rates...
Article
Young children’s engagement in Education for Sustainability has focussed predominantly on their participation in environment-based initiatives or practices. Reasons for this include a notion that wider dimensions of sustainability, including social, political and economic areas of concern can be too complex and overwhelming for young children. When...
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Empirical analysis has found that mandatory reporting legislation has positive effects on case identification of child sexual abuse both initially and over the long term. However, there is little analysis of the initial and ongoing impact on child protection systems of the rate of reports that are made if a reporting duty for child sexual abuse is...
Article
Background This review critically examines the messages of youth internet safety education programs in the light of research about both the dynamics of internet dangers and the efficacy of youth prevention education. Methods Using terms “internet safety education” and “digital citizenship,” a Google search identified 12 multi-topic safety programs...
Article
Mandatory reporting of child abuse and neglect is a complex yet essential responsibility tasked to many professional groups working with children, including the early childhood education and care (ECEC) workforce. This paper provides a narrative review synthesising the empirical literature on factors influencing ECEC educators’ reporting of child a...
Article
In the 2017 final report of the Australia’s Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, recommendations noted the importance of school-based prevention efforts to create child-safe communities. In this study, we report on a national evaluation of the nature and availability of child sexual abuse prevention programs delivere...
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Although audit and feedback has not been well-used in social research, it is a useful method by which to answer research questions concerned with the notion of “best practice”, for example, whether a policy or program meets a required standard or benchmark. This paper draws on educational research conducted for a 5-year nation-wide public inquiry:...
Chapter
Using the metaphor of ‘a journey of small steps’, this chapter examines the complex process of educating and training of staff in various institutions about how to best respond to child maltreatment. It conceptualises how a public health approach to professional education and training can be used to build capacity in the child protection workforce...
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Child maltreatment is a serious problem, worldwide. Children and young people who have experienced maltreatment face multiple physical and mental health challenges which hinder their success at school and these adverse experiences makes them more challenging to teach than their non-maltreated peers. Increasingly, teachers are considered as an impor...
Article
In this study, the effectiveness of the Observed Protective Behaviors behaviors test, a single-session, disclosure-focused, in situ skills training (IST), was evaluated as a standalone program (IST only) or as a booster to the child protective education program, Learn to be safe with Emmy and friends™ (program + IST). Participants included 281 Year...
Article
In countries worldwide, Outdoor Education (OE) offers rich possibilities for learning. OE has been researched for many decades; however the field lacks an integrating framework for its different historical, geographical and disciplinary conceptualisations. The outcomes of OE programmes are well documented and appear diverse, yet also have common at...
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The first five years of a child’s life are irrefutably important, establishing life-long health, social and economic outcomes. To optimize these outcomes, global policy is directing professionals from a range of disciplinary backgrounds to work more collaboratively than ever before with children in the early years. Such collaborations have proven p...
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Promoting young children’s interpersonal safety knowledge, intentions confidence and skills is the goal of many child maltreatment prevention programs; however, evaluation of their effectiveness has been limited. In this study, a randomized controlled trial was conducted examining the effectiveness of the Australian protective behaviors program, Le...
Article
Despite being a key target outcome to prevent child maltreatment, little research has been conducted to examine the prevalence and predictors of interpersonal safety skills in a standardised manner. In this study, interpersonal safety skills were measured in a Year 1-2 student sample through use of a standardised simulated risk scenario, with three...
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Existing studies with East-Asian samples have reported inconsistent findings on the association between parental psychological control and academic performance in children and adolescents. A Moderation effect is present, when the magnitude or direction of the association between two variables significantly changes with another variable called a mod...
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This study examined the associations between perceived maternal psychological control and adolescent academic functioning in terms of academic performance and academic self-concept. The study also tested the possible mediating role of basic psychological needs to investigate how parental psychological control is related to child academic functionin...
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Classroom discipline is a topic of international interest and teachers are bombarded with advice regarding how to and why they should manage children’s behaviour in their classrooms. This paper draws on data related to classroom discipline gathered from a detailed classroom observation schedule, teacher interviews, and field notes with four purposi...
Article
Although prevalence studies show girls are more frequently sexually abused than boys, a significant proportion of boys also experience child sexual abuse (CSA). The challenges for public policy are amplified for boys due to less developed public and professional sensitisation to boys’ experiences, conceptions of masculinity, and less research on bo...
Chapter
Most early career researchers in the first five years following doctoral qualification are faced with research challenges and opportunities, which necessitate the ability to navigate and overcome barriers, and to identify and benefit from possibilities. In this chapter, the authors outline an intentional mentoring initiative aimed at building the c...
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Background Child maltreatment has severe short-and long-term consequences for children’s health, development, and wellbeing. Despite the provision of child protection education programs in many countries, few have been rigorously evaluated to determine their effectiveness. We describe the design of a multi-site gold standard evaluation of an Austra...
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Objective: To assess evidence of the effectiveness of school-based education programs for the prevention of child sexual abuse (CSA). The programs deliver information about CSA and strategies to help children avoid it and encourage help seeking. Methods: Systematic review including meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs), cluster RCTs,...
Article
This article builds on our ongoing work in conceptualising an ‘evaluative stance’ framework to assist in understanding how leaders in the field of early childhood education and care (ECEC) make decisions about the selection of professional development options for themselves and their staff. It introduces the notion that evaluative mindsets can be c...
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In this study, the pedagogical decision-making processes of 21 Australian early childhood teachers working with children experiencing parental separation and divorce were examined. Transcripts from interviews and a focus group with teachers were analysed using grounded theory methodology. The findings showed that as teachers interacted with young c...
Chapter
This is the protocol for a review and there is no abstract. The objectives are as follows: To assess the effectiveness of training aimed at improving reporting of child abuse and neglect by professionals and to investigate possible components of effective training interventions.
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Background: Child sexual abuse is a significant global problem in both magnitude and sequelae. The most widely used primary prevention strategy has been the provision of school-based education programmes. Although programmes have been taught in schools since the 1980s, their effectiveness requires ongoing scrutiny. Objectives: To systematically...
Article
Unprecedented policy attention to early childhood education internationally has highlighted the crucial need for a skilled early years workforce. Consequently, professional development of early years educators has become a global policy imperative. At the same time, many maintain that professional development research has reached an impasse. In thi...
Article
Background Childcare providers are often “first responders” for suspected child abuse, and how they understand the concept of “reasonable suspicion” will influence their decisions regarding which warning signs warrant reporting. Objective The purpose of this study was to investigate how childcare providers interpret the threshold for reporting susp...
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This Campbell systematic review examines the effectiveness of school‐based education programmes for the prevention of child sexual abuse. The review summarises findings from 24 trials, conducted in the U.S., Canada, China, Germany, Taiwan and Turkey. Six metaanalyses are included assessing evidence of moderate quality. This study is an update to a...
Article
This paper reports on a study of Australian early childhood teachers’ pedagogical practices with young children experiencing parental separation and divorce. Twenty-one semi-structured interviews and a focus group were conducted to explore the actions of teachers to support young children experiencing parental separation and divorce. A grounded the...
Article
Strengths-based approaches draw upon frameworks and perspectives from social work and psychology but have not necessarily been consistently defined or well articulated across disciplines. Internationally, there are increasing calls for professionals in early years settings to work in strengths-based ways to support the access and participation of a...
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This study examined elementary school teachers' knowledge of their legislative and policy-based reporting duties with respect to child sexual abuse. Data were collected from 470 elementary school teachers from urban and rural government and nongovernment schools in 3 Australian states, which at the time of the study had 3 different legislative repo...
Article
The past four decades have seen increasing public and professional awareness of child sexual abuse. Congruent with public health approaches to prevention, efforts to eliminate child sexual abuse have inspired the emergence of prevention initiatives which can be provided to all children as part of their standard school curriculum. However, relativel...
Article
Mandatory child abuse and neglect reporting laws apply to teachers in many countries of the world. However, such laws have not yet been introduced for teachers in Malaysia, and there is debate about whether the laws should be extended to teachers at all. This paper aimed to investigate the level of support among teachers to assume mandatory reporti...
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Child abuse and neglect is a significant health and social problem with serious consequences for children, families and communities. This chapter provides students, early childhood teachers, and administrators with an evidence base for understanding their role in relation to child abuse and neglect. The chapter draws from international and interdis...
Article
The present study considered factors influencing teachers’ reporting of child sexual abuse (CSA). Conducted in three Australian jurisdictions with different reporting laws and policies, the study focused on teachers’ actual past and anticipated future reporting of CSA. A sample of 470 teachers within randomly selected rural and urban schools were s...
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This paper presents an evaluation of an instrument to measure teachers' attitudes toward reporting child sexual abuse and discusses the instrument's merit for research into reporting practice. Based on responses from 444 Australian teachers, the Teachers' Reporting Attitude Scale for Child Sexual Abuse was evaluated using exploratory factor analysi...
Article
Background: Young people whose parents are separated or divorced form a significant and increasing proportion of young people who attend school. To date, empirical research with young people whose parents are separated or divorced has tended to focus on either their household context, or their school context, rather than on both contexts together....
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The Teacher Reporting Attitude Scale (TRAS) is a newly developed tool to assess teachers' attitudes toward reporting child abuse and neglect. This article reports on an investigation of the factor structure and psychometric properties of the short form Malay version of the TRAS. A self-report cross-sectional survey was conducted with 667 teachers i...
Article
This study sought to understand the pervasiveness and impact of physical, psychological, and sexual violence on the social adjustment of Grade 8 and 9 school children in the state of Tripura, India. The study participants, 160 boys and 160 girls, were randomly selected from classes in eight English and Bengali medium schools in Agartala city, Tripu...
Article
Two hundred and twelve Australian mothers completed an online survey examining features of mother-child communication about child sexual abuse prevention. Two-thirds (67.5%) of respondents had discussed child sexual abuse prevention with their children, with proportions varying according to age range (highest for mothers with children aged 5-12 yea...
Article
Child abuse and neglect is prevalent and entails significant costs to children, families and society. Teachers are responsible for significant proportions of official notifications to statutory child protection agencies. Hence, their accurate and appropriate reporting is crucial for well-functioning child protection systems. Approximately one-quart...
Article
In this descriptive focus group study, we investigated parents’ views about child sexual abuse prevention education at home and in schools. Focus groups were conducted with a sample of 30 Australian adults who identified as the parent or caregiver of a child/children aged 0–5 years. The study explored (1) parents’ knowledge about child sexual abuse...
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A recent report delivered by the Australian Centre for Child Protection has highlighted the need for empirical evidence of effective pedagogies for supporting teaching and learning of child protection content in Australian teacher education programs (Arnold & Maio-Taddeo, 2007). This paper advances this call by presenting case study accounts of dif...
Article
This paper presents the results of a systematic review of literature on the topic of parents' views about child sexual abuse prevention education. It describes: i) what parents know about child sexual abuse prevention education; ii) what child sexual abuse prevention messages parents provide to their children and what topics they discuss; iii) what...
Article
Early childhood teacher education programs have a responsibility, amongst many, to prepare teachers for decision making on real world issues, such as child abuse and neglect. Their repertoire of skills can be enhanced by engaging with others, either face-to-face or online, in authentic problem-based learning. This paper draws on a study of early ch...
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Children’s picture books dealing with the topic of child sexual abuse appeared in the 1980s with the aim of addressing the need for age-appropriate texts to teach sexual abuse prevention concepts and to provide support for young children who may be at risk of or have already experienced sexual abuse. Despite the apparent potential of children’s pic...
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This paper details a systematic literature review identifying problems in extant research relating to teachers' attitudes toward reporting child sexual abuse and offers a model for new attitude scale development and testing. Scale development comprised a five-phase process grounded in contemporary attitude theories, including (a) developing the ini...
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The broad objective of the study was to understand better anxiety among adolescents in Kolkata city, India. Specifically, the study compared anxiety across gender, school type, socio-economic background and mothers' employment status. The study also examined adolescents' perceptions of quality time with their parents. A group of 460 adolescents (22...
Article
Reporting of known and suspected child abuse and neglect is a fundamental responsibility of health professionals in many countries including Australia. Nurses' duties to report child abuse and neglect are expressed in legislation, or in occupational policy documents. In this paper factors influencing nurses' compliance with mandated reporting are e...
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This instrument was used in the project named Teachers Reporting Child Sexual Abuse: Towards Evidence-based Reform of Law, Policy and Practice (ARC DP0664847)
Article
Over 3000 cases of child sexual abuse are identified every year in Australia, but the real incidence is higher still. As a strategy to identify child sexual abuse, Australian States and Territories have enacted legislation requiring members of selected professions, including teachers, to report suspected cases. In addition, policy-based reporting o...
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To identify the influence of multiple case, teacher and school characteristics on Australian primary school teachers' propensity to detect and report child physical abuse and neglect using vignettes as short hypothetical cases. A sample of 254 teachers completed a self-report questionnaire. They responded to a series of 32 hypothetical physical abu...
Article
In 2005, legislation commenced requiring Queensland nurses to make reports of suspected child abuse and neglect to government child protection authorities. This development further harmonised Australian mandatory reporting laws and their application to the nursing profession, although inconsistencies still exist between States and Territories. As i...
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By reporting suspected child abuse and neglect, teachers can make an important contribution to the early detection and prevention of abuse. However, teachers are sometimes reluctant to report their suspicions. This study investigated the determinants of teachers' reporting behaviour using concepts from the Integrated Change Model. Self-report data...
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Universities worldwide are developing peer mentoring programs to assist first year students' transition into university life. Awareness of the mentees' experiences in the mentoring program – the successes and challenges – contributes to ongoing planning for successful transition for first-year students. Also, understanding the mentors' experiences...
Article
Child abuse and neglect are serious social problems that make extraordinary demands on teachers' knowledge and professionalism. Yet the field of education has been slow to develop a discipline-specific knowledge base about child abuse and neglect for teachers and teacher education programmes and there is a paucity empirical research into teachers'...
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Research suggests that the first six weeks in higher education are critical for student adjustment and subsequent success and that student social networks and support are key factors in preventing student attrition. Peer mentoring programs provide an avenue for new students to be supported by more experienced mentor students to make social connecti...
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Each year, some 3,500 children in Australia are identified by government child protection authorities to be sexually abused, with the real incidence being even higher. Where a teacher suspects a child has been sexually abused, different types of duty may require the teacher to report his or her suspicion. However, these reporting duties may be foun...
Article
Transitions are inevitable in professional practice. In the context of adult learning, transitions are part of a continuous process of invention and exploration that is often linked to disequilibrium and dissonance. The impetus for this mentoring project arose from staff discussions around the delivery of final year units in QUT's reconceptualised...
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Early Childhood teacher educators at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) have been engaging with online teaching and learning since the mid 1990s. On campus students have lectures and tutorials supported by information and communication technologies via QUT’s home grown learning management system, Online Learning and Teaching (OLT). We survey...
Article
Most Australian jurisdictions have mandatory reporting legislation to compel members of selected professional groups, including nurses, to report suspicions that a child has been or is likely to be subjected to abuse or neglect. This article details the legal obligations of nurses in each jurisdiction, and highlights differences between jurisdictio...
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This article establishes the important role of early childhood teachers in child abuse and neglect and argues for empirical research into their practice of detecting, and reporting, known or suspected child abuse and neglect in a State with new and unique reporting obligations for teachers. It emphasizes the practical value of such research for the...