Date of Conferral







Tracy Marsh


The maltreatment of children impacts individuals, communities, states, and societies. One response to the problem is the removal of children from their families, which can cause significant trauma for all involved. Moreover, the financial, legal, and emotional costs increase exponentially when subsequent re-removal, known as reactivation, occurs. Nationwide, the rate of reactivation averages just over 6%; in Arizona, the rate is significantly higher, with 11% of children being reactivated within 2 years of initial reunification. The purpose of this quantitative, non-experimental study was to determine whether poverty, ethnicity, parental substance use, parental employment, marital status, and number of children in the home is predictive of reactivation following reunification. The study was grounded in Bronfenbrenner's ecological theory and Brown's multiple risk factors model. Archival data of 627 family case files from a social service agency were analyzed using logistic regression. Results revealed that number of children was the only significant predictor, with fewer children resulting in higher reactivation rates. The lack of findings for the other predictor variables in light of extant research suggests that further research is needed to determine the unusually high rate of reactivations in this particular region. Further study may thus effect positive social change through findings that may impact educational and social welfare programs, legislative action, and enhancement of family skills training and resources.