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NCJ Number: 171005 Find in a Library
Title: Effects of Sample Selection Bias on Racial Differences in Child Abuse Reporting
Journal: Child Abuse and Neglect  Volume:22  Issue:2  Dated:(February 1998)  Pages:103-115
Author(s): S Ards; C Chung; S L Myers Jr
Date Published: 1998
Page Count: 13
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Data from Wave 1 of the National Incidence Study (NIS) of child abuse were examined to determine whether certain design features resulted in sample selection bias when certain victims of maltreatment were excluded.
Abstract: Logistic regression models for the probability of child abuse reports to child protective services were estimated using maximum likelihood methods for 511 black and 2,499 white cases of child abuse. The models were estimated with and without correction for selection bias, using a two-step procedure proposed by Heckman. Results revealed substantial differences in the characteristics of black and white victims by source of report and by type of maltreatment. Results also revealed sizeable differences within each racial group between sampled agencies and nonsampled agencies. Sample selection bias affected the estimation of both black and white reporting rates, but in different ways. White victims of child maltreatment were more likely to be reported if they were among the lower class, known by a law enforcement or medical agency, or female. White victims of physical or sexual abuse were more likely to be reported than were victims of emotional maltreatment. In contrast, black maltreated children were more likely to be known by child protective services if they lived in rural areas, were older, or experienced physical abuse. Black victims were less likely to be reported if they experienced emotional abuse. Findings indicated that selection bias was caused by the exclusion of family, friends, and neighbors in the NIS sample design. Such exclusion had the effect of altering the interpretation of the determinants of child abuse reporting among black families but not among white families. Thus, conclusions about racial differences in child maltreatment must be reached cautiously, given the NIS study design. Tables, appended list of variables, and 19 references (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Juvenile victims
Index Term(s): Child abuse detection; Child abuse reporting; Juvenile dependency and neglect; Research design; Research methods
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