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NCJ Number: 200153 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Decomposing Black-White Differences in Child Maltreatment
Journal: Child Maltreatment  Volume:8  Issue:2  Dated:May 2003  Pages:112-121
Author(s): Sheila D. Ards; Samuel L. Myers Jr.; Chanjin Chung; Allan Malkis; Brian Hagerty
Editor(s): Mark Chaffin
Date Published: May 2003
Page Count: 10
Sponsoring Agency: National Ctr on Minority Health and Health Disparities
Bethesda, MD 20892-5465
National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect
Ithaca, NY 14853
Grant Number: R01 MH61754-01;90-CA-1370
Publisher: http://www.sagepub.com 
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article reports on the use of Child Abuse and Neglect (NIS) data to replicate the “official” racial disparities by separately computing report and substantiation rates for Blacks and Whites. It describes how to decompose the racial gaps into components that can be attributed to racial gaps in report rates, racial gaps in substantiation rates, and racial gaps in alleged or known maltreatment rates.
Abstract: African-American children make up a disproportionate share of children in Child Protective Services (CPS) across the Nation. The National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS) report shows that African-American children represent 25 percent of the reported and substantiated child abuse and neglect cases, yet they represent only 15 percent of the national child population. However, in 1980, 1986, and 1993, the National Incidence Studies of Child Abuse and Neglect (NIS) show a different story. This article examines conflicting visions of the racial composition of the maltreated populations. This article begins with a brief review of some alternative explanations for the observed racial disparities in official maltreatment statistics. It then provides a formal methodology for decomposing racial gaps in maltreatment. In applying this methodology, results are provided using the NIS-3 data from 1993. The results confirmed previous study findings that racial bias in reporting did not appear to be at the root of racial differences in observed maltreatment. The results also confirm the existence of a form of exposure bias. The underlying presumption of this exposure bias is that Blacks and Whites within the same subgroups, such as welfare recipients, have similar rates of alleged maltreatment. The article states that there may be other reasons why the racial disproportionality in the NCANDS data is larger than that found in the NIS data. The central conclusions of this article significantly challenge the conventional wisdom as to why there are such large racial gaps in official maltreatment rates and none in the NIS data. The analysis of NIS reports show that the disparities between welfare and non-welfare maltreatment allegations, reports, and official maltreatment rates are significant, at least among Whites, leading to the conclusion that welfare does exert a peculiar form of exposure bias, favoring Whites. Appendix and references
Main Term(s): Child abuse
Index Term(s): Black/African Americans; Child abuse reporting; Discrimination; Minorities; Minority overrepresentation; National crime statistics; Racial discrimination; Statistical analysis; Welfare services
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