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NCJ Number: 201762 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Race/Ethnicity and Rates of Self-Reported Maltreatment Among High-Risk Youth in Public Sectors of Care
Journal: Child Maltreatment  Volume:8  Issue:3  Dated:August 2003  Pages:183-194
Author(s): Anna S. Lau; Kristen M. McCabe; May Yeh; Ann F. Garland; Richard L. Hough; John Landsverk
Date Published: August 2003
Page Count: 12
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Mental Health
Bethesda, MD 20852
Grant Number: U01 MH55282; K01 MH01924; K01 MH01767
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined the association between race/ethnicity and histories of youth-reported maltreatment and placement in foster care.
Abstract: Analyses of official reports filed with Child Protective Services (CPS) reveal vast racial/ethnic differences in child victimization rates. National data indicate that rates of child victimization are highest among African-Americans, followed by Native Americans, Hispanic Americans, European Americans, and Asian Pacific Islanders. However, some researchers have argued that these official data do not reflect actual rates of abuse but are more likely a reflection of differential processes of CPS referral, investigation, and service allocation. In order to contribute to the literature concerning racial/ethnic differences in maltreatment prevalence, the authors interviewed 1,045 youths from 4 different racial/ethnic categories (European American, African-American, Hispanic American, and Asian Pacific Islanders) and their primary caregivers. The youths were sampled from five different public service sectors in San Diego, CA: alcohol/drug services, child welfare, juvenile justice, mental health, and special education. Interviews focused on youth-reported maltreatment, foster care history, psychological symptomatology, and exposure to risk and protective factors. Results of statistical analyses revealed minimal differences by race/ethnicity in youth-reported maltreatment. However, African-American youths in the child welfare sector were less likely to self-report maltreatment than the other youths. Significant racial/ethnic differences appeared in the foster care sector, with African-Americans far more likely to be placed in foster care than any of the other youths. Controlling for youth-reported maltreatment, income, age, and gender did not affect the racial differences discovered in foster care placement. Interestingly, maltreatment history was associated with placement in foster care for all youth except African-Americans, leading to the conclusion that the overrepresentation of minority children in child welfare does not stem from greater rates of maltreatment among these groups. Limitations of the study include its reliance on a self-report measure of maltreatment that has not been examined for cross-ethnic validity. Tables, references
Main Term(s): Child protection services
Index Term(s): California; Child abuse causes; Children at risk; Ethnic groups
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