Decomposing Black-White Differences in Child Maltreatment
Child Maltreat 2003 8: 112
11 Pages Posted: 8 Dec 2013
Date Written: May 1, 2003
This article examines conflicting visions of the racial composition of the maltreated populations. The National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS) data shows Blacks are overrepresented among reported and substantiated abuse and neglect cases, while the National Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect (NIS) shows no apparent over-representation of children of color. To understand the conflicting evidence, the authors produce from NIS approximate measures of maltreatment rates in NCANDS. Maltreatment rates is broken down into allegation, report and substantiation components. Without disaggregating the data by welfare status, all or most of the racial gap in official maltreatment is found to arise from racial differences in allegations. Disaggregation changes the results. Among welfare cases, on average, half of the Black-White gap in maltreatment is due to racial differences in substantiation. Among nonwelfare cases, about half of the racial gap in official maltreatment is due to racial differences in allegations.
Keywords: racial disproportionality, aggregation bias, reporting bias, National Incidence Studies, welfare maltreatment, racial, black-white gap
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation