Racial Dispropotionality in Reported and Substantiated Child Abuse and Neglect: An Examination of Systematic Bias
Children and Youth Services Review, Vol. 25, Nos. 5/6, pp. 375-392, 2003
18 Pages Posted: 8 Dec 2013
Date Written: 2003
Using data from Minnesota fo 2000, we show that measures of discrimination in maltreatment substantiation are inflated by a failure to disaggegate counties with large minority populations from those with small minority populations. Racial disparities in substantiaion rates, conditional upon reports to child protective service workers, are not huge. Nonetheless, measures of discrimination -- once one accounts for characteristics of victims, offenders, reporters, counties and types of maltreatment--are non-trivial. For African Americans they are higher in the state as a whole than in the counties that have the largest share of minority children. Although the discrimination measures do not vanish when disaggregaed analysis is performed, our findings suggest that caution should be displayed when reporting disproportionality statistics that include data from widely dispersed geographical areas.
Keywords: maltreatment, abuse, neglect, child, systematic bias, racial disproportionality, reported abuse, substantiaition, rates, discrimination
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