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

See all articles by Sheila Ards

Sheila Ards

University of Minnesota

Samuel Myers

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs

Allan Malkis

Ramsey County Community Human Svcs.

Erin Sugrue

University of Minnesota

Li Zhou

University of Minnesota - Minneapolis

Date Written: 2003

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Ards, Sheila and Myers, Samuel and Malkis, Allan and Sugrue, Erin and Zhou, Li, Racial Dispropotionality in Reported and Substantiated Child Abuse and Neglect: An Examination of Systematic Bias (2003). Children and Youth Services Review, Vol. 25, Nos. 5/6, pp. 375-392, 2003. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2364533

Sheila Ards

University of Minnesota ( email )

308 Harvard Street SE
United States

Samuel Myers (Contact Author)

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs ( email )

301 19th Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

Allan Malkis

Ramsey County Community Human Svcs. ( email )

160 E. Kellogg Blvd.
9300
Saint Paul, MN 55101
United States
651-266-4318 (Phone)

Erin Sugrue

University of Minnesota ( email )

420 Delaware St. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States
6127290692 (Phone)

Li Zhou

University of Minnesota - Minneapolis ( email )

110 Wulling Hall, 86 Pleasant St, S.E.
308 Harvard Street SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

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