BIAS IN CHILD MALTREATMENT REPORTING

Revisiting the Myth of Classlessness

Authors


George Washington Brown School of Social Work, Campus Box 1196, One Brookings Drive, Washington University, St. Louis MO 63130-4899

Abstract

Data on the degree of class bias in child protective services databases are reviewed, along with recent empirical findings on the class distribution of child maltreatment. The evidence suggests high levels of child abuse and neglect among the poor and, despite debate on the question, there is no body of empirical data suggesting that these findings are a product of bias predisposing toward overestimates of child maltreatment among the poor. Implications for research, practice, and policy are offered.

Ancillary