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Welcome to the database of past Child-Maltreatment-Research-L (CMRL) list serve messages (10,000+). The table below contains all past CMRL messages (text only, no attachments) from Nov. 20, 1996 - September 14, 2018 and is updated quarterly.

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Message ID: 8067
Date: 2009-03-04

Author:LeStarge, Andrea (USAWIW)

Subject:RE: perceptions of child abuse

Does anyone have the specific child abuse perception study in a .pdf

format or something similar to send as an attachment to me? Otherwise,

can someone give the specific title of this study? This is great

information and I'd like to read up on the specifics...



Thank you in advance,



Andrea LeStarge

Drug Endangered Children/Meth Initiative

Federal Program Coordinator

United States Attorney's Office

Western District of Wisconsin

Office: 608-250-5449 / Cell: 608- 658-3471

andrea.lestarge@usdoj.gov

www.WisconsinDEC.org

"One's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original

dimensions"

- Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.





-----Original Message-----

From: bounce-3641212-9344767@list.cornell.edu

[mailto:bounce-3641212-9344767@list.cornell.edu] On Behalf Of Chaffin,

Mark J. (HSC)

Sent: Monday, March 02, 2009 12:14 PM

To: 'Child Maltreatment Researchers'

Cc: 'Sheri McMahon'

Subject: perceptions of child abuse



An interesting survey study was cited in which the public was asked to

rate whether a behavior was "abusive" on a 1-5 scale. People rated

abusiveness at an average of 2.5 when the parent's behavior was in

response to public child misbehavior, as compared to 3.0 when it was

not. I think how you might interpret this sort of difference depends

among other things on what the midpoint (i.e. 3) of the 1-5 scale was.

If it's a neutral midpoint (e.g. "neither abusive nor non-abusive" or

something like that), then you have to be careful to interpret with an

eye toward what questionnaire researchers call the midpoint issue. That

is, the item may not reflect one dimension or construct, but two. For

example, on the classic strongly disagree to strongly agree 5-point

scale, a score of 2.5 vs. 2.0 does not reflect "more agreement," but

"weaker disagreement." It sounds semantic, but it's not. Someone who

disagrees is different from someone who agrees, and disagreement is not

just less agreement and vice versa. Same with perceptions of abusive

vs. non-abusive parenting. One classic example of the midpoint issue in

the child abuse research field was a survey of college males done long

ago that asked something along the lines of "if you knew you could get

away with it, would you commit rape?" on a strongly disagree-strongly

agree scale. The finding that people over the years cited from the

study was that a substantial number of college males indicated "some

willingness" to commit rape. Willingness here was defined as any

response other than "strongly disagree." The problem, of course, was

that virtually everybody disagreed with the idea of committing rape,

just to different strengths of disagreement....which is not the same

thing as saying that you have "some willingness."



Similarly, rating a behavior as neutral for abusiveness in one context

(3.0) and not abusive in another (2.5) is not necessarily the same thing

as saying that an abusive behavior was viewed as less abusive depending

on context. Many people may have felt the behavior was non-abusive in

both contexts, but felt slightly more confident in their assessment of

non-abusiveness when the context was public child misbehavior. It might

be informative to check the pattern of responses on the items, not just

the mean scores, and if possible to do within-subjects comparisons in

order to clarify this. Comparing mean scores makes assumptions that do

not account for the issues described above, especially when standard

statistical procedures are employed. An interesting and potentially

more informative look at responses to the item might ask, "how many

people judged the behavior to be abusive in one context, but shifted to

thinking it was non-abusive in the other?" My hypothesis is that this

number would be quite small.



MC



Mark Chaffin, Ph.D.

Professor of Pediatrics

University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center

P.O. Box 26901; CSC 225

Oklahoma City, OK 73190

(405) 271-8858





Confidentiality Notice

This email, including any attachments, contains information from [insert

name of College/Department/Clinic], which may be confidential or

privileged. The information is intended to be for the use of the

individual or entity named above. If you are not the intended recipient,

be aware that any disclosure, copying, distribution or use of the

contents of this information is prohibited. If you have received this

email in error, please notify the sender immediately by a "reply to

sender only" message and destroy all electronic and hard copies of the

communication, including attachments.











Does anyone have the specific child abuse perception study in a .pdf

format or something similar to send as an attachment to me? Otherwise,

can someone give the specific title of this study? This is great

information and I'd like to read up on the specifics...



Thank you in advance,



Andrea LeStarge

Drug Endangered Children/Meth Initiative

Federal Program Coordinator

United States Attorney's Office

Western District of Wisconsin

Office: 608-250-5449 / Cell: 608- 658-3471

andrea.lestargeusdoj.gov

www.WisconsinDEC.org

"One's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original

dimensions"

- Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.





-----Original Message-----

From: bounce-3641212-9344767list.cornell.edu

[mailto:bounce-3641212-9344767list.cornell.edu] On Behalf Of Chaffin,

Mark J. (HSC)

Sent: Monday, March 02, 2009 12:14 PM

To: 'Child Maltreatment Researchers'

Cc: 'Sheri McMahon'

Subject: perceptions of child abuse



An interesting survey study was cited in which the public was asked to

rate whether a behavior was "abusive" on a 1-5 scale. People rated

abusiveness at an average of 2.5 when the parent's behavior was in

response to public child misbehavior, as compared to 3.0 when it was

not. I think how you might interpret this sort of difference depends

among other things on what the midpoint (i.e. 3) of the 1-5 scale was.

If it's a neutral midpoint (e.g. "neither abusive nor non-abusive" or

something like that), then you have to be careful to interpret with an

eye toward what questionnaire researchers call the midpoint issue. That

is, the item may not reflect one dimension or construct, but two. For

example, on the classic strongly disagree to strongly agree 5-point

scale, a score of 2.5 vs. 2.0 does not reflect "more agreement," but

"weaker disagreement." It sounds semantic, but it's not. Someone who

disagrees is different from someone who agrees, and disagreement is not

just less agreement and vice versa. Same with perceptions of abusive

vs. non-abusive parenting. One classic example of the midpoint issue in

the child abuse research field was a survey of college males done long

ago that asked something along the lines of "if you knew you could get

away with it, would you commit rape?" on a strongly disagree-strongly

agree scale. The finding that people over the years cited from the

study was that a substantial number of college males indicated "some

willingness" to commit rape. Willingness here was defined as any

response other than "strongly disagree." The problem, of course, was

that virtually everybody disagreed with the idea of committing rape,

just to different strengths of disagreement....which is not the same

thing as saying that you have "some willingness."



Similarly, rating a behavior as neutral for abusiveness in one context

(3.0) and not abusive in another (2.5) is not necessarily the same thing

as saying that an abusive behavior was viewed as less abusive depending

on context. Many people may have felt the behavior was non-abusive in

both contexts, but felt slightly more confident in their assessment of

non-abusiveness when the context was public child misbehavior. It might

be informative to check the pattern of responses on the items, not just

the mean scores, and if possible to do within-subjects comparisons in

order to clarify this. Comparing mean scores makes assumptions that do

not account for the issues described above, especially when standard

statistical procedures are employed. An interesting and potentially

more informative look at responses to the item might ask, "how many

people judged the behavior to be abusive in one context, but shifted to

thinking it was non-abusive in the other?" My hypothesis is that this

number would be quite small.



MC



Mark Chaffin, Ph.D.

Professor of Pediatrics

University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center

P.O. Box 26901; CSC 225

Oklahoma City, OK 73190

(405) 271-8858





Confidentiality Notice

This email, including any attachments, contains information from [insert

name of College/Department/Clinic], which may be confidential or

privileged. The information is intended to be for the use of the

individual or entity named above. If you are not the intended recipient,

be aware that any disclosure, copying, distribution or use of the

contents of this information is prohibited. If you have received this

email in error, please notify the sender immediately by a "reply to

sender only" message and destroy all electronic and hard copies of the

communication, including attachments.