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Child-Maltreatment-Research-L (CMRL) List Serve

Database of Past CMRL Messages

Welcome to the database of past Child-Maltreatment-Research-L (CMRL) list serve messages. The table below contains all past CMRL messages (text only, no attachments) from Nov. 20, 1996 - December 22, 2017 and is updated quarterly.

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Message ID: 8288
Date: 2009-10-16

Author:Ben Saunders

Subject:Re: child maltreatment declines 12% 2006-2007

John, Thanks for this analysis. While all measurement approaches have error variance, official reports either through NCCANDS or the Uniform Crime Reports seem particularly prone to difficulties such as this. Definitions, jurisdictions reporting, methods of data collections, changes in law and policy, etc. all seem to happen with regularity making year to year comparison somewhat of a crap shoot. Thanks for helping us to understand this particular blip in the statistics. Ben John Eckenrode wrote: A post to CMRL by David Finkelhor (below) on April 3, 2009 pointed out that the 2007 Child Maltreatment report showed a 12% decline in victimizations from the previous year. Some follow-up comments offered possible explanations, including changes in administrative data systems, the rise in alternative response systems, broader societal changes (trends in household structure, general & parental educational achievement, and poverty), the impact of prevention efforts, etc. The post by Nori Tarui (below) pointed out a large decline in maltreatment reports from Florida in 2007 as a likely reason, but asked why this might have occurred. Michael Dineen of the NDACAN staff and I have done some additional analyses of 2007 NCANDS data and it seems pretty clear that the decrease is almost entirely due to Florida omitting ”indicated” cases from the count of victimizations and only submitting “substantiated” cases, instead of submitting both ”indicated” and “substantiated” as in previous years. This was a drop of approximately 67,000 cases from the previous year. If the FL indicated cases are removed from previous years, the national rates would be 9.7/1000 in 2004, 9.9/1000 in 2005, 9.9/1000 in 2006, and 9.7/1000 in 2007 – i.e. only a 2% decline between 2006 and 2007. Our rates are a bit lower than those reported by Tarui because we keep the population of Florida children in the denominator whereas he took them out. The Child Maltreatment report also includes a count of victimizations when calculating rates – we use a count of unique children – which also changes the rates some. We will be looking at these data more closely with the aim of writing a research brief for publication. Every so often there are controversies about rises or declines in child maltreatment trends. One lesson from the 12% decline noted in 2007 is that such dramatic declines are almost always due to some policy/administrative change (in a big state in this case). Secular trends in likely causes of maltreatment (such as changes in poverty rates) or the impact of prevention/intervention efforts tend to be reflected in the statistics as smaller changes over longer periods of time. But your comments are welcomed. John Eckenrode and Michael Dineen From: Nori Tarui << mailto:ntarui@gmail.com> ntarui@gmail.com > Date: Fri, Apr 3, 2009 at 8:05 PM Subject: Re: child maltreatment declines 12% 2006-2007 To: Child Maltreatment Researchers << mailto:child-maltreatment-research-l@list.cornell.edu > child-maltreatment-research-l@list.cornell.edu > The "largest single year decline" in the maltreatment rate from 2006-07 appears to be driven by a large decline in the maltreatment rate in one state--Florida (from 33.4 per 1,000 children in 2006 to 13.2 in 2007, or 134,567 victims out of 4,032,726 in 2006 to 53,484 out of 4,043,560 children in 2007--a 60% decline in the number of victims). If we exclude Florid when computing the national average victimization rate, we find that it has been decreasing only slightly (10.9,10.8, 10,9, 10.8, 10.4 for 2003-2007). I would appreciate it if someone could tell us what explains the substantial decline in (reported) maltreatment in Florida. Best wishes, and thank you David for the information. Nori Nori Tarui Assistant Professor Department of Economics, University of Hawai'i at Manoa < mailto:nori.tarui@hawaii.edu >nori.tarui@hawaii.edu On Fri, Apr 3, 2009 at 8:45 AM, Finkelhor, David << mailto:David.Finkelhor@unh.edu >David.Finkelhor@unh.edu > wrote: The Administration of Children Youth and Families released 2007 child maltreatment numbers on April 1, but it did not make the news in any of the places that I track, despite the fact that it shows a one year drop of 12% for all forms of maltreatment, which is the largest single year decline that has even occurred. John Eckenrode 607-255-0467 fax: 607-255-8562 -- Benjamin E. Saunders, Ph.D. National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center Medical University of South Carolina 67 President Street, MSC 861 843-792-2945 Phone Charleston, SC 29425 www.musc.edu/ncvc Take our web-based course, TF-CBTWeb, at www.musc.edu/tfcbt

John, Thanks for this analysis. While all measurement approaches have error variance, official reports either through NCCANDS or the Uniform Crime Reports seem particularly prone to difficulties such as this. Definitions, jurisdictions reporting, methods of data collections, changes in law and policy, etc. all seem to happen with regularity making year to year comparison somewhat of a crap shoot. Thanks for helping us to understand this particular blip in the statistics. Ben John Eckenrode wrote: A post to CMRL by David Finkelhor (below) on April 3, 2009 pointed out that the 2007 Child Maltreatment report showed a 12% decline in victimizations from the previous year. Some follow-up comments offered possible explanations, including changes in administrative data systems, the rise in alternative response systems, broader societal changes (trends in household structure, general & parental educational achievement, and poverty), the impact of prevention efforts, etc. The post by Nori Tarui (below) pointed out a large decline in maltreatment reports from Florida in 2007 as a likely reason, but asked why this might have occurred. Michael Dineen of the NDACAN staff and I have done some additional analyses of 2007 NCANDS data and it seems pretty clear that the decrease is almost entirely due to Florida omitting ”indicated” cases from the count of victimizations and only submitting “substantiated” cases, instead of submitting both ”indicated” and “substantiated” as in previous years. This was a drop of approximately 67,000 cases from the previous year. If the FL indicated cases are removed from previous years, the national rates would be 9.7/1000 in 2004, 9.9/1000 in 2005, 9.9/1000 in 2006, and 9.7/1000 in 2007 – i.e. only a 2% decline between 2006 and 2007. Our rates are a bit lower than those reported by Tarui because we keep the population of Florida children in the denominator whereas he took them out. The Child Maltreatment report also includes a count of victimizations when calculating rates – we use a count of unique children – which also changes the rates some. We will be looking at these data more closely with the aim of writing a research brief for publication. Every so often there are controversies about rises or declines in child maltreatment trends. One lesson from the 12% decline noted in 2007 is that such dramatic declines are almost always due to some policy/administrative change (in a big state in this case). Secular trends in likely causes of maltreatment (such as changes in poverty rates) or the impact of prevention/intervention efforts tend to be reflected in the statistics as smaller changes over longer periods of time. But your comments are welcomed. John Eckenrode and Michael Dineen From: Nori Tarui << mailto:ntaruigmail.com> ntaruigmail.com > Date: Fri, Apr 3, 2009 at 8:05 PM Subject: Re: child maltreatment declines 12% 2006-2007 To: Child Maltreatment Researchers << mailto:child-maltreatment-research-llist.cornell.edu > child-maltreatment-research-llist.cornell.edu > The "largest single year decline" in the maltreatment rate from 2006-07 appears to be driven by a large decline in the maltreatment rate in one state--Florida (from 33.4 per 1,000 children in 2006 to 13.2 in 2007, or 134,567 victims out of 4,032,726 in 2006 to 53,484 out of 4,043,560 children in 2007--a 60% decline in the number of victims). If we exclude Florid when computing the national average victimization rate, we find that it has been decreasing only slightly (10.9,10.8, 10,9, 10.8, 10.4 for 2003-2007). I would appreciate it if someone could tell us what explains the substantial decline in (reported) maltreatment in Florida. Best wishes, and thank you David for the information. Nori Nori Tarui Assistant Professor Department of Economics, University of Hawai'i at Manoa < mailto:nori.taruihawaii.edu >nori.taruihawaii.edu On Fri, Apr 3, 2009 at 8:45 AM, Finkelhor, David << mailto:David.Finkelhorunh.edu >David.Finkelhorunh.edu > wrote: The Administration of Children Youth and Families released 2007 child maltreatment numbers on April 1, but it did not make the news in any of the places that I track, despite the fact that it shows a one year drop of 12% for all forms of maltreatment, which is the largest single year decline that has even occurred. John Eckenrode 607-255-0467 fax: 607-255-8562 -- Benjamin E. Saunders, Ph.D. National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center Medical University of South Carolina 67 President Street, MSC 861 843-792-2945 Phone Charleston, SC 29425 www.musc.edu/ncvc Take our web-based course, TF-CBTWeb, at www.musc.edu/tfcbt