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Title:Child Maltreatment in the Social Context: The Relationship of Socioeconomic and Demographic Environmental Variables to Reported Child Maltreatment in Illinois
Author(s):Yu, Hon-Yei Annie
Department / Program:Social Work
Discipline:Social Work
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Social Work
Sociology, Individual and Family Studies
Sociology, Demography
Abstract:According to the American Humane Association, more than 1.9 million American children were reported as victims of abuse and/or neglect in 1985--a reporting rate of 30.6 alleged victims per 1,000 U.S. child population. How could this ever happen in a society where children are claimed to be the treasures of families? The primary purpose of this study is, from a macro perspective, to enhance the understanding of child maltreatment in its ecological environment.
Aggregate data have been generated from the 1970, 1980 census and the State Department documents for 102 counties in Illinois. The environmental variables of interest include vulnerability of children (i.e., the circumstances under which children are at risk), economic status of families (i.e., the degree to which families in a particular county are subjected to economic pressure), and availability of support services. Variables such as racial homogeneity and employed professionals percentage, which possibly have effects on the reporting procedure, are controlled for each county.
After addressing some methodological issues confronting the study, such as validity of reporting data, ecological fallacy, and ratio variable issue, six conceptual relationships are investigated. Prediction models both with and without control variables are constructed based on those environmental correlates through multiple regression analyses.
The statistical findings suggest the existence of a strong relationship between the socioeconomic and demographic variables of a county and its reported child maltreatment in Illinois. Thus, in a county without the knowledge of its child maltreatment statistics, the reported rate can be estimated to a certain degree of accuracy based on the prediction models. The identification of outliers suggests those counties in the State which merit further case study. The level of poverty in a community has been identified as the main contributor to child maltreatment, based on this study. It is believed that the large concentration of poor households in a neighborhood lack of adequate support services has put families at high risk of child maltreatment. In order to prevent child maltreatment, strategies to combat poverty through full employment, pro-family policy, and teen pregnancy prevention are addressed.
Issue Date:1988
Description:160 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1988.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8908897
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-17
Date Deposited:1988

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