Racial disparity in risk factors for substantiation of child maltreatment

Tyrone Cheng, Celia C. Lo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


This study examined racial disparity in impacts that welfare use, substance abuse, depression, and intimate partner violence (IPV) make on substantiation of reported child maltreatment. A sample of 1493 African Americans, 848 Hispanics, and 2144 Whites was employed, extracted from the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being. Logistic regression results indicated that each ethnic subsample had a distinct set of significant risk factors for substantiation. For the African American subsample, relatively long periods spent receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) reduced likelihood of substantiation, as did caregivers' alcohol dependence. For the Hispanic subsample, TANF receipt lowered substantiation's likelihood, while caregivers' drug use raised its likelihood. For the White subsample, caregivers' TANF receipt and substance abuse showed no significant impact. No subsample's substantiation likelihood appeared significantly affected by depression or IPV. Implications for services are suggested.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1962-1969
Number of pages8
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2013


  • Racial disparity
  • Substance abuse
  • Substantiation
  • Welfare


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