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Unpublished Paper
Racial disproportionality in child welfare: False logic and dangerous misunderstandings
ExpressO (2010)
  • Jesse Russell

Disproportionality and disparities in child welfare appear to be widely recognized, if not fully understood, phenomena. There is often disagreement on how to interpret or find meaning in the empirical evidence that supports the existence of disproportionality and disparities—some the result of fertile and valuable discussion, some stemming from misunderstanding. Several potential paths of misinterpretation are examined here: the ecological fallacy concept, the fallacy of hidden assumptions, the lessons from different measures of disproportionality, the difficulty in understanding how probabilities relate to each other, and the effect that multicolinearity can have on statistical findings. Ultimately, better understanding of empirical findings helps to develop with confidence the tools, strategies, and initiatives for reducing disproportionality and disparities.

Publication Date
October 7, 2010
Citation Information
Jesse Russell. "Racial disproportionality in child welfare: False logic and dangerous misunderstandings" ExpressO (2010)
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