Thursday, September 16, 2010

Racial differences in domestic violence

In a recent post, I suggested racial differences in violence in personal situations like a caregiver abusing an elderly person. I plan to look for any kind of relevant data, but I did find a question on a college survey that asked: "For an average month, indicate how often one of your parents or stepparents delivered physical blows to the other."

13.3 percent of the 330 black college students answered at least one time per month, compared to 7.6 percent of the 1,135 Caucasian students. The differences are significantly different at the 95 percent confidence level (two-tail test). So blacks are 1.8 times as likely to assault the child's other parent monthly. I find this striking (no pun intended) given that so many black parents are split up, not married, do not live at the same place, and thus have fewer opportunities to fight.

3 comments:

Rob S. said...

Not to mention that black college students are much less representative of the rest of their race than are white college students.

dana said...

most likely a reflection of lower impulse control among blacks than increased tendency toward domestic violence

Bill said...

What is the denominator? All respondents, or all respondents with parents living together? It sounds like all respondents.

This looks like a bad survey question to me. It's easy for us upper middle class white folks to implicitly assume that lower SES types have similar household structures to us. They don't.

What you really want is something like "Did any adult in your mother's household hit any other adult in your mother's household" Even this is a problem, because there sometimes isn't even a clear line between who is in and who is out of low SES households. I think the 1.8 ratio is probably low.