Concordance of Self-Reported Versus Court-Reported Cases of Child Maltreatment: Findings From the Northwestern Juvenile Project

Courtney B. Pippen, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
Monica H. Swahn, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
Daniel J. Whitaker, Centers for Disease Control/NCIPC
Rebecca T. Leeb, Centers for Disease Control/NCIPC
Linda A. Teplin, Northwestern University Medical School
Karen M. Abram, Northwestern University Medical School
Gary M. McClelland, Northwestern University Medical School

ABSTRACT
While the prevalence of either self-reported or court-reported cases of child maltreatment has been documented, much less is known about the concordance of self-reported and court-reported cases. The purpose of the current investigation was to examine the concordance of self-reported and court-reported cases of child maltreatment in a random sample of adolescents who were newly detained in the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center (CCJTDC) in Illinois, between 1995 and 1998. Data were collected by the Northwestern Juvenile Project and include detailed interviews from 1,829 youths (36% females; 64% males) betweeen 10 and 18 years of age. Self-reported cases of child maltreatment (physical and sexual abuse) were compared to court reported cases in the Child Abuse and Neglect Court of the Cook County Judicial System. Preliminary analyses suggest that the concordance between self-reported and court-reported cases of child maltreatment for research, as well as to further our understanding of the factors that may influence the concurrence or discrepancy between the two sources.

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Updated 05/20/2006