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Part III What are official statistics? Statistics: numerical data Official: gathered by government officials or people receiving government money in the course of doing performing normal jobs Uniform Crime Reports (UCRs) Property Crimes Burglary, vandalism, arson, larceny/theft Crimes Against the Person Robbery, rape, murder, assault Victimless Crimes Drugs, sex, gambling Unrecognized Unreported Unrecorded Strengths Fast: Pre-collected Cheap Longitudinal: over history Breadth: no sampling Weaknesses Validity Change/Absent categories Data gathering Self interpretation Survey Research – one of the most popular Participant-Observation Field Research Questionnaire Sampling Probability Convenience Snowball Mode of Administration Coding and Analysis Choose a Topic/Personal Biography Gaining Entrée Forging Trust and Relationships Developing Analysis Survey P-O Official Stats Cost High Low Free Time Medium Long Done Approach Objective Subjective Clerical Generalizability High Low High Accuracy Medium High Low Part III Chapter 12 Part 3: Ch. 12 All states have passed laws that require designated professionals to report specified types of child maltreatment Over the years, both the range of designated professionals and the scope of reportable conditions have steadily expanded Part 3: Ch. 12 Today most states have laws that require most professionals who serve children to report of all forms of suspected child maltreatment: Physical abuse Sexual abuse Physical neglect Exploitation Emotional maltreatment Part 3: Ch. 12 These reporting laws have been very successful: In 1993 about 3 million reports of child abuse or neglect reported compared to only 150,000 in early 1960s Earlier reporting statistics not reliable so cannot provide a baseline study against which to make comparisons Part 3: Ch. 12 Increase in reporting accompanied by a substantial expansion of prevention and treatment programs Increase in reporting accompanied by a substantial expansion of prevention and treatment programs Estimated that as a result, child abuse and neglect deaths have fallen from 3000-5000 per year to about 1000 annually Part 3: Ch. 12 Part 3: Ch. 12 56% or about 500,000 abused & neglected cases unreported (1986) 2,000 with observable signs (bruises, scrapes) that required hospitalization 100,000 with moderate signs of abuse 30,000 of those sexually abused Part 3: Ch. 12 A stratified sample of counties, a broadly representative sample of professionals who serve children were surveyed Asked if they had seen children who appeared to have been abused or neglected Results were compared against pending cases in local child protective agency Part 3: Ch. 12 Part 3: Ch. 12 Unsubstantiated Reports Nationwide 60 to 65 percent of all reports closed after finding of unfounded Each year about 700,000 families are needlessly put through investigations of unfounded reports, a massive violation of parental rights So many unfounded reports waste valuable resources of child protection agencies This explains why 25 to 50 percent of child abuse deaths involve children previously known to authorities since caseworkers are overwhelmed and desensitized Part 3: Ch. 12 What reporting laws govern those who work or serve children in most, if not all, states? What is the difference between substantiated and unsubstantiated case of child abuse? Part 3: Ch. 12 Part III Chapter 13 Part 3: Ch. 13 Skepticism About a National Survey of Sex Behavior Nobody will agree to participate, and if they do, they won’t answer honestly Until recently, scientific research on sexuality has been taboo and marginalized Little prior research exists on sexuality in the general population Exceptions are adolescence, premarital sex, and sexual deviance Part 3: Ch. 13 Part 3: Ch. 13 National Health and Social Life Survey (NHSLS): Sample Design Probability sampling used: every member of a population has a known probability of selection No other scientifically acceptable way to construct a representative sample and to be able to generalize from the actual sample on which data are collected Part 3: Ch. 13 National Health and Social Life Survey (NHSLS): Sample Design Every sample produces a slightly different estimate: the larger the sample size, the closer the sample size results will be to each other and to actual population Subpopulations also become important determinant of sample size: One wants to know intersections between various categories such as young black women Part 3: Ch. 13 Part 3: Ch. 13 Gaining Cooperation No survey is able to get every sampling- designated respondent to complete an interview: Even the better, face-to-face surveys average only about 75% of target The missing 25% pose a serious issue for reliability and validity of survey: Is there a nonrandom process at work that distinguishes respondents from nonrespondents? Part 3: Ch. 13 Gaining Cooperation Experience teaches us that moderately high response rates as 75% do not lead to biased results; Response rates of 90% seem to represent an upper limit NHSLS study achieved response rate of near 80% but was expensive: $450 per interview due to training and mobile field staff Part 3: Ch. 13 Part 3: Ch. 13 Mode of Administration NHSLS used face-to-face interviews, the most costly; Other methods considered but rejected Phone interviews, though cheaper, ruled out: Needed about 90 minutes to complete questionnaire, about twice the length shown to be an upper limit for phone interviews Self-administered as main method ruled out: Questions must be simpler in form and language than an interviewer can ask Part 3: Ch. 13 Part 3: Ch. 13 The Questionnaire Most important element of the study design: Determines content and quality of information gathered for analysis B. Over a 6-month period 220 interviewers contacted 7,800 households and completed 3,432 interviews Included demographic attributes: Gender, age, race/ethnicity, frequency of certain practices, sexual experience measures, etc Part 3: Ch. 13 The Questionnaire Had to decide where to draw boundaries in defining sexual behavior: Intercourse for example because defined by penis insertion would exclude sex acts between women How much if any slang should be used to refer to sex acts? Or limit it to clinical terms people may or may not understand? Part 3: Ch. 13 Part 3: Ch. 13 Privacy, Confidentiality, Security Respondent confidentiality goes to very heart of survey research since willingness of subjects to fully & honestly respond depends on assurance of confidentiality Part 3: Ch. 13 What issues arise with sexual behavior research? In the context of confidentiality, what issues affect the accuracy of responses by participants? Part 3: Ch. 13 Part III Chapter 14 Part 3: Ch. 14 Adlers’ backgrounds & interests well-suited for drug study They had previous experience with fieldwork techniques as undergraduates They had open view toward soft drug use (marijuana and cocaine) As young graduate students in mid-20s they fit in with people being observed Part 3: Ch. 14 Research study about drug dealers began as a fortunate accident of moving next door to and socializing with a neighbor who, as it turned out, was a dealer-smuggler Drug dealing identity of their neighbor, Dave, accidentally divulged one day by his friends and from this point on Adlers had “entered” this drug world of smugglers Part 3: Ch. 14 Dave was a member of a smuggling crew that imported a ton of marijuana and 40Ks of cocaine every few months; Over time admitted into this “inner circle” of dealers Dave and others became key informants; life histories, taping open-ended interviews, etc. Part 3: Ch. 14 Illegal nature of illicit drug dealing made adoption of overt research role problematic Adlers’ agreed with informants to be very discreet about research for everyone’s safety As non-participants in drug business, it was at times hard to be fully accepted as peers Part 3: Ch. 14 Building trust was slow and difficult process Given informal drug dealing subculture, one has to earn trust of new people all the time Cultivated trust by offering favors: use of cell phone, offer use of car, etc. Trust difficult to maintain: not given once and for all but constantly being negotiated Part 3: Ch. 14 After initial covert phase, and as some persons trusted Adlers, would attempt to approach them and go to overt role as researchers Part 3: Ch. 14 Indirect: Use key informants to approach their friends and acquaintances Direct: Adlers approached directly asking for help with project Part 3: Ch. 14 Coming on too fast: some persons may be frightened or threatened Juggling overt and covert roles: danger that cover could be blown with some who did not know about their research with others who did in same situation Part 3: Ch. 14 What was problematic about the research undertaken by Adler? How did the participants of the study react to nonparticipation on the part of the researcher? Part 3: Ch. 14
"Studying Deviance Adler and Adler"