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Explaining the disparity in placement instability among African-American and white children in child welfare: A Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition

  • Foster, E. Michael
  • Hillemeier, Marianne M.
  • Bai, Yu
Registered author(s):

    African-American children in the child welfare system are at disproportionate risk of adverse experiences including placement instability. This article compares placement instability among African-American and white children in the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being and identifies mechanisms underlying racial disparities using a Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition. The type of initial out-of-home placements contributes significantly to the racial gap in placement instability. However a large amount of racial disparity remains unexplained. Additional factors, not captured by these analyses, apparently explain African-American's increased risk of placement instability. Predictors of placement instability differ between racial groups. Among African-Americans, older age, initial placement in a setting other than kinship care, and having a higher externalizing CBCL score at baseline are associated with greater instability. Among white children, however, only initial placement in a foster care setting predicted placement instability.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6V98-50VKM76-1/2/5b3ab35bc1f3125b7e2cbe008244d837
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Children and Youth Services Review.

    Volume (Year): 33 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 1 (January)
    Pages: 118-125

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:cysrev:v:33:y:2011:i:1:p:118-125
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/childyouth

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    1. Wulczyn, Fred, 2003. "Closing the gap: are changing exit patterns reducing the time African American children spend in foster care relative to Caucasian children?," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(5-6), pages 431-462.
    2. Yun, Myeong-Su, 2003. "A Simple Solution to the Identification Problem in Detailed Wage Decompositions," IZA Discussion Papers 836, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Yampolskaya, Svetlana & Armstrong, Mary I. & Vargo, Amy C., 2007. "Factors associated with exiting and reentry into out-of-home care under Community-Based Care in Florida," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(10), pages 1352-1367, October.
    4. Alan S. Blinder, 1973. "Wage Discrimination: Reduced Form and Structural Estimates," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 8(4), pages 436-455.
    5. Nabanita Datta Gupta & Ronald L. Oaxaca & Nina Smith, 2006. "Swimming upstream, floating downstream: Comparing women's relative wage progress in the United States and Denmark," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 59(2), pages 243-266, January.
    6. Ronald L. Oaxaca & Michael R. Ransom, 1999. "Identification in Detailed Wage Decompositions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(1), pages 154-157, February.
    7. Oaxaca, Ronald, 1973. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(3), pages 693-709, October.
    8. Courtney, Mark E. & Yin-Ling Irene Wong, 1996. "Comparing the timing of exits from substitute care," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(4-5), pages 307-334.
    9. Ransom, Michael R. & Oaxaca, Ronald L., 2003. "Intrafirm Mobility and Sex Differences in Pay," IZA Discussion Papers 704, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. Connell, Christian M. & Katz, Karol H. & Saunders, Leon & Tebes, Jacob Kraemer, 2006. "Leaving foster care--the influence of child and case characteristics on foster care exit rates," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(7), pages 780-798, July.
    11. Oaxaca, Ronald L. & Ransom, Michael R., 1994. "On discrimination and the decomposition of wage differentials," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 5-21, March.
    12. Ben Jann, 2008. "A Stata implementation of the Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition," ETH Zurich Sociology Working Papers 5, ETH Zurich, Chair of Sociology, revised 14 May 2008.
    13. Wells, Kathleen & Guo, Shenyang, 1999. "Reunification and reentry of foster children," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 273-294, April.
    14. Jones, Loring, 1998. "The social and family correlates of successful reunification of children in foster care," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 305-323, May.
    15. William C. Horrace & Ronald L. Oaxaca, 2001. "Inter-Industry Wage Differentials and the Gender Wage Gap: An Identification Problem," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 54(3), pages 611-618, April.
    16. James, Sigrid & Landsverk, John & Slymen, Donald J., 2004. "Placement movement in out-of-home care: patterns and predictors," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 185-206, February.
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