Poverty or Racism? A Re-Analysis of Briggs et al. 2022

Brett Drake, Dylan Jones, Jun Hong Chen, Sarah Font, Emily Putnam-Hornstein, Richard P. Barth, Melissa Jonson-Reid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose: This paper presents a re-analysis of the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS) data presented by Briggs et al. (2022). Methods: We review five components of that article: The aims, variables, analytic strategy, analysis, and conclusions. Results: We conclude that several of the NCANDS variables used are invalid at the national level, and that this is sufficient to call the research into question. We find concerning issues in analytic strategy and analysis as well, many stemming from a failure to account for the serious underreporting of services in NCANDS, and the wide variability in data quality and consistency across states. We also found what we consider to be issues with their statistical analysis. Discussion: The reanalysis presented in this article shows no pattern of disparate within Child Protective Services (CPS) outcomes by race and, therefore, no support for the Briggs et al. claim of pervasive anti-Black racism within the CPS system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)234-243
Number of pages10
JournalResearch on Social Work Practice
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Psychology

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