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Reliability and Validity of the National Incidence of Child Abuse and Neglect Study Conducted by Westat Associates in 1988: Methodological Review

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This report summarizes a methodological review of the 1988 National Incidence of Child Abuse and Neglect Study (NIS-2) and highlights the review's implications. The review includes an analysis by two expert statisticians concerning the validity of NIS-2 and the reliability of its results, alternative explanations of the data posed by several child abuse researchers and policymakers, and a secondary analysis of the NIS-2 data which determines its utility to address key policy and program issues. The report identifies a number of possible problems with NIS-2 and recommends ways to increase the accuracy and effectiveness of future studies on child maltreatment. [60 PDF pages]