The results support the authors' hypothesis that the relation of child maltreatment report rates to socioeconomic level can be used as a criterion for assessing construct validity. The socioeconomic criterion can be used by investigators as they seek to identify legitimate comparisons for purposes of substantive analysis. Taken separately, the three analyses presented in this paper admit to some ambiguity of interpretation; together they argue for the plausibility of the construct validity hypothesis. The empirical results are consistent with emerging theoretical analysis of etiology and epidemiology. Therefore, the authors believe the socioeconomic criterion may provide a necessary condition for establishing the validity of report data. The empirical criterion proposed in this paper should not be used blindly without corroborating information from local informants, of course. The best approach is to combine an 'anthropological' awareness of the realities of reporting with a statistical model such as the one presented.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health