Predictors of child abuse charges within the context of domestic violence arrests


Jennifer Roark, Kelly E Knight, Heather Olson, Heidi DeSandre


Crime & Delinquency


This article investigates how different factors of a domestic violence incident impact the likelihood of a child abuse charge within the context of domestic violence arrests. Data from 5,148 domestic violence arrests were used to test whether domestic violence-, incident-, and child-based predictors increased the likelihood of a child abuse charge. Logistic regression models of gender-stratified samples were employed to test for gender differences among domestic violence arrestees. The results demonstrated predictors affected men’s odds of a child abuse charge when compared with women. For men and women, children witnessing the domestic violence incident had the largest impact on a child abuse charge. These results contribute to the underdeveloped area of police response to child abuse in domestic violence cases.



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