Date of Award

1-1-2009

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Human Communications

First Advisor

Roy Wood

Abstract

ABSTRACT

Reports indicate that in the United States disproportionate numbers of African American children are represented in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. Studies also indicate disparities in the provision of services to African American young people. Some researchers claim that poverty is the cause. Others blame the high incidence of single-parent families. Others contend that individuals' biases and our racist systems are to blame. While it is almost certain that each of the aforementioned causes and many other factors contribute to disparate outcomes and the overrepresentation of African Americans in the juvenile justice and child welfare systems, this project presupposes that causation is deeply rooted and intricately interconnected with the history of racism and injustice by the child protective system towards African American people.

Indeed, examining respondent parents, child protective services workers, attorneys and judges lived experiences within the child welfare and juvenile justice systems, this qualitative study contends that a major cause for the disparities and disproportionalities is the correlation between race and the social cognition processes that subconsciously occurs within all communicants and is enacted through their communication. The process in which individuals exchange information provides entry into one of many potential areas of study that have previously received little attention from researchers related to the issue of disparities and disproportionalities. Utilizing a phenomenological approach, this study relies on in-depth, semi-structured interviews to collect and analyze the data.

Provenance

Recieved from ProQuest

Rights holder

Debra Ann Mixon Mitchell

File size

124 p.

File format

application/pdf

Language

en

Discipline

Public policy, Social work

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