Monday, April 3, 2023

Child abuse and neglect among homeschoolers?

"Opponents of homeschooling associate it with unchecked and unreported abuse and neglect of children, often arguing for more regulation of or an outright ban of home education," Brian D. Ray and M. Danish Shakeel write in the Journal of School Choice.

Do homeschool students experience more maltreatment than those in schools and, if so, is it happening in or outside the home? Empirical evidence to answer this question is lacking, data collection during schooling age poses several constraints, and school-age children may under-report incidences due to fear. To address this gap in information and literature, we draw nationally representative data from 1,253 previously homeschooled and conventionally schooled (public and private schools) adults to anonymously report about their abuse and neglect experiences during school age. Cross-sectional findings suggest that school sector is a non-issue after considering the role played by demographics (e.g., family structure, years in foster care, large family size, and household poverty) in the maltreatment of children. The incidences of abuse and neglect for homeschool children are statistically significant only at community or some type of school, and the occurrence rates there are double or more than at family where the rate is not significant. Results suggest that policymakers should consider the larger role of demographics in framing policies to protect children from abuse and neglect.

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