Validity of Infant Race/Ethnicity from Birth Certificates in the Context of U.S. Demographic Change

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, Social Work, United States on 2014-04-17 21:45Z by Steven

Validity of Infant Race/Ethnicity from Birth Certificates in the Context of U.S. Demographic Change

Health Services Research
Volume 49, Issue 1 (February 2014)
pages 249–267
DOI: 10.1111/1475-6773.12083

Lisa Reyes Mason, Assistant Professor of Social Work
University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Yunju Nam, Associate Professor of Social Work
State University of New York, Buffalo

Youngmi Kim, Assistant Professor of Social Work
Virginia Commonwealth University


To compare infant race/ethnicity based on birth certificates with parent report of infant race/ethnicity in a survey.

Data Sources

The 2007 Oklahoma birth certificates and SEED for Oklahoma Kids baseline survey.

Study Design

Using sensitivity scores and positive predictive values, we examined consistency of infant race/ethnicity across two data sources (N = 2,663).

Data Collection/Extraction Methods

We compared conventional measures of infant race/ethnicity from birth certificate and survey data. We also tested alternative measures that allow biracial classification, determined from parental information on the infant’s birth certificate or parental survey report.

Principal Findings

Sensitivity of conventional measures is highest for whites and African Americans and lowest for Hispanics; positive predictive value is highest for Hispanics and African Americans and lowest for American Indians. Alternative measures improve values among whites but yield mostly low values among minority and biracial groups.


Health disparities research should consider the source and validity of infant race/ethnicity data when creating sampling frames or designing studies that target infants by race/ethnicity. The common practice of assigning the maternal race/ethnicity as infant race/ethnicity should continue to be challenged.

Read or purchase the article here.

Tags: , , , ,

Interview with Carole Brennan from Mixed Race Irish

Posted in Articles, Audio, Europe, Interviews, Media Archive, Social Work on 2014-04-04 02:08Z by Steven

Interview with Carole Brennan from Mixed Race Irish

Een Vlaming in Ierland/ A Fleming in Ireland

Roos Demol

It has been quite a week in Ireland, with the new problems for Mr Shatter, the news that over 2000 phone calls were taped in Garda offices around the country, which could bring a lot of current and old court cases in jeopardy,the press had a busy time and mr. Shatter is very troubled.

But that hasn’t affected our normal every day lives.

However, since I started my (voluntay) job with the online radio, Irish Radio International, where I have my own show, The New Rebels, aimed at the immigrant society here and their families abroad and since I have touched the problem of racism, I am regularly confronted with some very difficult truths.

It is of course easy to ignore all that and keep on blogging about all the good things in Ireland (of which there are many), but I think we all have a repsonsibiloity in revealing truth, however unpleasant that truth may be.

I connected with a lady from London, Carole Brennan, who is a co-founder of the recently established Mixed Race Irish group, an association of Irish people with African dads and Irish mothers, born in the 50s, 60s and 70s, and often raised in industrial schools here in Ireland, where they were often psychologically, physically and even sexually abused…

Listen to the interview here.

Tags: , , ,

Christine Buckley helped shift cultural axis on child abuse

Posted in Articles, Europe, Media Archive, Religion, Social Work on 2014-03-13 18:58Z by Steven

Christine Buckley helped shift cultural axis on child abuse

The Irish Times

Patsy McGarry, Religious Affairs Correspondent


Those who insist that history is about movements not individuals might reflect on the achievements of Christine Buckley.

Her story is history as driven by one person. She was an original, a pioneer in exposing how badly this State “cherished” many of its children, whatever their age, throughout most of the 20th century, up to 1996 when the last Magdalene laundry closed. If a high point of much of her work was then taoiseach Bertie Ahern’s 1999 apology on behalf of the State to all who had been in residential institutions as children, as well as his announcement then of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse (Ryan Commission) and the setting up of the Residential Institutions Redress Board, it was not all.

It is no exaggeration to claim that such huge shift in the cultural axis of Ireland, made possible by Christine Buckley, paved the way for the Murphy Commission which investigated the handling of clerical sexual abuse allegations in Dublin and Cloyne dioceses, as well as the McAleese committee which investigated the Magdalene laundries…

…Her own story, as we now know, was in many ways typical. Through its telling she liberated others to do likewise, and not just from an institutional context. Writing in this newspaper in 1997 she recalled: “My mother lived within 20 minutes of the orphanage where I was placed as a child. I never knew it. Nobody seemed to know it. After a two-year courtship she took the baby boat to England in 1946 to hide, to wait and to give birth to her dark secret.

“She forgot to tell my father that she was separated from her husband. She forgot to tell him she already had children, one of them in an institution. Two weeks after my birth we returned to Ireland. My father refused to support her. The following day she placed me with, an adoption agency, vehemently refusing to sign the adoption papers and nobody asked her why.

“Guilt ridden, my father tracked me down six months later in a baby home. For six years he was the pivot of my life until one Saturday he never came back.”…

…Her campaign began after she met her birth mother for the first time in 1985. Three years later she travelled to Nigeria to meet her father. She “told him about my life in Goldenbridge . . . and how I intended to go public about the horrors of that place once he returned to Ireland to meet my children.”…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , ,

Mixed-race children ‘are being failed’ in treatment of mental health problems

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Social Work, United Kingdom on 2014-02-23 20:00Z by Steven

Mixed-race children ‘are being failed’ in treatment of mental health problems

The Guardian

Tracy McVeigh, Chief Reporter
The Observer

The fastest growing ethnic group in Britain is still being treated as if it is only integrated into black culture, says report

Children of mixed race are at greater risk of suffering from mental health problems and are not getting the support they need, says a report.

Despite mixed-race children belonging to the fastest-growing ethnic group, the research, backed by the National Children’s Bureau, found that they faced “unrealistic” expectations from teachers and other adults who did not understand their backgrounds.

While mixed-race young people are over represented in the care, youth justice and child protection systems, the authors said they were “invisible” in public service practice and policy.

The report – Mixed Experiences – growing up mixed race: mental health and wellbeing – drew on several studies and interviews with 21 people about their experiences as children.

Co-author Dinah Morley was concerned at the lack of understanding over what it meant to be mixed race, a group most likely to suffer racism. “I was surprised at how much racism, from black and white people, had come their way,” she said. “A lot of children were seen as black when they might be being raised by a white single parent and had no understanding of the black culture. The default position for a child of mixed race is that they are black.”…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , ,

Mixed Experiences: Growing up mixed race – mental health and well-being

Posted in Books, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Science, Social Work, United Kingdom on 2014-02-23 19:46Z by Steven

Mixed Experiences: Growing up mixed race – mental health and well-being

National Children’s Bureau
February 2014
96 pages
ISBN: 9781909391161

Dinah Morley and Cathy Street

Mixed race is the fastest growing population group of children and young people in England and Wales. The diversity of the mixed race group’s does not allow for a one-size-fits-all assessment of needs, and this is the challenge for practitioners.

This guide offers practitioners an insight into the experiences of racism, discrimination and identity confusion that mixed race children and young people encounter. With a focus on mental health, it discusses the policy context and considers the learning from projects and local services that have targeted mixed race children, young people and families.

It will be of value to all practitioners working with children and young people, especially those in the mental health field, and also in health more generally, early years services, social care, education, youth justice and the voluntary sector.

Tags: , ,

Multicultural families: Deracializing Transracial Adoption

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Work, United Kingdom on 2014-02-06 13:19Z by Steven

Multicultural families: Deracializing Transracial Adoption

Critical Social Policy
Volume 34, Number 1 (February 2014)
pages 66-89
DOI: 10.1177/0261018313493160

Suki Ali, Senior Lecturer of Sociology
London School of Economics and Political Science

In 2010, the Coalition government announced its plans for adoption reform which included ‘removing barriers’ to transracial adoption. The government has blamed social workers’ looking for ‘perfect ethnic matches’ for denying black and minority ethnic children placements with ‘loving and stable families’. The paper draws upon qualitative research with professionals and parents, which shows that the government has failed to take into account the complex ways in which race and ethnicity matter within adoption. Their wish to deracialize transracial adoption fits with wider concerns about race mixing, families and national belonging in multicultural Britain. While they attempt to minimize the importance of race and ethnicity, they continue to place race at the heart of these debates.

Read or purchase the article here.

Tags: , ,

UNC professor studies race, drug abuse

Posted in Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, Social Work, United States on 2014-01-15 07:52Z by Steven

UNC professor studies race, drug abuse

The Daily Tar Heel
University of North Carolina

Erin Davis

Growing up in rural North Carolina, Trenette Clark watched as some loved ones went to jail at young ages and others lost their children to the Child Welfare System.

She came to wonder why some drug users’ behavior spirals into a vortex of addiction and why those exposed to the same drug can have very different experiences from one another. She also wondered why so much research was restricted to one race.

After receiving a $829,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health, Clark, a UNC professor of social work, hopes to answer these questions and many more, specifically questions surrounding the practically untouched topic of biracial adolescents…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , ,

Campaign highlights abuse of mixed-race Irish in institutional care

Posted in Articles, Europe, Media Archive, Social Work on 2013-12-12 03:22Z by Steven

Campaign highlights abuse of mixed-race Irish in institutional care

The Irish Times
Dublin, Ireland

Marie O’Halloran, Parliamentary Reporter

‘I was in a class all of my own, beneath everybody else along with the dogs and the pigs’

A campaign has been launched for recognition of mixed-race survivors of institutional abuse who believe they suffered racism while in State care.

Rosemary Adaser and Evon Brennan of the campaign group Call to Action Mixed Race Irish, have 20 members, but believe there are about 200 Irish people of mixed race who were in institutional care here between the 1950s and 1980s.

Ms Brennan, a London-based singer-songwriter, said they were looking at the “colour-specific nature of abuse”. That abuse “has been under the radar all these years” and they want an acknowledgement that “Ireland in the ’50s and ’60s was a racist country”…

…Ms Adaser said: “The key point is that if you were mixed race back in the ’50s and ’60s you were 99 per cent sure of being put in an institution.”

Put into State care at the age of three months, she was in homes on the Navan Road, Dublin, and spent 11 years in St Joseph’s, Kilkenny, where her baby son was forcibly taken from her by the nuns when she was 17.

‘Performing monkey’

“I have absolutely nothing good to say about it. I was the only black girl there, seen as an oddity, treated as an alien, at best a performing monkey, at worst a savage, a savage to be civilised.

“I was in a class all of my own, beneath everybody else along with the dogs and the pigs on the farm. That’s where I was told I belonged.”…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , ,


Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Family/Parenting, Gay & Lesbian, Media Archive, Social Science, Social Work, United States on 2013-11-26 15:36Z by Steven


The New York Times

Natalie Angier

American households have never been more diverse, more surprising, more baffling. In this special issue of Science Times, NATALIE ANGIER takes stock of our changing definition of family.

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , ,

Purple Boots, Silver Stars … and White Parents

Posted in Articles, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Social Work, United States on 2013-10-15 01:11Z by Steven

Purple Boots, Silver Stars … and White Parents

The New York Times

Frank Ligtvoet, Founder
Adoptive Families With Children of African Heritage and Their Friends, New York, New York

“WHEN I wear my cap backwards, don’t copy me,” our 8-year-old son says to his 7-year-old sister. “O.K.,” she answers, “I will put it on sideways.”

Recently our African-American daughter, Rosa, had gone with an older black friend to Fulton Mall, a crowded commercial area in our Brooklyn neighborhood, where the shoppers are mostly black. Fulton Mall is not only about shopping, it’s also a place to flirt, talk, laugh and argue, and to listen in passing to gospel, soul, hip-hop and R & B.

Rosa had seen some purple canvas boots with silver stars and lost herself in an all-consuming desire to have them. Immediately. I bought them, a bit later. A day later. And to be “fair,” I bought our son, Joshua, who is also African-American, a pair of black and yellow basketball shorts. Pretty cool as well.

The next day they want to show off their new stuff and, somewhat to my surprise, they decide to do so at Fulton Mall. I am their white adoptive dad, and by now, at their age, they see the racial difference between us clearly and are not always comfortable with it in public. But they know they are too young to go alone to the mall. Before we leave, Rosa, who had always seemed indifferent to fashion, changes into tight jeans and a black short-sleeve T-shirt. Joshua twists his head to see how he looks from behind. He pushes his new shorts a bit lower over his hips, but doesn’t dare to go all the way saggy. And then — after they have their cap conversation — we go.

They walk ahead. I am kept at a distance, a distance that grows as we get closer to the mall. I respect that; I grin and play stranger.

Joshua walks with the wide, tentative yet supple steps he sees black teenage boys make, steps he has practiced at home in the mirror. I realize that this is the first time in their lives they are asserting their blackness in a black environment, maybe not in opposition to but in conscious separation from the whiteness of my male partner and me. And we are a bit proud of their budding racial independence, since it comes after years of their having expressed feelings that ranged from “I don’t want to be black” to “I hate white people.” Being black with us was safe now. Being black at Fulton Mall was sort of a test of how safe it was out there in the world. I take a picture with my phone to catch this moment, which they hate. Of course…

…In the case of transracial adoption, there is the force of horizontal identity, where the child looks for others with the same experience of being adopted, but the vertical identity is complicated as well. When we wake them up in the morning, our kids don’t see parents who look like them. For many young transracial adoptees, every time they look in the mirror it’s a shock to see that they are black or Asian and not white like their parents. (In most transracial families, the parents are white.) The children have to grow out of their internalized whiteness into their own racial identity. Some fail and suffer tremendously…

Read the entire opinion piece here.

Tags: , , ,