Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Public Policy (PhD)

Degree Level



Political Science


Brinck Kerr

Committee Member

Margaret Reid

Second Committee Member

Will Miller


American Indians/Alaska Natives, Child abuse, Neglect


Very little empirical research has been conducted on child abuse among American Indians/Alaska Natives (AI/AN). This dissertation examines the rate of reported AI/AN child abuse from 1993-2003 for the 20 U. S. states with the largest percentages of AI/AN populations. Research on child abuse and neglect from at least two bodies of literature is examined - one on child abuse in the general population and the other on child abuse among American Indians/Alaskan Natives. Based on SAS output from pooled time series analysis, two tables were created, one for the general population and one for the AI/AN population. The results indicate that reported rates of AI/AN child abuse are higher in states with anonymous reporting, high evidentiary standards, and Public Law 280 jurisdiction. Limitations of the study and policy recommendations are also addressed. Future research needs to focus in greater detail on state policy variables in order to determine why states with these characteristics have higher levels of reported AI/AN child abuse.