Subject: Studies in the News 04-4 (January 23, 2004)


CALIFORNIA STATE LIBRARY
Studies in the News
Children and Family Supplement


Contents This Week

Introductory Material EDUCATION
   Academics and after-school programs
   Early learning standards
   Measures of school readiness
HEALTH
   Young children and physical fitness
   Characteristics of children in SCHIP
   Diet of infants and toddlers
   Mental health assessment of children
HUMAN SERVICES
   Policy options and the child care crisis
   Childcare for preschoolers with disabilities
   Guide to age-appropriate children's programs
   Children's well-being in Kansas City
   Well-being of children and families
   Unmarried parents and their children
   Child well-being and foster care
STUDIES TO COME
   Factors affecting children in preschool
Introduction to Studies in the News

Studies in the News is a very current compilation of items significant to the Legislature and Governor's Office. It is created weekly by the State Library's Research Bureau to supplement the public policy debate in California’s Capitol. To help share the latest information with state policymakers, these reading lists are now being made accessible through the State Library’s website. This week's list of current articles in various public policy areas is presented below.

Service to State Employees:

  • When available, the URL for the full text of each item is provided.

  • Items in the State Library collection can be checked out to state officials and staff.

  • Access to all materials listed will be provided by the State Information Reference Center, either by e-mail to cslsirc@library.ca.gov or by calling 654-0261.

The following studies are currently on hand:

EDUCATION

AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAMS

Inside the Black Box: Exploring the "Content" of After-School. By the Forum For Youth Investment. Out-Of-School Time Policy Commentary. Issue 5. (The Forum, Washington, DC) 2003. 7 p.

Full Text at: www.forumforyouthinvestment.org/comment/ostpc5.pdf

["After-school programs can foster a love of learning, problem-solving and other skills and improve academic achievement with different approaches -- with activities that explicitly emphasize academics or by 'embedding' academic content in sports, and cultural or other activities. When it comes to the popular activity of helping with homework, much depends on the quality of help offered. Given the current pressures on schools to show improvement and limited public resources for after-school programs, determining what is realistic to expect from after-school programs in terms of in-school performance is key." Connect for Kids (January 12, 2004) 1.]

[Request #S1030]

Return to the Table of Contents

EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

Standards for Preschool Children's Learning and Development: Who Has Standards, How Were They Developed, and How Are They Used? By Catherine Scott-Little, SERVE, and others. (SERVE, Greensboro, North Carolina) 2003. 129 p.

Full Text at: www.serve.org/_downloads/Standards%20Full%20Report%20%20NEWEST%20version%206-19-03.doc

["This study was prompted by the absence of a national report or comprehensive source of data delineating how individual states are responding to the need for early learning standards. SERVE, a Regional Educational Laboratory funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Institute for Education Sciences, conducted a national study to examine early learning standards developed by state-level organizations. The broad purpose of the study is to provide data on what standards have been developed, the processes states have used to develop the standards, and how states are using/implementing the standards."]

[Request #S1031]

Return to the Table of Contents

SCHOOL READINESS

Measures of School Readiness in National Data Sets. By Child Trends. (Child Trends, Washington, DC) 2004. Various pagings.

Full Text at: www.childtrends.org/measuresofschoolreadiness.asp

["This information provides an overview of the conceptualization of school readiness and a review of major recent developments in the measures of school readiness at the national and state levels contained in five national data sets and measurements in three major areas: children's readiness, schools' readiness, and parent and community supports."]

[Request #S1033]

Return to the Table of Contents

HEALTH

EXERCISE

Kids in Action: Fitness For Children: Birth to Age Five. By the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, National Association for Sport and Physical Education, and the Kellogg Company. (The Association, Reston, Virginia) January 2004. 15 p.

Full Text at: www.aahperd.org/naspe/pdf_files/brochure.pdf

["Toddlers and preschoolers need several hours of unstructured movement each day, but also benefit from structured movement activities." Connect for Kids Weekly (January 20, 2004) 1.]

[Request #S1034]

Return to the Table of Contents

HEALTH INSURANCE

Who's Enrolled in SCHIP? By Karen Van Landeghem and Cindy Brach. Child Health Insurance Research Initiative: CHIRI Issue Brief No. 3. (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, Maryland) December 2003. 6 p.

Full Text at: www.ahrq.gov/chiri/chiribrf3/chirischip.pdf

["The brief summarizes the characteristics of children newly enrolled in the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) in five states. Also included in the brief are findings on adolescents' health care experiences prior to enrolling, and how the characteristics of enrollees changed as one state program evolved." CDF Child Health Information Project (January 9, 2004).]

[Request #S1035]

Return to the Table of Contents

INFANTS & CHILDREN

"Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study: What Foods are Infants and Toddlers Eating?" By Mary Kay Fox and others. IN: Journal of the American Dietetic Association, vol. 104, no. 1, Supplement. (January 2004) pp. 22-30.

["This national longitudinal survey finds that infants as young as 7 months have similar poor eating patterns to those observed in older children and adults. Up to a third of babies between 7 and 24 months ate no discrete servings of vegetables or fruits. French fries were the most common vegetable eaten by toddlers 15 to 18 months. Almost half (46%) of babies age 7 to 8 months consumed some type of sweet, dessert or sweetened beverage -- and this percentage increased as they aged." Connect for Kids Weekly (January 12, 2004).]

[Request #S1036]

Return to the Table of Contents

MENTAL HEALTH

Children's Mental Health Resource Kit: Promoting Children's Mental Health Screens and Assessments. By the Children's Defense Fund. (The Fund, Washington, DC) 2004. 42 p.

Full Text at: www.childrensdefense.org/pdf/mentalhealthresourcekit/full.pdf

["This kit is designed to help promote access to and increase availability of mental health screens and assessments for children through Medicaid and State Children's Health Insurance programs. Enhancing the availability of screenings is an essential first step in ensuring appropriate mental health treatment for children." CDF Child Health Information Project (January 9, 2004).]

[Request #S1037]

Return to the Table of Contents

HUMAN SERVICES

CHILD CARE

Seeing and Solving the Child Care Crisis: Options for Progress. By the Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada. (The Association, Ottawa, Ontario) 2003. 52 p.

Full Text at: www.childcareadvocacy.ca/SOS/sos_cc.pdf

["Recognizing that quality child care is essential to achieving many of society’s most pressing goals and is ultimately linked to Canada’s present and future well being; supporting economic innovation, attracting and retaining a skilled workforce, a child care system can only exist in the presence of a public policy framework – something Canada lacks. This policy framework would instruct governments to provide the political leadership, financial and other supports needed to develop a cross-Canada network of child care services available to every child."]

[Request #S1038]

Return to the Table of Contents

"Childcare Pattern and Issues for Families of Preschool Children With Disabilities." By Cathryn Booth-LaForce and Jean F. Kelly, University of Washington. IN: Infants & Young Children, vol. 17, no. 1. (January-March 2004) pp. 5-16.

["This article presents the results of a longitudinal study of childcare for preschool age children with disabilities. Finding good quality care, the cost of care, distance/transportation issues, and the integration with other services/special needs received the highest ratings for childcare issues. Results are discussed in the context of family leave policies and welfare work exemptions, and the need for high-quality caregiving options."]

[Request #S1039]

Return to the Table of Contents

CHILDREN

Guide to Effective Programs for Children and Youth. By Child Trends. (Child Trends, Washington, DC) 2004. Various pagings.

Full Text at: www.childtrends.org/Lifecourse/index.htm

["This guide offers a way to present an extensive knowledge base about programs found to 'work' to enhance children’s development. This approach is built on the concept that child development is a cumulative process that begins before birth and continues into young adulthood. This 'life course' model visually shows that varied program approaches can contribute to children's development, that different approaches are appropriate at different ages, and that developmental inputs build on one another over time, as a child grows. The model also illustrates that development unfolds over time and benefits from investment at all ages. Thus, there is no one 'critical stage' where development is set."]

[Request #S1041]

Return to the Table of Contents

Investing in Kids: The Well-Being of Greater Kansas City's Children and Youth, 1991-2001. By Partnership For Children. Voices For Children, Vol. 3. (The Partnership, Kansas City, Missouri) 2003. 20 p.

Full Text at: www.pfc.org/Data%20Report.pdf

["This report compiled all the data that has been tracked for the past 12 years in Kansas City to see how kids have been doing. As the economy has worsened and federal, state and local budgets have tightened, important social programs for children, youth and families have been cut, threatening the progress that has been made."]

[Request #S1042]

Return to the Table of Contents

FAMILIES

Changes in Children's Well-Being and Family Environments. By Sharon Vandivere and others, Child Trends. Snapshots 3 of America's Families. No. 18. (The Urban Institute, Washington, DC) January 2004. 4 p.

Full Text at: www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/310912_snapshots3_no18.pdf

["Data shows that school engagement declined from 43 percent in 1997 to 35 percent in 2002 among 6- to 11-year-olds. School engagement also declined for 12- to 17-year-olds between 1997 and 2002, from 38 to 31 percent respectively. Children’s engagement in school was measured by asking parents four questions, including how often their child 'cares about doing well in school,' 'only works on schoolwork when forced to,' 'does just enough schoolwork to get by,' and 'always does homework.'"]

[Request #S1040]

Return to the Table of Contents

Who Are "Fragile Families" and What Do We Know About Them? By Mary Parke, Center for Law and Social Policy. Couples and Marriage Series. Brief No. 4. (The Center, Washington, DC) January 2004. 8 p.

Full Text at: www.clasp.org/DMS/Documents/1073679033.53/Marriage_Brief4.pdf

["This policy brief summarizes selected findings from two studies: The Fragile Families and Child Well-Being Study (FFCWB,) the first national study of unmarried parents, their relationships to each other and the well-being of their children; and the Time, Love, Cash, Caring and Children Study (TLC3,) a related ethnographic study. Both strongly indicate that, at the time of the birth, many unmarried parents think highly of marriage, mothers want the assistance of fathers in raising their children, and fathers want to be a part of their children's lives. The term 'fragile families' emphasizes both that these unmarried couples and their children are, in fact, families -— and that they are at greater risk of poverty and of family dissolution than married families."]

[Request #S1043]

Return to the Table of Contents

FOSTER CARE

Children in Foster Homes: How Are They Faring? By Sharon Vandivere and others, Child Trends. Child Trends Research Brief. No. 2003-23. (Child Trends, Washington, DC) December 2003. 8 p.

Full Text at: www.childtrends.org/PDF/fosterhomesRB.pdf

["Foster children typically have lower levels of well-being critical to their development than other children. Almost six in ten foster infants and toddlers are at high risk for impaired neurological and cognitive development. Nearly half of children ages 6 to 11 have behavioral or emotional problems. Almost one third of foster children under age 15 have a disability. The resilience of this population is evident in the low rates of delinquent behaviors in early adolescence and the high proportion of foster children who report having a positive, caring relationship with a foster parent or other adult." Connect for Kids (January 12, 2004).]

[Request #S1044]

Return to the Table of Contents


STUDIES TO COME
[The following studies, reports, and documents have been ordered or requested, but have not yet arrived. Requests may be placed, and copies will be provided when the material arrives.]

EDUCATION

EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

"Depressive Symptoms in Low-Income Mothers and Emotional and Social Functioning in Their Preschool Children." By Hillary L. Burdette, Division of General and Community Pediatrics, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, and others. IN: Ambulatory Pediatrics, vol. 3, no. 6 (November/December 2003) pp. 288-294.

["This article discusses factors that modify the relationship between maternal depressive symptoms and emotional and social functioning in low-income preschool children. It presents the results of a survey of 295 low-income mothers enrolled in the Vermont WIC Program, finding that both the sex of the child and the smoking status of the mother appear to influence this relationship."]

[Request #S1045]

Return to the Table of Contents