Subject: Studies in the News 04-48 (July 16, 2004)


CALIFORNIA RESEARCH BUREAU
CALIFORNIA STATE LIBRARY
Studies in the News:
Children and Family Supplement


Contents This Week

Introductory Material CULTURE AND SOCIETY
   Survey of literary reading in America
EDUCATION
   School budgets and student achievement
   After-school program access and quality
   Increasing the quality of child care options
   Proposed education budget and school districts
   Developing cooperative programming
   Father involvement to strengthen families
   Head Start update
   Brain research, multiple intelligences and literacy
   The evolving culture of teaching
   Nonacademic issues and learning
HEALTH
   Eliminating racial and ethnic health disparities
   Family caregivers and health/policy professionals
   Predicting preschooler obesity at birth
   Measuring performance in child health programs
   Unvaccinated children
   Health care tradeoffs and family budgets
   Medicaid cost containment
   Medicaid's effect on state economies
   States' budget flexibility and SCHIP
HUMAN SERVICES
   Effect of fiscal policies on children
   Annual overview of child welfare outcomes
   Family structure and child well-being
   Low-income families and employment
   International comparative child poverty rates
   Changes in child welfare
   Children of color and the welfare system
STUDIES TO COME
   Language-based learning disorders
   Rethinking preventative pediatric care
Introduction to Studies in the News

Studies in the News: Children and Family Supplement is a service provided to the First 5 California by the California State Library. The service features weekly lists of current articles focusing on Children and Family policy. Prior lists can be viewed from the California State Library's Web site at www.library.ca.gov/CRB/SITN/.

How to Obtain Materials Listed in SITN:

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

  • California State Employees may contact the State Information & Reference Center (916-654-0206; cslsirc@library.ca.gov) with the SITN issue number and the item number [S#].

  • All other interested individuals should contact their local library - the items may be available there, or may be borrowed by your local library on your behalf.

The following studies are currently on hand:

CULTURE AND SOCIETY

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Reading At Risk: A Survey of Literary Reading in America. By National Endowment for the Arts. Research Division Report #6. (The Endowment, Washington, DC) June 2004. 60 p.

Full Text at: www.nea.gov/pub/ReadingAtRisk.pdf

["This 'bleak assessment' of the state of reading in America, according to the Endowment's survey, is compiled from 2002 Census Bureau data. The survey found that reading in general has gone down over the last 20 years and less than half the adult population reads fiction, poetry or plays. Moreover, the pace of decline is accelerating, especially among 18- to 24-year-olds." New York Times (July 11, 2004) 3.]

[Request #S3434]

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EDUCATION

ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT

School Budgets and Student Achievement in California: The Principal's Perspective. By Heather Rose and others, Public Policy Institute of California. (The Institute, San Francisco, California) 2004. 109 p.; Appendices.

Full Text at: www.ppic.org/content/pubs/R_604HRR.pdf

["The report focuses attention on a basic question: Which resources do various kinds of California schools need to be successful? This fundamental question, the authors conclude, is obscured by the current school finance system, which is based on budget formulas and programs that do not always reflect the needs, costs, and academic challenges of real schools."]

[Request #S3460]

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AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAMS

After-School Programs: Expanding Access and Ensuring Quality. By Chrisanne L. Gayl. (Progressive Policy Institute, Washington, DC) July 2004. 8 p.

Full Text at: www.ppionline.org/documents/afterschool_0704.pdf

["This paper examines the federal government's role in after-school programs, surveys current research on them, and offers recommendations to expand access and improve the quality of after-school programs. Those recommendations include: 1) Providing the resources to meet the growing demand for after-school services from parents and struggling schools; 2) Rigorously assessing the quality of after-school programs; 3) Using research to ensure that after-school programs are effective; and, 4) Targeting resources to the highest need communities first."]

[Request #S3459]

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EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

Better Child Care: Preschool and Afterschool: Action Kit. By Family Initiative. (The Initiative, Washington, DC) 2004. 32 p.

Full Text at: www.familyinitiative.org/webkit.pdf

["This report explains what child care and early education choices parents have today, including some 'best practices' ... and how working with families, communities, businesses, unions and government acts to create better quality, more affordable choices."]

[Request #S3456]

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EDUCATION FINANCE

Nearly Every School District in America Left Behind By President's Education Budget. By the Children's Defense Fund (The Fund, Washington, DC) 2004. Tables.

["The Children's Defense Fund recently released a detailed analysis comparing the amount of Title I funding each school district in America would receive under the White House's proposed FY05 budget to the amount school districts would receive at levels authorized under the No Child Left Behind Act. The data show how nearly every school district in the country continues to be shortchanged." Public Education Network News (May 7, 2004) online.]

Press Release, 1 p.:
http://www.childrensdefense.org/pressreleases/040430.asp

Tables:
http://www.childrensdefense.org/data/nclb_underfunding.asp

[Request #S3461]

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EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH

Strategic Dynamics: A Collaborative Route to Program Development. By Janice Hirota, Chapin Hall Center for Children, University of Chicago. (The Center, Chicago, Illinois) 2004. 26 p.

Full Text at: www.chapinhall.org/PDFDownload_new.asp?tk=1031004&ar=1361&L2=64&L3=111

["Through a case study of the Altman Early Literacy Collective, the paper examines the dynamics of developing, practicing, and refining a collaborative effort to create a new program -– implemented in early childhood centers and Head Start programs -– that builds on but differs from other programs of each of the collaborative members. Collaboration provided the means for the partners to explore, nurture, and practice –- in ways that none could have done on their own –- their belief in the value of linking art and literacy as two essential and complementary pathways into gaining new knowledge, developing communication skills, and fostering emotional engagement in the process of learning."]

[Request #S3435]

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HEAD START

Father Involvement: Building Strong Programs for Strong Families: [Issue Theme.] By U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. IN: Head Start Bulletin, no. 77 (June 2004) pp. 1-61.

Full Text at: www.headstartinfo.org/pdf/father_involvement.pdf

["This issue outlines the steps to develop a strong father-involvement program. The content provided the structure for a June 2004 institute that brought together the leaders of Head Start and Early Head Start programs to focus on father involvement. The sections in the bulletin detail: 1) The contributions fathers make to their child's development; 2) How to involve fathers in Head Start; 3) Preparing to work with fathers; 4) Planning for success; and 5) Bringing a plan to life." MCH Alert (July 2, 2004)1.]

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Moving Forward: Head Start Children, Families, and Programs in 2003. By Katherine Hart and Rachel Schumacher, Center for Law and Social Policy. Head Start Series. Brief No. 5. (The Center, Washington, DC) June 2004. 8 p.

Full Text at: www.clasp.org/DMS/Documents/1088017582.58/HS_brf_5.pdf

["This report offers the latest data available from program information reports submitted to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services by all federal Head Start grantees. In 2003, Head Start continued to serve a diverse population of low-income children, mostly in working families." Moving Ideas (June 30, 2004) 1.]

[Request #S3462]

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READING

Overcoming Barricades to Reading: A Multiple Intelligences Approach. By Sue Teele. (Corwin Press, Thousand Oaks, California) 2004. 210 p.

["Applying current brain research, social-emotional findings, and theory of multiple intelligences to more traditional approaches to teaching reading, this resource helps unlock the door to literacy. Features include: 1) New directions for teaching reading; 2) An overview of the brain's structure; and 3) How individual differences influence the reading process." NOTE: Overcoming Barricades ... is available for 3-day loan.]

[Request #S3436]

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TEACHER DEVELOPMENT

The Culture of Teaching: [Issue Theme.] IN: Childhood Education: Infancy Through Early Adolescence, vol. 80, no. 5 (2004) pp. 228-290.

["The culture of teaching continues to evolve with changing times, but the need for high-quality educators remains a constant. The articles in this issue have a common thread: each one focuses on issues related to educating, attaining, mentoring, and retaining high-quality teachers who will be willing and able to perform in diverse settings." NOTE: Childhood Education ... is available for 3-day loan.]

[Request #S3437]

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TEACHERS & TEACHING

Children Don't Come with an Instruction Manual: A Teacher's Guide to Problems That Affect Learners. By Wendy L. Moss. (Teachers College Press, New York, New York) 2004. 171 p.

["Increasingly, teachers are called upon to guide children toward being emotionally healthy, socially adept, and academically successful. This book includes: Definitions and descriptions of underlying problems and disorders; Children's reactions to violence; Appropriate intervention points for children having problems, and; Case summaries." NOTE: Children Don't Come with an Instruction Manual ... is available for 3-day loan.]

[Request #S3438]

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HEALTH

ACCESS TO CARE

A State Policy Agenda to Eliminate Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities. By John E. McDonough, Health Care for All, and others. (The Commonwealth Fund, New York, New York) June 2004. 102 p.

Full Text at: www.cmwf.org/programs/minority/mcdonough_statepolicyagenda_746.pdf

["States are key players in the effort to reduce or eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in health and health care. The authors detail a wide range of initiatives launched or planned by states and localities, along with practical strategies for improving insurance coverage, access to care, and medical outcomes for minority Americans. Among the many promising practices covered in the report are: using state purchasing power to promote quality improvement efforts by health plans and providers; targeting specific health conditions that disproportionately affect minorities, such as asthma and diabetes; and targeting insurance coverage expansions to low-income families."]

[Request #S3446]

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CAREGIVERS

Cultures of Caregiving: Conflict and Common Ground Among Families, Health Professionals, and Policy Makers. By Carole Levine and Thomas H. Murray. (Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Maryland) 2004. 187 p.

["As the population ages and the health care system focuses on cost containment, family caregivers have become the frontline providers of most long-term and chronic care. Patient care at home falls mainly on untrained and unprepared family members, who struggle to adjust to the new roles, responsibility, and expenses. Because the culture of family caregivers -- their values, priorities, and relationships to the patient -- often differs markedly from that of professionals, the result can be conflict and misunderstanding." NOTE: Cultures of Caregiving ... is available for 3-day loan.]

[Request #S3439]

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CHILDREN

"Predicting Preschooler Obesity at Birth: The Role of Maternal Obesity in Early Pregnancy." By Robert C. Whitaker. IN: Pediatrics, vol. 113, no. 7 (July 2004) pp. e29-e36.

Full Text at: pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/reprint/114/1/e29

["Knowing risk factors at birth for the development of childhood obesity could help to identify children who are in need of early obesity prevention efforts. The objective of this study was to determine whether children whose mothers were obese in early pregnancy were more likely to be obese at 2 to 4 years of age.... Among low-income children, maternal obesity in early pregnancy more than doubles the risk of obesity at 2 to 4 years of age. In developing strategies to prevent obesity in preschoolers, special attention should be given to newborns with obese mothers."]

[Request #S3441]

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COST-BENEFIT ANALYSIS

Child Health Toolbox: Measuring Performance in Child Health Programs: Access, Quality, and Health Service Delivery. By the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. (The Agency, Washington, DC) 2004. Interactive website.

Full Text at: www.ahrq.gov/chtoolbx/toolcon.htm

["This Web-based resource on children's health care quality and other performance measures, includes information about quality measures for mental and behavioral health services that apply to children and adolescents. The Toolbox is designed to be useful to State and local policymakers, child advocates, and others concerned about the quality of children's health care. The Toolbox provides concepts, tips, and tools for evaluating quality of health care in Medicaid, the State Children's Health Insurance Program, Title V, and other health care service programs for children."]

[Request #S3442]

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IMMUNIZATIONS

"Underimmunization Among Children: Effects of Vaccine Safety Concerns on Immunization Status." By Deborah A. Gust and others. IN: Pediatrics, vol. 114, no. 1 (July 2004) pp. e16-e22.

Full Text at: pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/reprint/114/1/e16

["This study shows a significant difference between parents who are unable to get their children fully vaccinated and parents who are unwilling to do so. Undervaccinated children, meaning they have not had all required immunizations, tend to be poor, black, and have a young mother who is not married and does not have a college degree. Unvaccinated children, meaning their parents have voluntarily chosen for them not to be vaccinated, tend to be white and live in more affluent families with higher levels of education. In the study sample, 47.5 percent of these parents voiced concerns about vaccine safety." CDF Child Health Information Project (July 9, 2004) 1.]

[Request #S3443]

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INSURANCE

Challenges and Trade-offs in Low-income Family Budgets: Implications for Health Coverage. By Claudia Williams, AZA Consulting, and others. (Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, Menlo Park, California) 2004. 46 p.

Full Text at: www.kff.org/medicaid/loader.cfm?url=/commonspot/security/getfile.cfm&PageID=34568

["This report explores the tradeoffs low income families must make in their everyday lives and what implications those tradeoffs have for their health coverage. It found that while Medicaid and SCHIP provided much needed protection for children and assured them check-ups and medical care when they got sick, not all children were covered. In at least one case, younger children were eligible for coverage, while older children in the same family were uninsured. These kinds of gaps reflect income eligibility limits that preclude the programs from reaching all low-income children." CDF Child Health Information Project (July 2, 2004) 1.]

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MEDICAID

Children Not the Target of Major Medicaid Cuts But Still Affected by States' Fiscal Decisions. By Harriette B. Fox and others. The Child Health Program Impact Series. No. 5 (Maternal and Child Health Policy Research Center, Washington, DC) June 2004. 8 p.

Full Text at: www.mchpolicy.org/documents/MedicaidreportJune2004.pdf

["This paper examines Medicaid cost containment strategies affecting children in state fiscal years 2003 and 2004. Policy areas such as eligibility, managed care enrollment, benefits, authorization, cost sharing, fee-for-service provider payments, and home-and-community based waivers are examined. Some of the findings are: 1) Five states eliminated 12-month continuous eligibility for children; 2) Fifteen states made benefit changes or reductions, including cuts in audiology services, vision services and mental health services; and 3) One state increased eligibility for children-from 100% to 133% of poverty." CDF Child Health Information Project (July 2, 2004) 1.]

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Medicaid: Good Medicine for State Economies: 2004 Update. By Families USA. (Families USA, Washington, DC) 2004. 32 p.

Full Text at: www.familiesusa.org/site/DocServer/Good_Medicine_2004_update.pdf?docID=3381

["While Medicaid’s role in providing critical health care services is clear, what is less clear is the unique role that Medicaid plays in stimulating state business activity and state economies. This report provides updated economic impact multipliers that can be used to predict the economic impact of potential state Medicaid spending increases or cuts in fiscal year 2005, as well as the potential stimulus to state economies if Congress extends the fiscal relief formula past June 30, 2004."]

[Request #S3451]

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UNINSURED

Squeezing SCHIP: States Use Flexibility to Respond to the Ongoing Budget Crisis. By Ian Hill and others, Urban Institute. New Federalism Issues and Options for States. Series A, No. A-65. (The Institute, Washington, DC) June 2004. 12 p.

Full Text at: www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/311015_A-65.pdf

["State budget crises in 2003 added to the fiscal pressure on the State Children's Health Insurance Program. A survey of officials in 13 states found that four states cut eligibility or froze enrollment (Alabama, Colorado, Florida, and Texas) and six froze or reduced reimbursement rates to providers (Alabama, Florida, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Texas, and Washington). Yet SCHIP retained strong political support in all the states studied, with eight (Alabama, California, Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, and Texas) simplifying enrollment and renewal procedures and only two (Florida and Texas) reducing benefits to children."]

[Request #S3440]

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HUMAN SERVICES

CHILDREN

"Effects of Recent Fiscal Policies on Children." By William G. Gale, the Brookings Institution, and Laurence J. Kotlikoff, Boston University and the National Bureau of Economic Research. IN: Tax Notes. (June 7, 2004) pp. 1281-1296.

Full Text at: www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/1000660_TaxBreak_060704.pdf

["The notion that children and future generations should have better living standards than current generations is central to universally shared views of economic progress. This article examines the effects of recent fiscal policies on children and the direct and indirect effects of one set of policies -- the tax cuts and the Medicare spending increases that have been proposed and enacted since January 2001 -- on the long-term economic prospects of today's and tomorrow's youth."]

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Child Welfare Outcomes 2001: Safety, Permanency, Well-Being: Annual Report. By the Administration of Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (The Department, Washington DC) 2004. Various pagings.

Full Text at: www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/publications/cwo01/

["This report finds that inadequate risk assessments and monitoring of families, and insufficient services mean that most state child welfare programs fail to prevent the recurrence of child maltreatment in at-risk families -- but states appear to be doing better in preventing maltreatment of children in foster care." Connect for Kids (June 7, 2004) 1.]

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FAMILIES

Changes in Family Structure and Child Well-Being: Evidence from the 2002 National Survey of America's Families. By Gregory Acs and Sandi Nelson, Urban Institute. (The Institute, Washington, D.C.) August 15, 2003. 26 p.

Full Text at: www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/311025_family_structure.pdf

["Between 1997 and 2002, the share of young children and lower-income children living with a single mother declined while the share living with married biological/adoptive parents as well as with unmarried cohabiting parents increased. In 2002, children living with either married biological/adoptive parents or married stepparents experienced less material hardship than children living with single mothers, cohabiting parents, or cohabiting stepparents. School aged children and teens living with their own two parents (whether married or not) were less likely to exhibit behavioral problems than children living with single-mothers, married stepparents, or unmarried stepparents."]

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LOW INCOME

Low-Income Families in Georgia: When a Full-time Job Isn't Enough. By Kinsey Alden Dinan and others. (National Center for Children in Poverty, New York, New York) 2004. 4 p.

Full Text at: nccp.org/media/frs04b-text.pdf

["About 85 percent of low-income children have parents who work, and most have at least one parent working full-time, year-round. Nonetheless, many of these parents are unable to afford basic necessities for their families. As earnings increase—particularly as they rise above the official poverty level—families begin to lose eligibility for work supports. At the same time, work-related expenses, such as child care and transportation, increase. In some cases, earning more actually leaves a family with fewer resources after the bills are paid. This brief illustrates how this happens."]

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POVERTY

Social Expenditures and Child Poverty: The U.S. is a Noticeable Outlier. By Sylvia A. Allegretto, Economic Policy Institute. Economic Snapshots. (The Institute, Washington, DC) June 23, 2004. 2 p.

Full Text at: www.epinet.org/printer.cfm?id=1823&content_type=1&nice_name=webfeatures_snapshots_06232004

["The United States stands out as the country with the lowest expenditures and the highest child poverty rate — five times as much as the Nordics. The paucity of social expenditures addressing high poverty rates in the United States is not due to a lack of resources — high per capita income and high productivity make it possible for the United States to afford much greater social welfare spending. Moreover, other OECD countries that spend more on both poverty reduction and family-friendly policies have done so while maintaining competitive rates of productivity and income growth."]

[Request #S3453]

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SOCIAL POLICY

"Kids Aren't Us." By Mark Schmitt, Open Society Institute. IN: The American Prospect Online. (June 29, 2004) pp. 1-3.

Full Text at: www.prospect.org/web/printfriendly-view.ww?id=8020

["This author provides an overview of the relationship between children, families and politics over the last two decades. In 1984, Schmitt argues, children's programs amounted to little more than a minimalist safety net tied to a welfare system that reached only families well below the poverty line. They now incorporate a full range of programs -- largely tied to work -- that reach the working poor and are almost as untouchable as the retirees' programs, Medicare and Social Security." Connect for Kids Weekly (July 6, 2004) 1.]

[Request #S3447]

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WELFARE

Children of Color in the Child Welfare System: Perspectives From the Child Welfare Community. By Susan Chibnall, Caliber Associates, and others. (Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC) 2003. 102 p.

Full Text at: nccanch.acf.hhs.gov/pubs/otherpubs/children/children.pdf

["This report suggests that children of color, especially African American children, are overrepresented in the child welfare system for a variety of reasons, including poverty and racial bias. It is one of the first studies to explore the attitudes and perceptions of the child welfare community regarding racial disproportionality. The report emphasizes the need for stronger administrative support, increased staff training in both general child welfare issues and cultural competency, and more internal and external resources to better serve families." Children's Bureau Express (July/August 2004) 1.]

[Request #S3455]

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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.]

CRIMINAL JUSTICE & LAW ENFORCEMENT

CHILD ABUSE

"The Effects of Early Prevention Programs for Families with Young Children at Risk for Physical Child Abuse and Neglect: A Meta-analysis." By Liesl Geeraert and others. IN: Child Maltreatment, vol. 9, issue 3 (August 2004) pp. 277-291.

["In this article, a meta-analysis is presented on 40 evaluation studies of early prevention programs for families with young children at risk for physical child abuse and neglect with mostly nonrandomized designs. The main aim of all programs was to prevent physical child abuse and neglect by providing early family support. The study demonstrated a significant decrease in the manifestation of abusive and neglectful acts and a significant risk reduction in factors such as child functioning, parent-child interaction, parent functioning, family functioning, and context characteristics."]

[Request #S3457]

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HEALTH

BRAIN

"Learning Problems, Delayed Development, and Puberty." By Beverly A. Wright and Steven G. Zecker. IN: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 101, no. 26 (June 29, 2004) pp. 9942-9946.

["Language-based learning disorders such as dyslexia affect millions of people, but there is little agreement as to their cause. New evidence from behavioral measures of the ability to hear tones in the presence of background noise indicates that the brains of affected individuals develop more slowly than those of their unaffected counterparts. In addition, it seems that brain changes occurring at 10 years of age, presumably associated with puberty, may prematurely halt this slower-than-normal development when improvements would normally continue into adolescence."]

[Request #S3458]

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HUMAN SERVICES

CHILD CARE

"Rethinking Well-Child Care." By Edward L. Schor, Commonwealth Fund. IN: Pediatrics, vol. 114, no. 1 (July 2004) pp. 210-216.

["Pediatric preventive care in the U.S. needs 'major' revisions if chronic health problems and unmet behavioral and developmental needs are to be addressed. Pointing to the prevalence of obesity, attention-deficit disorder/hyperactivity, behavior disorders, depression, adolescent risk behaviors, and the stresses faced by parents, the author warns that 'the term 'well-child care' is applicable to fewer children.' He argues it must incorporate new approaches — to pediatric office practice, to the scheduling of office visits, and to health care partnering." Commonwealth Fund (July 1, 2004).]

[Request #S3463]

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