Subject: Studies in the News 04-82 (December 23, 2004)


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Studies in the News for
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Children and Families Commission


Contents This Week

Introductory Material CRIMINAL JUSTICE & LAW ENFORCEMENT
   Family violence across a lifespan
ECONOMY
   Economic productivity and investing in children
EDUCATION
   Early childhood assessments
   Financing universal pre-k
   Effective provisions of preschool
ENVIRONMENT & NATURAL RESOURCES
   Environmental hazards in child care
HEALTH
   Malnutrition and behaviorial problems
HUMAN SERVICES
   Rural child well-being data
   Educational experiences of foster children
STUDIES TO COME
   Treating ADHD in children
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:

CRIMINAL JUSTICE & LAW ENFORCEMENT

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

Family Violence Across the Lifespan: An Introduction. By Ola Barnett and others. Second Edition (Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, California) 2005. 549 p.

["This book provides an overview of the methodology, etiology, prevalence, treatment, and prevention of family violence. Organized chronologically, chapters cover child physical, sexual, and emotional abuse; courtship violence and date rape; spouse abuse, battered women, and batterers; and elder abuse." NOTE: Family Violence ... is available for 3-day loan.]

[Request #S4625]

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ECONOMY

CHILDREN

The Productivity Argument for Investing in Young Children. By James K. Heckman, University of Chicago, American Bar Foundation and University College London, and Dimitriy V. Masterov, University of Chicago. Working Paper No. 5. Invest in Kids Working Group, Committee for Economic Development. (The Committee, Washington, DC) October 2004. 93 p.

Full Text at: www.ced.org/docs/report/report_ivk_heckman_2004.pdf

["A Nobel prize-winning economist sees a future of declining wages and lower productivity unless America increases investments in its preschool-age children. This study projected a potentially grim economic future -- virtually the twilight of the American industrial and technological age -- as the U.S. workforce loses the educational skills necessary to compete in the global market." PR Newswire (December 3, 2004) 1.]

[Request #S4626]

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EDUCATION

EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

Basics of Assessment: A Primer for Early Childhood Educators. By Oralie McAfee and others, National Institute for Early Education Research. (National Association for the Education of Young Children, Washington, DC) 2004. 102 p.

["The book focuses primarily on the assessment of children in typical classroom settings for the purpose of supporting their development and learning. It conveys the many positive things that can happen during, and as a result of, sound, sensitive, systematic assessment of children's development and learning. Classroom vignettes and samples of children's actual work help translate abstract concepts and approaches into experiences you can identify with. The authors describe the basic concepts and vocabulary of child and classroom-oriented assessment in today's achievement-focused environment. A glossary covers assessment related terms that an early childhood professional is likely to encounter and an extensive reference section provides the reader with lots of options for further professional development." NOTE: Basics of Assessment ... is available for 3-day loan. Preschool Network News (September 2004) 1.]

[Request #S4627]

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Financing Access to Early Education for Children Age 4 and Below: Concepts and Costs. By Richard N. Brandon, Human Services Policy Center, University of Washington. Prepared for the Brookings-University of North Carolina Conference "Creating a National Plan for the Education of 4-Year Olds." (The Center, Seattle, Washington) October 2004. 38 p.

Full Text at: www.hspc.org/preK-Brookings.Final.pdf

["Addressing the issue of financing universal quality early learning opportunities for 4-year-olds, Richard Brandon argues that it’s cost-effective to make high quality options available for all children, birth through five. He suggests a financing approach that combines a subsidy to providers not related to the income of particular children, with an income-related voucher for parents, estimating this could be accomplished with a modest national investment roughly equivalent to from 3 to 13 percent of current public elementary and secondary education spending." Connect for Kids (December 6, 2004).]

[Request #S4628]

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The Effective Provision of Pre-school Education (EPPE) Project: Final Report. By Kathy Sylva and others, Institute of Education, University of London. A Longitudinal Study Funded by the DfES, 1997-2004. SureStart: Evidence & Research. (The Institute, London, United Kingdom) November 2004. 107 p.

Full Text at: www.surestart.gov.uk/_doc/0-B51527.pdf

["This project investigated the effects of preschool education and care on children’s development for children aged 3-7 years old. The EPPE team collected a wide range of information on 3,000 children who were recruited at age 3+ and studied longitudinally until the end of Key Stage 1. Data were collected on children’s developmental profiles (at ages 3, 4/5, 6 and 7 years), background characteristics related to their parents, the child’s home learning environment, and the pre-school settings children attended. Settings (141) were drawn from a range of providers. A sample of ‘home’ children, (who had no or minimal pre-school experience) were recruited to the study at entry to school for comparison with the pre-school group. In addition to investigating the effects of pre-school provision, EPPE explored the characteristics of effective practice (and the pedagogy which underpins it) through twelve intensive case studies of settings where children had positive outcomes." Child Care Resource and Research Unit (December 3, 2004) online.]

[Request #S4629]

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ENVIRONMENT & NATURAL RESOURCES

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

Measuring Environmental Hazards in the Child Care Industry: Pesticides, Lead, and Indoor Air Quality. By Phil Boise and others, GreenCare for Children. (GreenCare for Children, Gaviota, California) 2004.

["The findings of this study demonstrate that our most vulnerable population is unwittingly exposed to environmental hazards. They also indicate that most of the threats are preventable; and childcare providers capable of managing these hazards hunger for the training and tools necessary to do so. We wish to emphasize that this report is designed not to criticize, but to support the exceptional work of childcare providers. The authors discovered that no comprehensive program exists in California to address these issues, and no single entity is charged with the responsibility. Key findings include: 1) young children are likely to be exposed to known health hazards in the childcare setting, including pesticides, arsenic treated lumber, lead, and common asthma triggers; 2) exposure to the majority of these hazards is preventable; 3) less than three percent of providers have received formal training in indoor air quality management, lead, or pesticides; and 4) a full 80 percent of providers are interested in more information about managing these risks (88 percent among the Spanish language community)."]

Survey Brief. 29 p.:
http://www.greenchildcare.org/brief_report.pdf

Full Report. 55 p.:
http://www.greenchildcare.org/final_report.pdf

[Request #S4630]

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HEALTH

HUNGER

"Malnutrition at Age 3 Years and Externalizing Behavior Problems at Ages 8, 11, and 17 Years." By Jianghong Liu and others. IN: The American Journal of Psychiatry, vol. 161, no. 11 (November 2004) pp. 2005-2013.

["This study assessed whether 1) poor nutrition at age 3 years predisposes to antisocial behavior at ages 8, 11, and 17 years, 2) such relationships are independent of psychosocial adversity, and 3) IQ mediates the relationship between nutrition and externalizing behavior problems. The participants were drawn from a birth cohort in whom signs of malnutrition were assessed at age 3 years, cognitive measures were assessed at ages 3 and 11 years, and antisocial, aggressive, and hyperactive behavior was assessed at ages 8, 11, and 17 years. In relation to comparison subjects, the children with malnutrition signs at age 3 years were more aggressive or hyperactive at age 8 years, had more externalizing problems at age 11, and had greater conduct disorder and excessive motor activity at age 17. These results indicate that malnutrition predisposes to neurocognitive deficits, which in turn predispose to persistent externalizing behavior problems throughout childhood and adolescence. The findings suggest that reducing early malnutrition may help reduce later antisocial and aggressive behavior." Center on Hunger and Poverty - Food Security Update (December 9, 2004) 1.]

[Request #S4631]

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HUMAN SERVICES

CHILDREN

Young Children and the Rural Information Gap: The Weaknesses of Major Data Sources for Examining the Well-Being of Rural Children. By Jeffrey Capizzano and Alexandra Fiorillo, Urban Institute. Prepared for the National Center for Rural Early Childhood Learning Initiatives, Mississippi State University. (The Center, Mississippi State, Mississippi) December 2004. Various pagings.

Full Text at: www.ruralec.msstate.edu/Dec_04/default.htm

["The devolution of increasing amounts of responsibility for the design and implementation of child and family policy has increased demand for measures of child well-being at lower levels of geography. Currently, however, it is unclear the extent to which commonly used measures of well-being can be estimated for children living in rural areas. To investigate this issue, the authors examined a number of large, national data sets that provide source data for well-being indicators. They found that data confidentiality protocols and small sample sizes limit the extent to which child well-being indicators can be estimated for rural children. While public-use data can be used to estimate many indicators of child well-being using the imprecise 'nonmetropolitan' definition of rural, few indicators can be estimated when rural is defined more precisely (areas with populations of less than 2,500 residents). Gaining access to non-public-use data increases the number of indicators that can be estimated with the more precise definition of rural, but at substantial monetary and administrative costs. The authors conclude this discussion with suggestions for next steps to promote analysis and dissemination of child well-being indicators for rural young children."]

[Request #S4632]

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FOSTER CARE

Educational Experiences of Children in Out-of-Home Care. By Cheryl Smithgall and others, Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago. (The Center, Chicago, Illinois) 2004. 116 p.

Full Text at: www.chapinhall.org/PDFDownload_new.asp?tk=1059876&ar=1372&L2=61&L3=130

[This report presents findings from a mixed-method study assessing the educational performance and experiences of youth in out-of-home care. Although not all students in out-of-home care are struggling academically, significant proportions of these students have low achievement test scores, are being retained, or are dropping out of school before the end of the twelfth grade. There is strong evidence to suggest that a portion of the academic problems of students in care stems from experiences prior to their entry into care. However, the academic challenges faced by these students are compounded by the fact that they are clustered in lower-performing schools. Factors such as school mobility and poor communication among school staff, caseworkers, and foster parents are further impeding these students’ educational progress. The fact that nearly three-quarters of these students in care have been in care for two or more years underscores the need, responsibility, and opportunity to address the educational needs of these children."]

[Request #S4633]

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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.]

HEALTH

MENTAL HEALTH

"Informing the ADHD Debate." By Aribert Rothenberger and Tobias Banaschewski. IN: Scientific American Mind (December 2004) December 2004. 6 p.

["According to this article, the latest neurological research has injected much needed objectivity into the disagreement over how best to treat children with attention deficit disorders. The authors conclude that a combination of drug and behavioral therapies leads to the highest success. They observe that with or without drugs, it is imperative that children be taught how to handle tasks with more organization and less impulsivity. One common tool, for example, is teaching them to count to 10 before carrying out an impulse, such as jumping up from the table at school." ExchangeEveryDay (December 9, 2004).]

[Request #S4634]

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