Subject: Studies in the News 02-4

Studies in the News
Children and Family Supplement

Contents This Week

   Parenting in a women's prison
   Linking child care with economic development
   Violence in video games
   High achieving "at-risk" schoools
   Early education quality counts
   Kindergarten placement trends
   Problems with access to dental care
   Children's emotional development
   Teens heed parents
   State profiles of children's issues
   Supports for working poor families
   Child care quality, choices & preferences
   International characteristics of early childhood settings
   Evolving family policies
   Brain research and childhood education
   English language learners debate
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 or by calling 654-0261.

The following studies are currently on hand:



Mothering from the Inside: Parenting in a Women's Prison. By Sandra Enos. (State University of New York Press, New York, NY) 2001. 174 p.

["The majority of female inmates are also mothers of children under the age of eighteen....Based on research conducted in a women's prison, this book reveals how inmate mothers find places for their children to live, manage relationships with caregivers, ... and negotiate rights to their children under challenging circumstances. The impact of race, ethnicity, and marginality on women in prison is also explored. Note: Mothering ... is available for 3-day loan."]

[Request #S4028]

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A Planning Guide: Linking Child Care to Economic Development: Best Practices of the California Local Investment in child Care. By the National Economic Development and Law Center, (The Center, Oakland California) 2001. 86 p.

["Includes: "Changing Perceptions About Child Care;" "Leveraging Economic Development Resources;" "Land Use Policies and Child Care." Note: A Planning Guide ... is available for 3-day loan.]

[Request #S4016]

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Fair Play? Violence, Gender and Race in Video Games. By Christina R. Glaubke and others, Children Now. (Children Now, Oakland, California) 2001. 30 p.

Full Text at:

["The year long-study ... examined the 70 best-selling games in Britain and the U.S.... It found that 79 percent of games aimed at children aged six and upwards contained violence." San Francisco Chronicle (December 11, 2001) B2.]

[Request #S4017]

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Dispelling the Myth in California: Preliminary Findings from a State and Nationwide Analysis of “High-Flying” Schools. By Russlyn Ali and Craig D. Jerald, The Education Trust West. (The Trust, Oakland, California) December 2001. 28 p.

Full Text at:

["According to the study, there are 512 poor and minority schools across the state, including 40 in the San Fernando Valley and Ventura County, that perform in the upper-third, undeterred by what the so-called experts would write off as bad demographics. What separates the over-achievers from the bottom dwellers? High standards." Los Angeles Daily News (December 16, 2001) 1.]

[Request #S3069]

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"Quality Counts 2002: Building Blocks for Success." IN: Education Week on the Web. January 10, 2002. Various pagings.

Full Text at:

["[The report] examines what states are doing to provide early-learning experiences for young children, to ensure that those experiences are of high quality, to prepare and pay early-childhood educators adequately; and to measure the results of early childhood programs. The report also examines states' commitment to kindergarten, the transition point into the formal public education system."]

[Request #S3070]

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Still! Unacceptable Trends in Kindergarten Entry and Placement: A Position Statement. By by National Association of Early Childhood Specialists in State Departments of Education. 2001. (The Association, Raleigh, North Carolina) 11 p.

Full Text at:

["In its study, the association concluded that children who start kindergarten at age 6 do no better than their peers at age 5.... Today's kindergarten resembles the fist grade curriculum of 20 years ago, and some educators argue that many children at that age often are not ready to handle the higher demands." Boston Globe (December 27, 2001) 1.]

[Request #S4018]

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"Problems with Access to Dental Care for Medicaid-Insured Children: What Caregivers Think." By Mahyar Mofidi and others. IN: American Journal of Public Health, vol. 92, no. 1 (January 2002) pp. 53-58.

Full Text at:

["This study aimed to gain insight into the experiences, attitudes, and perceptions of a racially and ethnically diverse group of caregivers regarding barriers to dental care for their Medicaid-insured children.... Negative experiences with the dental care system discouraged many caregivers in the focus groups from obtaining dental services.... Current proposals to solve the dental access problem probably will be insufficient until barriers identified by caregivers are addressed."]

[Request #S4019]

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Building Services and Systems to Support the Healthy Emotional Development of Young Children: An Action Guide for Policymakers. By Jane Knitzer, National Center for Children in Poverty, Columbia University (The Center, New York, NY) 2001. 30 p.

Full Text at:

["To date there has been very little systematic attention paid to how to develop policies and practices to promote healthy emotional development .... This guide is for policymakers and community leaders who want to craft such policies and improve practices. It paints a portrait of the kinds of young children and families who are in need of preventive, early invention ... [and] highlights why policymakers should invest in such services."]

[Request #S4020]

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"Does Parental Disapproval of Smoking Prevent Adolescents from Becoming Established Smokers?" By James D. Sargent and Madeline Dalton. IN: Pediatrics, vol. 108, no. 6 (December 2001) pp. 1256-1262.

["Teens Heed Parents; Warning: Disapproval of Tobacco Use Makes a Difference: New research suggest teens are much less likely to smoke if they think their parents disapprove of the habit. 'We overrate the rebelliousness of teenagers,' said Dr. James Sargent, an associate professor of pediatrics at Dartmouth Medical Schools. 'That works to our disadvantage,' he said, because 'parents underestimate their influence on their children.'" Stockton Record (December 3, 2001) A6.]

[Request #S4021]

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Speaking For America's Children: Child Advocates Identify Children's Issues and 2002 State Priorities. By National Association of Child Advocates. (The Association, Washington, DC) December 2001. 48 p.

Full Text at:

["Youth Initiative Priorities Readied: The report includes state-by-state profiles of children's issues, based on interviews with child advocates in 49 states.... 2002 priorities [include] reducing tobacco use among youth and improving access to health care. Other top priorities included promoting positive youth development and establishing a comprehensive system of early childhood care and education programs." Daily Oklahoman (December 18, 2001) I1.]

[Request #S4000]

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Supports for Working Poor Families: A New Approach. By Michael E. Fishman, The Lewin Group and Harold Beebout, Mathematica Policy Research. (The Group, Princeton, New Jersey) December 2001. 32 p.

Full Text at:

["The promise of earnings plus participation in work support programs for improving family well-being is not being fully realized. The objective of this paper is to present innovative policy options for improving access to work support programs. Because access for working families appears most problematic for the Food Stamp Program, this paper focuses on food assistance benefits."]

[Request #S4023]

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Child Care in the Era of Welfare Reform: Quality, Choices, and Preferences. By Rebekah Levine Coley and others. Prepared for Welfare, Children & Families, A Three City Study, Johns Hopkins University. Policy Brief 01-4. (The Study, Baltimore, Maryland) December 2001. 8 p.

Full Text at:

["This policy brief provides a detailed look at the child care experiences of low-income preschool-age children and their caregivers in Boston, Chicago, and San Antonio. It examines the types of child care that low-income children are in, and how well child care settings fulfill the preferences and needs of mothers on and off welfare."]

[Request #S4024]

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[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.]



Early Childhood Settings in 15 Countries: What are Their Structural Characteristics? Editors P. Olmsted and J. Montie. Ypsilanti, MI, High/Scope Press. 2001. 392 p.

["This book provides an overview of the structural characteristics of typical preprimary programs in 15 countries through a survey on management policies, patterns of operation, physical characteristics, support services, and teacher characteristics. It includes numerous tables and graphs as well as photos from each of the 15 countries involved. Note: Early Childhood Settings ... will be available for 3-day loan."]

[Request #S4025]

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Family Policy: Constructed Solutions to Family Problems. By Shirley L. Zimmerman. (Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, California) 2001. 421 pp.

[Includes: "The Many and Changing Meanings of Family," "The Defense of Marriage Act: The Construction of a Solution or a Problem?" "The Institutional Framework: Family Policy as the Outcome of Institutional Arrangements." Note: Family Policy ... will be available for 3-day loan.]

[Request #S4026]

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Brain Research and Childhood Education: Implications for Educators. By Doris Bergen and Juliet Coscia, Association for Childhood Education International. (The Association, Olney, Maryland) 2001. 80 p.

["This book addresses developmentally relevant brain research findings from a scientifically sound perspective and discusses the sound (and unsound) implications of such research for childhood education." Note: Brain Research ... will be available for 3-day loan.]

[Request #S4027]

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"Why Don't They Learn English?": Separating Fact from Fallacy in the U.S. Language Debate. By Lucy Tse. (Teachers College Press, New York, New York) 2001. 120 p.

["This book examines the state of heritage languages in the U.S., focusing on the benefits ... for students as well as for the larger society to build a political, economic, and educational resource. It examines the often cited but poorly supported claims that immigrants fail to learn English, and the mistaken belief that immigrant communities cling to their heritage languages." Note: Why Don't They Learn English ... will be available for 3-day loan.]

[Request #S4029]

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