Subject: Studies in the News 02-60 (October 9, 2002)

Studies in the News
Children and Family Supplement

Contents This Week

Introductory Material EDUCATION
   Research on Head Start
   Early education, intelligence, and learning
   Under-certified teachers and student achievement
   Cultural competence in health care
   Hunger's impact on children's well-being
   Assessment and treatment of childhood problems
   Barriers to health care research
   Perinatal mental health
   Partnering with parents to promote development
   States' child care initiatives
   Early caregiving and brain development
   Impact of health insurance on families
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:



The Battle Over Head Start: What the Research Shows. By W. Steven Barnett, National Institute for Early Education Research. Presented at a Congressional Science and Public Policy Briefing. (The Institute, New Brunswick, New Jersey) September 13, 2002. 4 p.

Full Text at:

["Many Head Start classrooms are not of the quality that would be expected to produce the large gains in cognitive development that more intensive, higher quallity programs have demonstrated.... Higher pay and increased opportunities for existing staff to obtain (four-year) college degrees would enable Head Start to increase the quality of its teachers to a level that would ensure children receive a high-quality education."]

[Request #S6156]

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Early Childhood Education and Care for Children from Low-Income or Minority Backgrounds: A Paper for Discussion at the OECD Oslo Workshop, June 6-7, 2002. By Paul Leseman, University of Amsterdam. (The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Paris, France) 2002. 53 p.

Full Text at:

["This paper provides a rich overview of current research on intelligence and learning in young children; child rearing challenges for low-income and minority families; the effects of organised ECEC on child development and learning; parental choice and its links with socio-economic and ethnic attributes; and, quality and efficacy: implications for ECEC systems design and policy."]

[Request #S6157]

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"The Effectiveness of 'Teach for America' and Other Under-certified Teachers on Student Academic Achievement: A Case of Harmful Public Policy." By Ildiko Laczko-Kerr and David C. Berliner. IN: Education Policy Analysis Archives, vol. 10, no. 37 (September 6, 2002) 43 p.

Full Text at:

["The academic achievements of students taught by under-certified primary school teachers were compared to the academic achievements of students taught by regularly certified primary school teachers.... Results indicate that ... students of certified teachers outperformed students of teachers who were under-certified."]

[Request #S6158]

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Cultural Competence in Health Care: Emerging Frameworks and Practical Approaches. By Joseph R. Betancourt, Massachusetts General Hospital-Harvard Medical School, and others. (The Commonwealth Fund, New York, New York) October 2002. 40 p.

Full Text at:

["This report spotlights a diverse group of health care organizations striving to improve access and quality of care for a growing minority and immigrant population. According to the report, these organizations are working to dismantle the cultural and communication barriers to good health care through innovative programs that develop minority leadership, promote community involvement, and increase awareness of the social and cultural factors that affect health beliefs and behaviors. The report also provides the first comprehensive framework for health care organizations seeking to address cultural barriers in health care delivery."]

[Request #S6159]

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"Hunger: Its Impact on Children's Health and Mental Health." By Linda Weinreb and others. IN: Pediatrics, vol. 110, no. 4 (October 2002) pp. e41-e50.

Full Text at:

["This study examines the effect of hunger on children's mental and physical health and the link between child hunger and academic success. Some of the findings include -- moderate hunger was a significant predictor of health conditions for preschool-aged children, school-aged children with severe hunger had significantly higher chronic illness condition counts than children with modest or no hunger, and school-aged children with severe hunger were more likely to be homeless (56% vs 29%), have low birth weights (23% vs 6%), and have more stressful life events (9% vs 6%) when compared with those with no hunger." CDF Child Health Information Project (October 4, 2002).]

[Request #S6160]

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Assessment and Treatment of Childhood Problems: A Clinician's Guide. By Carolyn S. Schroeder and Betty N. Gordon. (Guilford Press, New York, New York) 2002. 625 p.

[Includes: "Managing Common problems;" "Toileting: Training, Enuresis, and Encopresis;" "Habits and Ties;" "Fears and Anxieties;" "Managing Stressful Life Events;" and others. NOTE: Assessment and Treatment ... is available for 3-day loan.]

[Request #S6162]

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"Barriers to Health Care Research for Children and Youth with Psychosocial Problems." By S.M. Horwitz and others. IN: JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, vol. 288, no. 12. (September 25, 2002) pp. 1508-1512.

["Despite more than 20 years of recognition of the importance of primary care as a system for identifying and treating behavioral and emotional problems in children, little attention is being paid to this topic in the research portfolios of federal agencies that support research state the authors. The authors conclude that although 'federal agencies' planning documents devote considerable attention to the need to understand the identification and treatment of children's behavioral and emotional issues within primary medical care settings,. . . [they] could find little evidence that such attention has resulted in aggressive programs of research in this area. The authors suggest that identifying whether adequate workforce is available, sufficient applications are submitted in response to requests for proposals, and review committees have experts in children's mental health services research will be critical for the development of solutions." National Center for Education in Maternal and Child Health's, MCH Alert (October 4, 2002) online.]

[Request #S6164]

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Perinatal Mental Health: Supporting New Families Through Vulnerability and Change [Issue Theme.] Zero To Three, vol. 22, no. 6. (Zero To Three: National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families, Washington, DC) June/July 2002. 50 p.

[Includes: "Parental Preoccupation and Perinatal Mental Health;" "Keeping the Baby in Mind: A Critical Factor in Perinatal Mental Health;" "Treating Maternal and Postpartum Depression: The Missing Link in an Early Childhood Mental Health Program;" and others. NOTE: Zero To Three ... is available for 3-day loan.]

[Request #S6165]

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Partnering with Parents to Promote the Healthy Development of Young Children Enrolled in Medicaid. By Christina Bethell and others, The Commonwealth Fund. (The Fund, New York, New York) September 2002. 72 p.

Full Text at:

["A survey of 6,000 families with young Medicaid-insured children confirms the need for continued efforts to bridge the gap between pediatric care guidelines and physician practice. According to this report, two of five parents expressed concerns about their infant or toddler's social, behavioral, or cognitive development, yet only about one of five said his or her child receives the full range of preventive and developmental services recommended by pediatric care experts. The survey was also used to determine whether health plans and providers offer follow-up counseling for parents whose children may be at risk for developmental problems, and whether plans assess families' home life."]

[Request #S6166]

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Child Care: States Have Undertaken a Variety of Quality Improvement Initiatives, But More Evaluations of Effectiveness are Needed. By the U.S. General Accounting Office. GAO-02-897. (GAO, Washington, DC) September 2002. 65 p.

Full Text at:

["Using primarily the 4% quality set-aside, states reported undertaking a variety of child care quality improvement initiatives, such as training care givers, raising the compensation of caregivers, referring parents to child care providers, and efforts to enhance the safety of child care facitlities. State officials in the 5 case study states cited several factors that influenced the initiatives the states undertook, including the perspective of the governor or state legislature about high quality care, recent events in the child care community, and previous research."]

[Request #S6167]

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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.]



The Tending Instinct: How Nurturing is Essential to Who We Are and How We Live. By Shelley E. Taylor, University of California, Los Angeles. (Henry Holt, New York, New York) 2002. 320 p.

["Several years ago researchers were able to use brain-imaging techniques to investigate how that early care affects children's brain development. This book examines how early caregiving can affect the biochemistry of the developing brain to protect against, or trigger, a lifelong, genetic disposition to mental or physical disease. The author also explores the evidence for an adaptive 'tending instinct' that predisposes mothers to protect their children from danger and stress." Connect for Kids Weekly (October 7, 2002). NOTE: The Tending Instinct ... will be available for 3-day loan.]

[Request #S6168]

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Health Insurance is a Family Matter. By the Committee on the Consequences of Uninsurance, Board on Health Care Services, Institute of Medicine. (National Academies Press, Washington, DC) 2002. 296 p.

Full Text at:

["Here is a preview of the Committee's most important findings concerning the impact on the family of not having health insurance and the health effects on children, pregnant women and infants of being uninsured.... In one-fifth of the more than 38 million families that include children, there are one or more family members uninsured." NOTE: Health Insurance ... will be available for 3-day loan.]

[Request #S6161]

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