Subject: Studies in the News 02-65 (October 29, 2002)

Studies in the News
Children and Family Supplement

Contents This Week

Introductory Material EDUCATION
   Out-of-school research and policy
   Emotional readiness for preschool
   Autism increase in children
   Initiative to improve childcare AS
   Child care reimbursement rates
   Child support enforcement
   Report card on children in California
   Religiosity and teens
   Neighborhoods dynnamics and children
   No Child Left Behind Act
   Prekindergarten program staffing
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:



Out-Of-School Research Meets After-School Policy. By The Forum for Youth Investment. Out-of-School Time Policy Commentary; Issue 1. (The Forum, Washington, DC) October 2002. 7 p.

Full Text at:

["Policymakers want to use scientific research to decide how to allocate public resources for out-of-school programs. This policy brief warns that focusing prematurely on inappropriate outcomes or short-term results, however, may be counterproductive, giving a skewed picture of what works and what doesn't and leading to false conclusions and bad policies." Connect for Kids Weekly (October 28, 2002) 1.]

[Request #S6619]

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"Emotions Matter: Making the Case for the Role of Young Children's Emotional Development for Early School Readiness." By C. Cybele Raver, University of Chicago. (Society for Research in Child Development, Ann Arbor, Michigan) IN: Social Policy Report, vol. 16, no. 3 (2002) pp. 3-20.

Full Text at:

["The author suggests that the emotional and behavioral problems of young children can be quite costly to their success rate in school, and that these problems can in fact be reduced over time. Persons working as public policy advocates on behalf of children will find a great deal of interest in this [information]."

[Request #S6620]

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Report to the Legislature on the Principal Findings From the Epidemiology of Autism in California: A Comprehensive Pilot Study. By Robert S. Byrd and others, M.I.N.D. Institute, University of California, Davis. (The Institute, Davis, California) October 17, 2002. 70 p.

["This study concludes there is no evidence that loosening in diagnostic criteria contributed to an increase in the number of children with autism, and that, therefore, some, if not all, of the observed increase represents a true increase in cases of autism in California. For whatever reason, children born in California since 1980 are more likely to develop autism than those born before."]

[Request #S6621]

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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. (The Office, Washington, DC) September 2002. 65 p.

Full Text at:

["Using primarily the 4 percent quality set-aside, states reported undertaking a variety of child care quality improvement initiatives, such as training caregivers, raising the compensation of caregivers, referring parents to child care providers and efforts to enhance the safety of child care facilities."]

[Request #S6622]

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Child Care: States Exercise Flexibility in Setting Reimbursement Rates and Providing Access for Low-Income Children. By the U.S. General Accounting Office. GAO-02-894. (The Office, Washington, DC) September 2002. 44 p.

Full Text at:

["This report responds to the request that we 1)describe how states set reimbursement rates and 2)calculate to what extent subsidies and co-payments allow families access to specific types of child care providers in selected communities."]

[Request #S6623]

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Child Support Enforcement and Domestic Violence Among Non-Cohabitating Couples. By Angela R. Fertig, Princeton University and others. Working Paper # 02-17-FF. (The Center for Research on Child Well-Being, Princeton, New Jersey) October 19, 2002. 33 p.

Full Text at:

["This study claims that while stronger enforcement may increase parental contact, which increases the opportunity for violence, it also may increase women's bargaining power, which may reduce violence."]

[Request #S6624]

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The State of Our Children: Children's Critical Early Years. By Sarah Grossman-Swenson. And California Report Card: Children's Critical Early Years. By Jayleen Richards and Amy Dominguez-Arms. (Children Now, Oakland, California) 2002.

[The state ranks 34th nationwide in the percentage of children who receive early childhood immunizations. The state has made 'headway' in some areas, however. The report found that California has the sixth-lowest rate of infant mortality and ninth-lowest rate of infants born with low birth weight nationwide. In addition, the teenage birth rate in the state has decreased slightly faster than the national average. However, the report concluded that California has not made young children a top priority. (Los Angeles Times (October 23, 2002)A1.

Report Card. 52 p.

Full Report. 108 p.

[Request #S6602]

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Religious Involvement and Children's Well-Being: What Research Tells Us (And What It Doesn't.) By Lisa J. Bridges and Kristin Anderson Moore. (Child Trends, Washington, DC) September 2002. 8 p.

Full Text at:

["More than 60 percent of all American high school seniors agree that religion is pretty or very important to them and nearly half attend religious services at least once a month. This research indicates that religiosity translates into less risky behaviors among teens." News From Child Trends (September 19, 2002).]

[Request #S6603]

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In Our Backyard: How 3 L.A. Neighborhoods Affect Kids' Lives. By Anne R. Pebley and Mary E. Vaiana, Rand Corporation (The Corporation, Santa Monica) 2002. 41 p.

Full Text at:

["Drawing on the Focused Study of Children and Neighborhoods, a survey of three neighborhoods in Los Angeles conducted in 1998, the authors address the subtle interaction between children's well-being and the neighborhoods in which they grow up. The authors consider the age of the community's residents, their incomes, and residential turnover in the neighborhood. The next step in this process will be a large-scale survey of children living in 65 neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles County, called the Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Survey (L.A.FANS)."]

[Request #S6625]

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No Child Left Behind: A Desktop Reference. By The U.S. Department of Education, Office of the Under Secretary. (The Department, Washington, DC) September 2002. 181 p.

Full Text at:

["The U.S. Department of Education has issued this Desktop Reference to give state and district officials a substantive overview of policy changes and emphases in the 2001 NCLB act. The manual details the purpose of the programs and how they work, what's new in the law, how performance is measured, and the responsibilities of state education departments."]

[Request #S6626]

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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.]



Inside the Classroom: A Study of Staffing and Stability in State Funded Prekindergarten Programs. By Don Bellm and others, Center for the Child Care Workforce. (The Center, Washington, DC) October 2002. 139 p.

Full Text at:

["This study finds that teachers in publicly-operated settings are better educated, better paid, and more likely to stay in their jobs than teachers in private settings. It examines staff qualifications, compensation, and turnover in state-funded prekindergarten programs in California, Georgia, Illinois, New York, and Texas. The study finds that, generally speaking, educational qualifications, compensation, and stability of teachers employed in public school-operated prekindergarten programs more closely resemble those of K-12 teachers, while community-based, privately-operated programs tend to reflect the lower qualifications, lower compensation, and higher staff turnover traditionally associated with the child care workforce. In addition, prekindergarten programs in private settings appear to serve as training and apprenticeship programs to prepare teachers for eventual employment in higher-paying, publicly-operated programs."]

[Request #S6627]

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