Subject: Studies in the News 03-5 (January 28, 2003)

Studies in the News
Children and Family Supplement

Contents This Week

   Domestic violence and welfare policy
   Incarceration rates and marriage
   Neighborhood income and children's competencies
   Prevalence of Autism
   Key points about SCHIP
   Access to dental care
   Data on newborns in America
   WIC utilization and Medi-caid
   Economists' modeling and child development
   Politics of fatherhood
   Diversity, human development & educational change
   Backpack injuries and children
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:



Domestic Violence and Welfare Policy: Research Findings That Can Inform Policies on Marriage and Child Well-Being. By Sharmila Lawrence, National Center for Children in Poverty, Columbia University. (The Center, New York, New York) December 2002. 12 p.

Full Text at:

["This report examines what is known from past research on domestic violence that may inform policies related to marriage and child well-being. In addition, it highlights areas for future research and strategies that can advance stable marriages and improve the well-being of children who otherwise might suffer the effects of domestic violence."]

[Request #S7204]

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Incarceration and the Bonds Among Parents. By the Bendheim-Thoman Center for Research on Child Well-Being, Princeton University, and the Social Indicators Survey Center, Columbia University. Fragile Families Research Brief, no. 12 (October 2002) 3 p.

Full Text at:

["The data indicates that incarceration policy may result in reduced marriage rates. Given that marriage may serve as an important step away from a life of crime, incarceration policy since 1980 may have undermined the crime preventing effects of marriage. The question is whether the benefits of marriage associated with lower incarceration rates outweigh the gain in public safety obtained by incapacitating criminals."]

[Request #S7205]

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"Neighborhood Income and Physical and Social Disorder in Canada: Associations with Young Children's Competencies." By Dafna E. Kohen and others. IN: Child Development, vol. 73, no. 6 (November/December 2002) pp. 1844-1860.

["This study examined the verbal and behavioral competencies of a national sample of Canadian preschoolers and found that children's verbal ability scores were positively associated with residing in neighborhoods with affluent residents and negatively associated with residing in neighborhoods with poor residents and in neighborhoods with low cohesion. These findings are discussed in light of neighborhood studies of children in the United States in the mid-1990s."]

[Request #S7206]

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"Prevalence of Autism in a U.S. Metropolitan Area." By Marshalynn Yeargin-Allsopp, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and others. IN: JAMA Journal of the American Medical Association, vol. 289, no. 1 (January 1, 2003) pp. 49-55.

["This is the largest study published examining autism. Some of the increase in the prevalence of autism is a result of widened definitions of the disorder but an explanation for a proportion of the increase is unknown. The study was conducted in metropolitan Atlanta in 1996, surveying children's records at schools, clinics, doctors' offices, and other places that autistic children might have gone for services in 1996. Some of the results from the study include: 1) 3.4 in every 1,000 children ages 3 to 10 had mild to severe autism; 2) in the late 1980's, 4 to 5 in every 10,000 children were thought to be afflicted; 3) the prevalence rates mean that at least 425,000 Americans under age 18 have some form of autism." CDF Child Health Information Project (January 10, 2003).]

[Request #S7207]

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Five Things Everyone Should Know about SCHIP. By Lisa Dubay and others, The Urban Institute. Issues and Options for States, Series A, No. A-55. (The Institute, Washington, DC) October 2002. 12 p.

Full Text at:

["This brief discusses five key points about SCHIP as it marks the five-year anniversary of its enactment: states have taken advantage of SCHIP's flexibility; SCHIP funds are plentiful to date, but may run short; following SCHIP, uninsurance has been reduced; SCHIP and Medicaid could cover most uninsured children; and, further improvements are needed in both Medicaid and SCHIP."]

[Request #S7208]

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Denti-Cal Denied: Consumers' Experiences Accessing Dental Services in California's Medi-Cal Program. By Lorraine Jones, Health Consumer Alliance, and others. (The Alliance, Los Angeles, California) December 2002. 31 p.

Full Text at:

["According to this report, beneficiaries face several barriers to receiving dental services, including misinformation to dentists about which services are covered; denial of coverage for certain treatments and appeals that take "too long"; and too few interpreters to assist non-English-speaking beneficiaries." California Healthline (January 17, 2003) online.]

[Request #S7210]

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The Right Start for America's Newborns: A Decade of City and State Trends (1990-2000). By Kids Count and Child Trends. (The Annie E. Casey Foundation, Baltimore, Maryland) January 2003.

["This online report has been expanded to include 2000 data, adding to the birth information that the report tracks by year beginning with 1990. Nationally, five of the eight measures tracked show a positive trend during the 1990s, although gaping disparities persist among cities and states. A state-by-state profile of the data is available online at the web site below." Annie E. Casey Foundation (January 22, 2003).]

Executive Summary. 20 p.:

50-State Profiles. Various Pagings.:

[Request #S7211]

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"Child Participation in WIC: Medicaid Costs and Use of Health Care Services." By Paul A. Buescher, State Center for Health Statistics, North Carolina Division of Public Health, and others. IN: American Journal of Public Health, vol. 93, no. 1 (January 2003) pp. 145-150.

["According to this study, Medicaid-enrolled children participating in the WIC program showed greater use of all types of health care services compared with Medicaid-enrolled children who were not WIC participants. The study found that the health care needs of low-income children who participate in WIC may be better met than those of low-income children not participating in WIC."]

[Request #S7212]

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"How Economists Think about Family Resources and Child Development." By E. Michael Foster. IN: Child Development, vol. 73, no. 6 (November/December 2002) pp. 1904-1914.

["This article explains economists' general approach to family behavior and then describes how that framework is useful for thinking about families and children. The article then outlines how economists model parental investment in children and examines the implications of that approach for developmental science."]

[Request #S7213]

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"The Politics of Fatherhood." By Stephen Baskerville, Howard University. IN: PSOnline, vol. 35, no. 4 (December 2002) pp. 695-699.

["Fatherhood advocates insist that the crisis of fatherless children is the most destructive trend of our generation. There is evidence that the critical dimensions it has assumed in the last decade proceed at least in part from public policy, and that the problem should be seen less as sociological or psychological and more as political."]

[Request #S7209]

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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 Diversity Kit: An Introductory Resource for Social Change in Education. By Charles Ahearn, The Lab, A Program of the Education Alliance at Brown University, and others. (The Alliance, Providence, Rhode Island) 2003. 312 p.

Full Text at:

["This new publication brings together current research on human development and cultural diversity. It explores issues of diversity in education that are essential for schools and teachers who are committed to quality education for all students." The National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition & Language Instruction Educational Programs (NCELA) at The George Washington University, OLEA Newsline (January 14, 2003). NOTE: The Diversity Kit ... will be available for 3-day loan.]

[Request #S7214]

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“Acute Backpack Injuries in Children.” By Brent M. Wiersema and others. IN: Pediatrics, vol.111, no. 1 (January 2003) pp. 163-166.

[“This study suggests that children are more likely to be hurt tripping over backpacks or being hit with them than they are using the bags to lug around heavy school supplies, a new study suggests. While there has been growing concern about back trouble in children who carry loaded-down packs, researchers found the back was one of the least likely places where children were injured.” Associated Press (January 6, 2003) 1.]

[Request #S7215]

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