Subject: Studies in the News 03-16 (March 21, 2003)

Studies in the News
Children and Family Supplement

Contents This Week

Introductory Material EDUCATION
   Child care quality and school readiness
   School-based early intervention
   Rewiring the brain through music
   Pediatric dental cavities and secondhand smoke exposure
   Measuring and monitoring children's well-being
   GIS for social services
   Disparities in prevalence of disabilities
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:



Smart Start and Preschool; Child Care Quality in NC: Change Over Time and Relation to Children's Readiness. By Donna Bryant and others. (The FPG Child Development Institute, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina) March 2003. 21 p.

Full Text at:

["This two-year study concludes that North Carolina preschoolers participating in high quality child care programs are ahead of their peers who attend low quality programs. The study has three main findings: child care quality has increased in the study sample during the Smart Start years; Smart Start-funded activities were positively related to classroom quality; and quality was positively related to children's outcomes."]

[Request #S7586]

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"School-Based Early Intervention and Later Child Maltreatment in the Chicago Longitudinal Study." By Arthur J. Reynolds and Dylan L. Robertson, Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison. IN: Child Development, vol. 74, no. 1 (January/February 2003) pp. 3-26.

["The authors investigated the effects of participation in the Title I Child-Parent Centers (CPC) on substantiated reports of child maltreatment for 1,408 children in the Chicago Longitudinal Study. The findings indicate that large-scale contemporary programs implemented by school districts can meaningfully contribute to the reduction of child abuse and neglect."]

[Request #S7587]

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"The Cortical Topography of Tonal Structures Underlying Western Music." By Petr Janata and others. IN: Science, vol. 298, no. 5601 (December 13, 2002) pp. 2167-2170.

["This research demonstrates that the harmonies of music rewire the brain, creating patterns of neural activity at the confluence of emotion and memory that strengthen with each new melody. The impact on the brain is measurable, with certain areas of the cortex up to 15% larger than in those with little or no musical training." Child Care Information Exchange, ExchangeEveryDay (January 7, 2002) online.]

[Request #S7588]

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"Association of Pediatric Dental Cavities with Passive Smoking." By C. Andrew Aligne and others. IN: JAMA, vol. 289, no. 10 (March 12, 2003) pp. 1258-64.

["Children who inhale secondhand cigarette smoke have a higher risk of getting cavities. The study included 3,500 children ages 4 to 11, finding that one quarter of the children would not have developed cavities in their primary teeth if they had not inhaled environmental smoke. Secondhand smoke, also known as environmental tobacco smoke, is associated with decreased vitamin C levels in children. Decreased levels of vitamin C is associated with the growth of cariogenic bacteria, causing cavities. Environmental tobacco smoke may also reduce the protective properties of saliva that operate against cavities." Child Health Information Project Listserv (March 14, 2003).]

[Request #S7589]

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Measuring and Monitoring Children's Well-Being. By Asher Ben-Arieh and others. (Kluwer Academic Publishers, Boston, Massachusetts) 2001. 159 p.

["This book is an outcome of a very innovative and unique endeavor which involved some 80 experts from 27 countries working together for four years to redefine the concept of children's well-being and to suggest new indicators - beyond survival and basic needs - to measure and monitor the status of children." NOTE: Measuring and Monitoring ... is available for 3-day loan.]

[Request #S7590]

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Data Mapping Helps Philadelphia Target Services for Kids and Families. By the Urban Health Initiative. (The Initiative, Seattle, Washington) February 2003. 2 p.

Full Text at:

["Finding resources for after-school programs is only part of the problem; getting them running where they're most needed is also important. That's why Philadelphia is using data mapping to get the right programs in the right place. Using Geographical Information Systems, a comprehensive compilation and analysis of data, city agencies and a community initiative called Philadelphia Safe and Sound are working to overcome turf issues and share data, while maintaining the privacy of individuals." Connect for Kids (March 10, 2003).]

[Request #S7591]

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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.]



"Disparities in the Prevalence of Disability Between Black and White Children." By Paul W. Newacheck, University of California, San Francisco, and others. IN: Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, vol. 157, no. 3 (March 2003) pp. 244-248.

["The rate and prevalence of disabling chronic health conditions is higher in black children than in white children, and poverty is a key indicator of such conditions, according to this study...Between 1979 and 2000, the prevalence of disabling conditions increased by 47% in white children and by 77% in black children...Poor children were twice as likely as children in families with higher incomes to have disabilities." California Healthline (March 11, 2003).]

[Request #S7592]

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