Subject: Studies in the News 03-61 (September 25, 2003)

Studies in the News
Children and Family Supplement

Contents This Week

   Preventing child abuse and neglect
   Bullying and crime prevention
   The education of children with disabilities
   Assessment of Head Start
   Head Start teachers and certification
   Modular facilities for early care and education
   Definitions of special needs children
   Improving access to primary care
   Children in severely distressed neighborhoods
   Evaluating infant-family programs
   Maternal obesity/depression and television
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:



New Hope For Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect: Proven Solutions to Save Lives and Prevent Future Crime. By Randell Alexander, Morehouse School of Medicine, and others. (Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, Washington, DC) 2003. 34 p.

Full Text at:

["This report has taken a hard-nosed look at what works—and what doesn’t work—to cut crime and violence. This new research, combined with prior evidence, shows that most abuse and neglect in high-risk families can now be prevented. Doing so will spare millions of children from terror, agony, and despair and will save thousands of lives. Sharply reducing abuse and neglect will save billions of dollars, while greatly reducing the number of children growing up to be violent criminals."]

[Request #S9104]

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Bullying Prevention Is Crime Prevention. By James Alan Fox, The Lipman Family Professor of Criminal Justice, Northeastern University, and others. (Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, Washington, DC) 2003. 24 p.

Full Text at:

["This study finds nearly 60% of boys classified as bullies in grades 6-9 were convicted of at least one crime by the age of 24. The study highlights three model bullying prevention programs shown to be effective." Education Commission of the States, ECS e-CONNECTION (September 20, 2003).]

[Request #S9105]

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To Assure the Free Appropriate Public Education of All Children with Disabilities: Twenty-fourth Annual Report to Congress on the Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. By the U.S. Department of Education. (The Department, Washington, DC) 2002. (Published 2003). Various Pagings.

Full Text at:

["According to this report, children with disabilities who receive early intervention services show significant developmental progress a year later, and families report increased confidence in their ability to deal with their child."]

[Request #S9106]

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Head Start: Curriculum Use and Individual Child Assessment in Cognitive and Language Development. By U.S. General Accounting Office. GAO-03-1049. (GAO, Washington, DC) September 2003. 36 p.

Full Text at:

["In its review of local Head Start programs' curricula, mentoring, and individual child assessments, the GAO finds that most Head Start programs met their performance standards for overall curriculum and cognitive and language development. Almost 90 percent of Head Start children received individual assessments in cognitive and language development." Connect for Kids Weekly (September 15, 2003).]

[Request #S9107]

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Investing in Head Start Teachers. Preschool Policy Matters, Issue 4. (National Institute For Early Education Research, New Brunswick, New Jersey) August 2003. 4 p.

Full Text at:

["Placing a fully certified teacher in every Head Start classroom stands as the single most effective policy change that would radically improve the success of Head Start. As the Head Start Reauthorization continues to be debated it is appropriate to look at the funding levels needed to do just that. The latest policy brief takes a look at current Head Start teacher qualification and compensation levels, discusses issues surrounding the push towards raising both, and estimates the cost of placing a highly qualified teacher in every Head Start classroom."]

[Request #S9108]

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Think Tank on Modular Design for Early Care and Education. By Gretchen Lee Anderson and Dianne L. Philibosian. (The Design Institute, Louiville, Kentucky) July 2003. 32 p.

Full Text at:

["Despite the increased funding and recognition of the need for quality early care and education programs, attention to appropriate facility development to house programs for young children has been sadly lacking. Often in the rush to provide environments and classrooms, programs for young children have been hastily placed in facilities not designed for caring for our youngest children. There is a need for and and interest in designing and enhancing modular buildings for early care. The Think Tank convened for the specific purpose of creating a distinct body of knowledge and recommendations for modular facilities."]

[Request #S9109]

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"Variations in State-Level Definitions: Children With Special Health Care Needs." By N.S. Beers and others. IN: Public Health Reports, vol. 118, no. 5 (September/October 2003) pp. 434-447.

["The authors of this article note that multiple agencies at the federal and state level provide for children with special health care needs (CSHCN), with variation in eligibility criteria. This article explores the state-level variations and provides an analysis of current practices in defining CSHCN. Following a review of theoretical approaches to defining the population of children with chronic illness and disability, the authors delineated the current operating definitions of the three federal agencies primarily responsible for ensuring the provision of health and social services or funds to children with chronic illness and disability: the Social Security Administration (SSA), the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB), and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)." MCH Alert (September 9, 2003).]

[Request #S9110]

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"Parents' Perceptions of Pediatric Primary Care Quality: Effects of Race/Ethnicity, Language, and Access." By Michael Seid and others. IN: Health Services Research, vol. 38, no. 4 (August 2003) pp. 1009-1032.

["This article examines the effects of race/ethnicity, language, and potential access on parents' reports of pediatric primary care experiences. The findings show that parents' reports of primary care quality varied according to race/ethnicity. However, both language and potential access (insurance status, presence of a regular provider of care) exerted strong independent effects on primary care quality, reducing the effect of race/ethnicity. The authors conclude that to reduce racial/ethnic disparities in primary care, attention should be paid both to policies aimed at improving potential access and to providing linguistically appropriate services." RAND Child Policy Project Update (September 23, 2003).]

[Request #S9111]

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The Growing Number of Kids in Severely Distressed Neighborhoods: Evidence From the 2000 Census. By William O'Hare and Mark Mather. (Annie E. Casey Foundation, Baltimore, Maryland) September 2003. 21 p.

Full Text at:

["Between 1990 and 2000, the number of kids living in high-poverty neighborhoods declined, but the number of children living in severely distressed neighborhoods characterized by high rates of poverty grew. In 2000, over a third of all poor black children and almost one in five poor Latino children lived in severely distressed neighborhoods, compared with 3.9 percent of poor non-hispanic white children. This Kids Count report paints a picture of increasing isolation of large numbers of poor minority children being left behind in resource-poor neighborhoods with worse schools, fewer opportunities for adult-supervised activities and fewer role models of working men or married-couple families, despite the economic surge of the 1990s." Connect for Kids Weekly (September 22, 2003).]

[Request #S9112]

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Evaluating Programs That Serve Infants and Families: The Quest for Quality [Issue Theme.] Zero to Three. Vol. 23. No. 6. (Zero to Three: National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families, Danvers, Massachusetts) July 2003. 63 p.

[Includes: "Evaluating Early Childhood Programs: Improving Quality and Informing Policy;" "Enhancing the Quality of Relationships in Infant-Toddler Child Care: A Developmental Process;" "Incorporating Principles of Family-Centered Practices in Early Intervention Program Evaluation;" "California's Proposition 10 and Local Evaluation: A County-Level Report from the Field;" and others. NOTE: Zero to Three ... is available for 3-day loan.]

[Request #S9113]

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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.]



"Association of Maternal Obesity and Depressive Symptoms With Television-Viewing Time in Low Income Preschool Children." By Hillary L. Burdette and others. IN Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, vol. 157, no. 9 (September 2003) pp. 894-899.

["Decreasing the amount of time that children watch television may improve their health and well-being. Since viewing patterns are shaped during the preschool years, a better understanding is needed of maternal factors that influence children's TV viewing. This article examines the relationship of depressive symptoms and obesity in low-income mothers with TV-viewing time in their preschool children. Researchers note that preschool children whose mothers had either depressive symptoms or obesity were more likely to watch three or more hours of TV a day." News From Mathematica (September 22, 2003).]

[Request #S]

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