Subject: Studies in the News 03-72 (October 30, 2003)

Studies in the News:
Children and Family Supplement

Contents This Week

   Community outreach, police and schools
   Intimate partner violence against women
   Young children and the media
   Public benefits of quality preschool
   Effective legislative strategies for families
   Out-of-home care for young children
   Delaying kindergarten entry
   Improving education for Zuni children
   School readiness policy framework
   Pollutant exposure and school bus commutes
   Child health and socio-economic status
   Infants and hearing screening
   Mental health disparities and public policies
   Childhood obesity in California
   Child care and health insurance coverage
   Health insurance and federal policies
   Foster care adoption bonuses
   State child care quality indicators
   Coordinating services for children
   Quality child care and child outcomes
   Cities and child care
   Children in kinship care
   Limits of low-wage employment
   Assets, public assistance and state policies
   Creating compendia of "best practice"
   Evaluating community-based initiatives
   Assessing evaluability
   Welfare reform and informal child care
   Independent mobility of California's youth
   Homework trends
   Childhood predictors of Native American alcoholism
   Psychiatric disorders 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:



Community Outreach Through Police in Schools [Issue Theme.] By Yale University Child Study Center and the National Center for Children Exposed to Violence. Prepared for the Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. (The Office, Washington, DC) August 2003. 4 p.

Full Text at:

["Community violence is widely recognized as a major public health problem. Children exposed to violence on a regular basis are potentially more vulnerable to a number of detrimental outcomes, including poor school performance, psychological disturbances, and later violent and criminal behaviors. Out of concern over the escalating violent crime in the greater New Haven, Connecticut, area and its impact on children, the Yale University Child Study Center developed the Child Development Policing Program. The subject of this bulletin is an intervention implemented by this program."]

[Request #S9429]

Return to the Table of Contents


Costs of Intimate Partner Violence Against Women in the United States. By the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (The Centers, Atlanta, Georgia) 2003. 64 p.

Full Text at:

["With an estimated economic cost of $5.8 billion, and the untold intangible costs, intimate partner violence (IPV) against women is a substantial public health problem that must be addressed. This report presents findings for the estimated incidence, prevalence, and costs of nonfatal and fatal IPV [and] highlights CDC's research priorities for IPV prevention."]

[Request #S9457]

Return to the Table of Contents



Zero to Six: Electronic Media in the Lives of Infants, Toddlers and Preschoolers. By Victoria J. Rideout, Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, and others. (The Foundation, Menlo Park, California) Fall 2003. 38 p.

Full Text at:

["Recent years have seen an explosion of electronic media marketed directly at the very youngest children in our society: a booming market of videotapes and DVDs aimed at infants one to 18 months; the launching of the first TV show specifically targeting children as young as 12 months; and a multi-million dollar industry selling computer games and even special keyboard toppers for children as young as 9 months old. This study is one of the only large-scale national studies on the role of media in the lives of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers in America."]

[Request #S9448]

Return to the Table of Contents



The Economics of Education: Public Benefits of High Quality Preschool Education For Low-Income Children. By Jerrold Oppenheim and Theo MacGregor. Prepared for Entergy Corporation. (Entergy Arkansas, Little Rock, Arkansas) [2003.] 31 p.

Full Text at:

["This paper articulates and analyzes the economic benefits of providing a high-quality education to all low-income three- and four-year-olds.... Recent long-term studies have found that high-quality preschool education leads to the long-term benefits described here."]

[Request #S9430]

Return to the Table of Contents

Supporting Early Childhood Initiatives: Legislative Strategies for Everyday People. By Lynn R. DeLapp. (The Finance Project, Washington, DC) 2003. 40 p.

Full Text at:

["This brief addresses strategies to ensure that policy makers hear the voices of children and families so that effective early childhood initiatives can be enacted, implemented, and sustained. It includes examples and lessons learned from efforts across the country to support early childhood and other child and family initiatives in good times as well as bad. And it provides key guidelines and advice for educating and working with policy makers to support initiatives that promote the well-being of young children and their families."]

[Request #S9431]

Return to the Table of Contents

Quality of Out-of-Home Care for Young Children [Issue Theme.] Early Childhood Research Quarterly. Vol. 18. No. 3. (National Association for the Education of Young Children, New York, New York) 2003. 23 p.

[Includes: "Turnover Begets Turnover: An Examination of Job and Occupational Instability Among Child Care Center Staff;" "Making Meaning of School Readiness in Schools and Communities;" "Parenting Daily Hassles, Child Temperament, and Social Adjustment in Preschool;" and others. NOTE: Early Childhood Research Quarterly is available for 3-day loan.]

[Request #S9432]

Return to the Table of Contents

"Research in Review: Opportunity Deferred or Opportunity Taken? An Updated Look at Delaying Kindergarten Entry." By Hermine H. Marshall, San Francisco State University. IN: Beyond the Journal: Young Children on the Web. (September 2003) pp. 1-9.

Full Text at:

["This article reviews the assumptions about the meaning of school readiness held by famlies and teachers as well as how the pressures on administrators for accountability influences decisions about whether to recommend holding children out of kindergarten."]

[Request #S9449]

Return to the Table of Contents


Improving Education for Zuni Children. By Studies in Native American Education. (CREDE, Center for Research on Education, Diversity & Excellence, Santa Cruz, California) 2002. Video.

["Since separating from a larger school district more than 20 years ago, the Zuni Public School District and the Zuni Community have engaged in a steady effort to improve their schools for Zuni children. This video presents the Zuni vision for improving schools for their children, creating classrooms in which students work together on a variety of challenging activities occurring simultaneously, talking with their peers, negotiating and planning, reading, writing, and sharing their learning." NOTE: Improving Education for Zuni Children is available for a 3-day loan.]

[Request #S9450]

Return to the Table of Contents


Policy Matters: Setting and Measuring Benchmarks For State Policies; Improving the Readiness of Children For School: Recommendations for State Policy. By Sharon Lynn Kagan and Elizabeth Rigby, National Center for Children and Families, Columbia University. (Center for the Study of Social Policy, Washington, DC) 2003. 79 p.

Full Text at:

["This paper reviews what the early care and education field knows about school readiness and provides a description of the current context for school readiness policy, a framework for considering school readiness policy, and identifies nine policies germane to school readiness. The paper concludes with a unique approach to applying benchmarks for state school readiness policy decisions." Moving Ideas (August 27, 2003).]

[Request #S9433]

Return to the Table of Contents



Characterizing the Range of Children's Pollutant Exposure During School Bus Commutes. By Dennis R. Fitz, University of California, Riverside, and others. Prepared for the California Air Resources Board. (The Board, Sacramento, California) 2003.

["Children riding in conventional diesel-powered school buses may breathe two to five times more air pollution than those traveling in new, cleaner school buses, according to this study. Researchers also found that the diesel-related pollutants inside the buses were at levels at least twice as high as the air outside. The U.S. EPA concluded last year that diesel exhaust most likely triggers asthma and causes cancer." San Francisco Chronicle (October 16, 2003) 1.]

Children School Bus Exposure Study: Fact Sheet. 2 p.:

Full Report. 210 p.:

[Request #S9395]

Return to the Table of Contents



From Cradle to Grave? The Lasting Impact of Childhood Health and Circumstance. By Anne Case, Center for Health and Well-Being, Princeton University, and others. (The Center, Princeton, New Jersey) 2003. 43 p.

Full Text at:

["This study finds that children who experience poor health have significantly lower educational attainment, and significantly poorer health and lower earnings on average as adults. Taken together with earlier findings that poorer children enter adulthood in worse health and with less education than wealthier children, these results indicate that a key determinant of health in adulthood is economic status in childhood rather than economic status in adulthood."]

[Request #S9434]

Return to the Table of Contents


"Infants Tested For Hearing Loss - United States, 1999-2001." By M. Gaffney and others, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. IN: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, vol. 52, no. 41. (October 17, 2003) pp. 981-984.

Full Text at:

["'More infants were screened for HL [hearing loss], received diagnostic audiologic evaluation, and were enrolled in early intervention services in 2001 than in 1999 and 2000,' state the authors. This report summarizes the results of an analysis of surveillance data from state Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) systems for 1999-2001." MCH Alert (October 24, 2003).]

[Request #S9435]

Return to the Table of Contents


"The Role Of Public Policies In Reducing Mental Health Status Disparities For People Of Color." By Margarita Alegria and others. IN: Health Affairs, vol. 22, no. 5. (September/October 2003) pp. 51-64.

["The Institute of Medicine reports minorities are given lower quality health care than whites even when they make just as much money and have the same insurance. It is those disparities that Kaiser-Permanente is working to overcome by giving doctors special handbooks outlining cultural concerns that may affect patient care." KCRA (September 23, 2003).]

[Request #S9451]

Return to the Table of Contents


A Health Crisis in Paradise: Youth and Chronic Diseases in California's Gold Coast. By the Gold Coast Collaborative. (The Collaborative, Santa Barbara, California) September 24, 2003. 6 p.

Full Text at:

["Childhood Obesity, Related Health Problems Increase in Three Counties, Study Finds: The coalition ... recommended that elected officials, educators and others hold forums in 2004 to identify methods to decrease obesity, eliminate junk food and soft drinks on local school campuses and develop policies that promote physical education." California Healthline (September 25, 2003) 1.]

[Request #S9452]

Return to the Table of Contents


Go Where They Are: Working With Child Care Programs to Reach California's Uninsured Children. By Catherine Crystal Foster, Children's Defense Fund California. Prepared for the 100% Campaign. (The Campaign, Oakland, California) September 2003.

["California could add 170,000 children to government subsidized health insurance plans by working with child care providers to identify and enroll children who may qualify for the benefits, according to this study. The study found that more than 67% of the state's one million uninsured children are eligible for Medi-Cal, Healthy Families or county health insurance programs." California HealthLine (September 17, 2003).]

Executive Summary. 7 p.:

Full Report. 40 p.:

[Request #S9436]

Return to the Table of Contents

House and Senate Conferees on the Medicare Prescription Drug Bills Could Help Hundreds of Thousands of Children, Both Immigrants and Citizens, Obtain Health Coverage. By Emil Parker and Martha Teitelbaum. (Children's Defense Fund, Washington, DC) October 6, 2003. 4 p.

Full Text at:

["This analysis of Current Population Survey (CPS) data has found that there are more than 900,000 uninsured immigrant children living in low-income families (incomes below 200 percent of the poverty line). Most of these children would be eligible for health insurance coverage if not for federal restrictions on immigrant eligibility for Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). In addition, the CDF analysis found that there are more than 200,000 uninsured U.S. citizen children living in low-income families with at least one immigrant child. Almost 30 percent of uninsured children are in immigrant families -- families with at least one noncitizen parent." CDF Child Health Information Project (October 10, 2003).]

[Request #S9437]

Return to the Table of Contents



HHS Awards Adoption Bonuses. By Federal Funds Information for States. FFIS Issue Brief, 03-49. (FFIS, Washington, DC) October 8, 2003. 1 p.

["The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded $14.9 million in fiscal year (FY) 2003 adoption bonuses to 25 states and Puerto Rico for increasing the number of children adopted from foster care. States receive up to $4,000 per child and $6,000 for each child with special needs."]

[Request #S9438]

Return to the Table of Contents


A Primitive Matrix of State Child Care Quality Indicators: Working Draft of October 14, 2003. By John Surr. (John Surr, Bethesda, Maryland) 2003. 12 p.

Full Text at:

["A new set of indicators shows that Massachusetts, the District of Columbia, Vermont, Wisconsin, New York and Connecticut had the best quality in child care in the country in 2002, and that Idaho, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Louisiana, and Georgia had the worst. The 16 indicators are based on recently published data, but they do not give precise results. The matrix also gives subjective judgments about the weights assigned to indicators."]

[Request #S9439]

Return to the Table of Contents

State Networks of Local Comprehensive Community Collaboratives: Financing and Governance Strategies. By Erika Bryant and Carol Cohen, The Finance Project. (The Project, Washington, DC) September 2003. 40 p.

Full Text at:

["Evidence suggests that comprehensive, coherent and flexible child care and early learning services are better for families than fragmented services -- but coordinating and financing such services is a challenge. Some states have begun establishing state/local collaborative networks and partnerships. This brief examines how they do it, and their financing and governance strategies." Connect for Kids Weekly (October 6, 2003).]

[Request #S9440]

Return to the Table of Contents

"Quality" Child Care? Assessing the Impact on Child Outcomes. By Douglas J. Besharov, University of Maryland School of Public Affairs and Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and Nazanine Samari. Presented at the Joint Center for Poverty Research (JCPR) Congressional Research Briefing to the Subcommittee on Human Resources of the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means on May 10, 2000. (The Center, Northwestern University/University of Chicago, Evanston, Illinois) 2000. 22 p.

Full Text at:

["Experts say that the quality of child care is poor, but the actual research findings are more ambiguous. When they bemoan quality, they tend to be referring to its social and developmental components. The physical aspects of child care usually seem quite acceptable. Moreover, research on the impact of this kind of 'quality' care on child outcomes is far from definitive. Most research on the subject has severe methodological weaknesses--such as small sample sizes, measurement weaknesses, and selection bias problems--making findings no more than suggestive. In addition, the most rigorous research on the subject suggests that there may be an interactive relationship between the developmental qualities of care and parental characteristics. Even then, it appears that the effects of child care are small (especially compared to other factors such as family environment)."]

[Request #S9441]

Return to the Table of Contents


Strengthening Families in America's Cities: Early Childhood Development. By Cheryl Katz, Baldassare Associates, and others. (National League of Cities, Washington, DC) 2003. 19 p.

Full Text at:

["The National League of Cities reports that city leaders in the U.S. view early childhood development as a top priority. One in four (25%) city officials cite child care as one of the most critical program or service needs for children and families in their community." Connect for Kids Weekly (October 27, 2003).]

[Request #S9442]

Return to the Table of Contents


Children in Kinship Care. By the Urban Institute. (The Institute, Washington, DC) 2003. 1 p.

Full Text at:

["Most children in kinship care (59 percent, or 1,360,000 children) live with their grandparents. About a fifth (19 percent, or 440,000 children) live with aunts and uncles. The remaining 22 percent reside with other relatives, such as siblings or cousins."]

[Request #S9443]

Return to the Table of Contents


Employment Alone is Not enough for America's Low-Income Families. By Nancy K. Cauthen and Hsien-Hen Lu, National Center for Children in Poverty. (The Center, New York, New York) 2003. 11 p.

Full Text at:

["This report highlights the limits of low-wage employment -— low-wage work, by itself, is insufficient to move families from poverty to economic self-sufficiency. Although families with incomes between 100 and 200 percent of the poverty level are not classified officially as poor, many face material hardships and financial pressures similar to those faced by families who are officially poor. Missed rent payments, utility shut offs, inadequate access to health care, unstable child care arrangements, and running out of food are not uncommon for families with income below 200 percent of the poverty level."]

[Request #S9444]

Return to the Table of Contents


State Policy Choices: Assets and Access to Public Assistance. [and] Debt and Assets Among Low-Income Families. Prepared for National Center for Children in Poverty. (The Center, Washington, DC) October 2003.

["Low-income families today are burdened with rising levels of family debt but have few assets to leverage if they are confronted by a financial crisis, such as a job layoff or long illness. This new report finds that among low-income families the average debt doubled between 1984 and 2001, while most have only a few hundred dollars in liquid assets. In some states, even small levels of savings or a single car can make families ineligible for TANF cash assistance, food stamps, and public health insurance. Policies should recognize the need to develop assets as part of the path to economic self sufficiency."]

State Policy Choices: Assests and Access to Public Assistance. 3 p.:

Debt and Assets Among Low-Income Families. 5 p.:

[Request #S9445]

Return to the Table of Contents


"Professional Practice." By Eugene Bardach, Editor. IN: Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, vol. 22, no. 4. (Fall 2003) pp. 661-688.

[Includes: "Meeting Decision Makers' Needs for Evidence-Based Information on Child and Family Policy;" "Usable Information on What Works: Building a Broader and Deeper Knowledge Base;" "Innovative Government Practice: Considerations for Policy Analysts and Practictioners;" and others. NOTE: Journal of Policy Analysis and Management is available for 3-day loan.]

[Request #S9446]

Return to the Table of Contents

Evaluating Community-Based Initiatives [Issue Theme.] By the Evaluation Exchange. Vol. 9. No. 3. (Harvard Family Research Project, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Cambridge, Massachussetts) Fall 2003. pp. 1-20.

Full Text at:

[Includes: "The Role that Evaluations can Play in Sustainability;" "Building on Grassroots Approaches to Assessment;" "The Value of Mixed-Methods Research in a Policy Context;" "Six Partners Collaborate on School Readiness;" and others.]

[Request #S9447]

Return to the Table of Contents

"Evaluability Assessment: A Primer." By Michael S. Trevisan and Yi Min Huang. IN: Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation, vol. 8, no. 20. (2003) 8 p. [online.]

Full Text at:

["A strategy that can be used to determine the extent to which a program is ready for full evaluation is known as evaluability assessment. Evaluability assessment (EA) seeks to gain information from important documents and input from stakeholders concerning the content and objectives of the program. Outcomes from EA include clear objectives, performance indicators, and options for program improvement. The background and rationale for this evaluation strategy is documented. The article provides an outline of the procedures for conducting effective EA and discusses issues and benefits."]

[Request #S9453]

Return to the Table of Contents


Welfare Reform, Work, and Child Care: The Role of Informal Care in the Lives of Low-Income Women and Children. By Virgina W. Knox, MDRC, Andrew S. London, Syracuse University, and Ellen K. Scott, University of Oregon. (MDRC, New York, New York) October 2003. 8 p.

Full Text at:

["This brief examines the ways in which low-income parents rely on informal child care arrangements in their efforts to balance the dual demands of working and raising a family. Not surprisingly, child care arrangements are complex for most working parents. But parents in low-wage jobs, particularly single mothers, face especially tight financial and time constraints - and fewer child care options. Further, they often have to rely on unregulated or minimally regulated informal care. The policy brief points to child care policy directions that can promote the well-being of children while helping low-income parents sustain employment."]

[Request #S9456]

Return to the Table of Contents



Can't Get There from Here: The Declining Independent Mobility of California's Children and Youth. By the Surface Transportation Policy Project, and others. (The Project, San Francisco, California) September 2003. 81 p.

Full Text at:

["Compared with a generation ago, when most of California's children walked or biked to school, nearly three-quarters of trips by today's kids are made in cars, a new study has found.... From 1995 to 2000 more than 17,000 children were killed or badly injured in an automobile. The safest form of transportation for children is school buses.... In the 1960s, more than half of the nation's children lived within two miles of school, the study said. These days, the average distance from a child's home to school is more than four miles." Los Angeles Times (September 18, 2003) B8.]

[Request #S9454]

Return to the Table of Contents

[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.]



"A Nation at Rest: The American Way of Homework." By Brian Gill and Steven Schlossman. IN: Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, vol. 25, no. 3 (Fall 2003.)

["This article examines homework trends by analyzing major national surveys over the past 50 years. The findings from this study show that time spent on homework does not consistently increase as students move to higher grades. In addition, a new willingness surfaced in the last 20 years to assign some homework to primary-grade students, though research suggests it matters least for academic achievement."]

[Request #S9455]

Return to the Table of Contents



"Childhood Abuse Related to Alcoholism in Native Americans." By Mary P. Koss and Nicole Yuan and others, University of Arizona. IN: American Journal of Preventive Medicine (September 2003.)

["New research on seven Native American tribes suggests that tribe members who were abused or sent away to school as children are more likely to have problems with alcohol later in life. Alcohol abuse extracts a terrible toll among several Native American communities, making it important to understand factors that might influence alcohol abuse among the population." Health Behavior News Service (September 17, 2003) 1.]

[Request #S9427]

Return to the Table of Contents


"Relationships Between Poverty and Psychopathology." By E. Jane Costello and others. IN: JAMA, Journal of the American Medical Association, v. 290, no. 15. (October 15, 2003) pp. 2023-2029.

["An income intervention that moved families out of poverty for reasons that cannot be ascribed to family characteristics had a major effect on some types of children's psychiatric disorders, but not on others. Results support a social causation explanation for conduct and oppositional disorder, but not for anxiety or depression."]

[Request #S9458]

Return to the Table of Contents