Subject: Studies in the News 03-75(November 10, 2003)

Studies in the News
Children and Family Supplement

Contents This Week

   Children of incarcerated parents
   Improving early childhood policy communication
   Benefits of universal Pre-K
   Universal Pre-K - good and bad
   Evidence of family influence on child development
   Teacher training and preschools
   Birth defects registries
   Childhood illness and pollution
   Administering medicine to children
   Changes in child mental health care
   Cooperation and child development policy
   Assessment of preschoolers
   Grandmother's health and child care
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:



Where Children Live When Parents Are Incarcerated. By Elizabeth I. Johnson and Jane Waldfogel, Joint Center for Policy Research, University of Chicago. JCPR Policy Brief. Vol. 5, No. 4. (The Center, Chicago, Illinois) 2003. 2 p.

Full Text at:

[“The authors … examine eight documented risk factors for poor developmental outcomes to determine what, if any, association exists between these risk factors and children’s placements…. Identifying links between risk factors and living arrangements, the authors suggest, can guide service providers in tailoring and coordinating services for these children.”]

[Request #S9506]

Return to the Table of Contents



Analysis of the Messages of the Early Childhood Movement. By Erika Falk, Annenberg Public Policy Center, University of Pennsylvania. (The Center, Washington, DC) February 2003. 62 p.

Full Text at:

["This report presents a list of state and national organizations engaged in early childhood education and development (Appendix A), documents patterns found in the messages produced by these organizations, and suggests ways to improve these texts. The goal of this endeavor was to provide a guide to child-centered organizations that would help in developing a shared communication strategy by letting them know what other organizations are doing and saying and by providing suggestions for improvement."]

[Request #S9507]

Return to the Table of Contents

The Oklahoma Project. By William T. Gormly, Jr. and Ted Gaynor, Public Policy Institute, Georgetown University, and Deborah Phillips, Georgetown University. (The Center for Research on Children in the United States, Georgetown University, Washington, DC) 2003.

["Researchers have just completed an evaluation of Oklahoma's universal pre-kindergarten program, focusing on the pre-K program run by Tulsa Public Schools. The evaluation is based on test data from August 2001 for 2,276 five-year-olds beginning kindergarten and 1,284 four-year-olds beginning pre-K. The items tested include: socio-emotional development; cognitive skills; motor skills; and language skills. Oklahoma is one of three states in the U.S. that makes pre-K program slots available free of charge to all or almost all four-year-olds."]

CROCUS Working Paper #1: Promoting School Readiness in Oklahoma: An Evaluation of Tulsa's Pre-K Program. 54 p.:

CROCUS Working Paper #2: The Effects of Universal Pre-K in Oklahoma: Research Highlights and Policy Implications. 33 p.:

[Request #S9508]

Return to the Table of Contents

In the Beginning: Good Preschools Have Much to Offer, But Should They Be Universal? Some Research Suggests Otherwise. By Susan Black. IN: American School Board Journal, vol. 190, no. 9 (November 2003) pp.1-6.

["At the moment, while federal and state money is scarce, universal prekindergarten is up for grabs. But budget woes might not be bad for UPK, especially if they allow time for a national debate on universal preschools and standards for preschool teacher training and curriculum development."]

[Request #S9509]

Return to the Table of Contents


"Interpreting the Evidence of Family Influence on Child Development." By James Heckman and others. IN: The Economics of Early Childhood Development: Lessons for Economic Policy: Conference Co-Hosted by The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis and The McKnight Foundation in cooperation with the University of Minnesota. (The Bank, Minneapolis, Minnesota) October 17, 2003. 159 p.

Full Text at:

["This paper presents formal models of child development that capture the essence of recent findings from the empirical lilterature on child development. The goal is to provide theoretical frameworks for interpreting the evidence from a vast empirical literature, for guiding the next generation of empirical studies and for formulating policy."]

[Request #S9510]

Return to the Table of Contents


"America Shortchanges Its Preschoolers: Few States Require Teacher Training. Less Than Half of All Prekindergarten Teachers Have Bachelor's Degree, Quality Suffers." By National Institute for Early Education Research. IN: Preschool Matters, vol. 1, no. 1 (August/September 2003) pp. 3, 8.

Full Text at:

["NIEER recommends that policymakers and educators take several steps including: 1) require all new teachers in Head Start and state prekindergarten programs to get a four-year college degree; 2) provide funding and courses for current teachers who want to upgrade their training and education; 3) adopt the standards already suggested by professional early childhood groups such as NAEYC; 4) improve teacher pay and benefits; 5) support colleges as they develop new courses and degree programs for early childhood educators."]

[Request #S9511]

Return to the Table of Contents



Birth Defects Registries: A Resource for Research. By Alissa Johnson, National Conference of State Legislatures. Legisbrief. Vol. 11, No. 46. (NCSL, Denver, Colorado) November/December 2003. 2 p.

["One in 28 infants in the United States is born with a birth defect, according to the March of Dimes.... Birth defect registries are one tool used by states to identify these children and investigate the causes....The substantial lifetime costs of birth defects burden state health and welfare programs.... Preventing birth defects, the ultimate goal of these tracking and research activities may provide considerable long-term savings."]

[Request #S9512]

Return to the Table of Contents


Costs of Preventable Childhood Illness: The Price We Pay for Pollution. By Rachel Massey and Frank Ackerman. Working Paper No. 03-09. (Global Development and Environment Insitute, Tufts University, Medford, Maryland) September 2003. 40 p.

Full Text at:

["This report analyzes the economic costs associated with the failure to protect children's environmental health, focusing in particular on costs within Massachusetts." Moving Ideas News (November 5, 2003).]

[Request #S9513]

Return to the Table of Contents

Medical Administration. Applicable Standards From: Caring For Our Children. National Health and Safety Performance Standards: Guidelines For Out-Of-Home Child Care. By the American Academy of Pediatrics and others. (The Academy, Elk Grove Village, Illinois) 2003. 52 p.

Full Text at:

["These standards were developed to provide guidelines to states on 'best practice' regarding medication administration in child care settings... The intended audiences for this document are child care providers, state regulators and policy makers, and health consultants and trainers."]

[Request #S9514]

Return to the Table of Contents


"Trends and Issues in Child and Adolescent Mental Health." By Sherry Glied and Allison Evans Cuellar, Columbia University. IN: Health Affairs, vol 22, no. 5 (September/October 2003) pp. 39-50.

["An estimated 11 percent of American children have a mental health impairment, yet they rely upon a piece of the health care system that does not work well. Government policies for children’s mental health operate in two ways: by affecting health insurance for children, and by funding services directly. Major changes within both categories have shaped the types, sources, and financing of services for children with mental health problems. These policies, along with scientific advances in child mental health, social changes, and health policy more generally, have contributed to an improvement in child mental health services over the past fifteen years."]

[Request #S9515]

Return to the Table of Contents



Engaging Other Sectors in Efforts to Improve Public Policy in Early Childhood Development. By Lorie Slass, Annenberg Public Policy Center, University of Pennsylvania. (The Center, Washington, DC) February 2003. 33 p.

Full Text at:

["This report identifies lessons involving message, outreach, and policy to help advocates working in the early childhood field understand how to effectively draw various groups and their constituencies into efforts supporting public policies around children and families. It also offers specific suggestions for increasing awareness about early childhood issues among these groups and suggests strategies for educating and involving them. Although most of the organizations included in the analysis represent national groups, the lessons learned are applicable to state and community groups as well."]

[Request #S9516]

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.]



Assessment: [Issue Theme.] Applied Research in Child Development. No. 4. (Erikson Institute, Chicago, Illinois) Fall 2003 pp. 1-19.

[Includes: "Assessment in the Early Childhood Classroom;" "A Conversation With Sam Meisels;" "Considering Options in Chicago;" "Building Multidirectional Bridges Through Classroom Assessment." Assessment will be available for 3-day loan.]

[Request #S9517]

Return to the Table of Contents



"Relation of Caregiving to Children and Grandchildren With Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women." By Sunmin Lee, Harvard School of Public Health, and others. IN: American Journal of Public Health, vol. 93, no. 11 (November 2003)

["Many children spend after-school hours at grandmother's house. But if grandma's health is not good, child care can take a toll on her heart. 'We found that providing child care for just a few hours a day greatly increased risk of heart disease' says the author." Early Childhood Focus (November 3, 2003).]

[Request #S9518]

Return to the Table of Contents