Subject: Studies in the News 04-2 (January 15, 2004)


CALIFORNIA RESEARCH BUREAU
CALIFORNIA STATE LIBRARY
Studies in the News:
Children and Family Supplement


Contents This Week

Introductory Material EDUCATION
   Improving achievement in all schools
   Educational data collection
   Performing arts in education
   Science and preschool assessments
   Promoting early emotional/social competence
   Justification for funding universal pre-kindergarten
   State survey of pre-kindergarten programs
   Measuring vulnerability of kindergartners
   States and early education teacher qualifications
   Preschool issues and evaluation
   State of child care in California
   Test scores bring federal sanctions
   Federal grants and Head Start in California
HEALTH
   Crowd-out under SCHIP
   Children's health insurance frozen
   Unmet dental needs of children
   Low-income people losing health coverage
   Benchmarks for family health policy
HUMAN SERVICES
   Unsupervised children
   Costs of child care in California
   Disabled children and program solutions
   Reporting child welfare data challenges
   Children's legislative report card.
   Working with children and families
   Public attitudes about low-income families
   Reproduction of poverty
   Child care funding misstated
   Social services and states' money woes
STUDIES TO COME
   Children's health in California
   Socioeconomic status and infant mortality
   Healthy steps for young children program
   Childhood predicators of adulthood depression
   Overweight children and neighborhoods
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 cslsirc@library.ca.gov or by calling 654-0261.

The following studies are currently on hand:

EDUCATION

ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT

Beyond Islands of Excellence: What Districts Can Do to Improve Instruction and Achievement in All Schools. By Wendy Togneri, Learning First Alliance, and others. (The Alliance, Washington, DC) 2003. 84 p.

["The Alliance studied five high-poverty districts making strides in improving student achievement. Taken as a whole, the five districts demonstrated improvement in academic achievement -- as measured by test scores -- across grades, subjects, and racial/ethnic groups. In general, test scores in the five districts reflected both the successes and the challenges for reform."]

[Request #S9936]

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ACCOUNTABILITY

Nine Essential Elements of Statewide Data-Collection Systems. By The National Center for Educational Accountability. (The Center, Austin, Texas) 2003. 8 p.

Full Text at: nc4ea.org/files/9%20elements%20Brochure.pdf

["States will need to make major upgrades to their data-collection systems in order to take full advantage of the mounting wealth of student test results, according to a new report. Just 21 states are tracking individual student performance with a so-called student identifier that records achievement across a pupil's K-12 career -- a key element in interpreting test scores and using them to improve school policies, according to the National Center for Educational Accountability." Education Week (October 22, 2003) Online.]

[Request #S9937]

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ART EDUCATION

Acts of Achievement: The Role of Performing Arts Centers in Education. By Jane L. Polin. (The Dana Organization, New York, New York) 2003.

["This provides the first study of K-12 education programs offered by performing arts centers nationwide, and showcases 74 performing art center institutions, large and small, partnering with their local schools."]

Executive Summary. 7 p.:
http://www.dana.org/books/press/achievement/achvmt_execsum.pdf

Full Report. 172 p.:
http://www.dana.org/books/press/achievement/achvmt.pdf

[Request #S9938]

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EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

Using Science to Inform Preschool Assessment: A Summary Report of the Temple University Forum on Preschool Assessment, January 30-31, 2003. By Anita Kochanoff and others, The Center for Improving Resources in Children's Lives (CIRCL), Temple University. (The Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) October 2003. 34 p.

Full Text at: www.temple.edu/circl/CIRCL_PreSchAssesmt.pdf

["This forum was held to address what recent research in developmental science can contribute to the best possible implementation of two recent trends in education with an emphasis on early childhood learning, and a concern about accountability. The report reviews constructs and measurements in important areas of preschool functioning and provides recommendations and concludes by describing some of the necessary future directions for preschool assessment."]

[Request #S9939]

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The Incredible Years. By the Promising Practices Network on Children, Families and Communities. (RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, California) December 2003. 14 p.

Full Text at: www.promisingpractices.net/program.asp?programid=134#top

["The Incredible Years program prevents, reduces, and treats behavioral and emotional problems in children by promoting emotional and social competence. The program targets children age 2 to 8 who are at risk for or who are exhibiting conduct problems, and their parents and teachers. The program includes separate training components for parents, teachers, and children that encourage group discussion, problem solving, and sharing of ideas. Each of the training programs targets different precursors of a conduct problem in the home, classroom and school setting, with the child individually and in his or her peer group."]

[Request #S9940]

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Universal Pre-Kindergarten: State Of Play. By Gene I. Maeroff. (Foundation for Child Development, New York, New York) November 2003. 15 p.

Full Text at: www.ffcd.org/pdfs/UniversalPre-KindergartenStateofPlay.pdf

["At a time when too many of America's children are still 'left behind,' the author tells us there is still hope. Maeroff points to the progress being made at the state level: Florida's voter-approved ballot initiative that resulted in a state constitutional amendment for universal preschool; Massachusetts' state-level multisectoral leadership group coordinated with grassroots engagement; and the New Jersey Supreme Court decisions to include universal prekindergarten and full-day kindergartens as part of public education. These diverse and localized stories are strong indicators that a vibrant movement for UPK exists."]

[Request #S9941]

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State-Funded Pre-Kindergarten: What the Evidence Shows. By the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (The Department, Washington, DC) December 2003. 33 p.

Full Text at: aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/state-funded-pre-k/index.htm

["The goal of this report is to review evidence to determine the likelihood that states can meet the challenge of providing high quality, comprehensive early childhood education and whether states would be dedicated to this effort. It examines the role that states play in comprehensive early childhood education by reviewing: 1) states’ level of support for pre-kindergarten programs; 2) the quality and effectiveness of state-funded pre-kindergarten; and 3) state efforts to build integrated, comprehensive early childhood systems for children from birth through age five that have a focus on school readiness. The overall pattern of findings indicates that selected states appear ready to meet this challenge."]

[Request #S9942]

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Attending Kindergarten and Already Behind: A Statistical Portrait of Vulnerable Young Children [Issue Theme.] By Richard Wertheimer and others. Child Trends Research Brief. Publication No. 2003-20. (Child Trends, Washington, DC) December 2003. 8 p.

Full Text at: www.childtrends.org/PDF/AttendingKindergartenRB.pdf

["This brief provides a more comprehensive picture of young children attending kindergarten as of 1998-99 who were lagging behind their peers by reporting on the results of recent analyses of a nationally representative survey of kindergartners. The brief covers multiple measures within and across three areas of potential vulnerability: health, cognitive achievement, and social and emotional development."]

[Request #S9943]

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States’ Efforts in Improving the Qualifications Of Early Care and Education Teachers. By Debra J. Ackerman, National Institute for Early Education Research, Rutgers University Graduate School of Education. (The Institute, New Brunswick, New Jersey) 2003. 45 p.

Full Text at: nieer.org/resources/research/Ackerman.pdf

["Studies have shown the correlation between well-trained early care and education (ECE) teachers and children's success. This paper identifies barriers to improving ECE teachers' qualifications and details initiatives that states are employing to clear those barriers and improve the qualifications of ECE teachers."]

[Request #S9944]

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Preschool Matters [Entire Issue.] By the National Institute for Early Education Research. Vol. 1, No. 2. (The Institute, New Brunswick, New Jersey) October/November 2003. pp. 1-12.

Full Text at: nieer.org/resources/printnewsletter/OctNov2003.pdf

[Includes: "The Evidence Grows: Making an Even Better Case for Public Pre-K;" "A New Yardstick for Quality of Pre-K: Check the Size of Teachers' Paychecks;" and "It's Time to Make a Major Investment in Pre-K."]

[Request #S9945]

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Arranging and Paying For Child Care. By Margaret O'Brien-Strain and others, Public Policy Institute of California. (The Institute, San Francisco, California) 2003.

[The authors examine the current state of child care in California and the nation.... They explore the general use of child care for children ages 0-5.... In the second part they shift their attention to the other side of the policy debate -- child care's role in promoting early childhood education ... specifically at preschool enrollment for children ages 3 and 5." PPIC Research Brief (December 2003) 1.]

Research Brief. 2 p.:
http://www.ppic.org/content/pubs/RB_1203MORB.pdf

Full Report. 96 p.:
http://www.ppic.org/content/pubs/R_1203MOR.pdf

[Request #S9946]

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ETHNIC, RACIAL & CULTURAL DIVERSITY

Penalizing Diverse Schools? Similar Test Scores but Different Students Bring Federal Sanctions. By John R. Novak and Bruce Fuller, Policy Analysis for California Education (Policy Analysis for California Education, Berkeley, California) December 2003. 12 p.

Full Text at: pace.berkeley.edu/policy_brief_03-4_Pen.Div.pdf

["New federal education rules known as No Child Left Behind require that large 'subgroups' of students in each school meet academic goals. Each ethnic group, as well as low-income students and English learners, must score at a certain level or the school is subject to federal sanctions. That amounts to a 'diversity penalty,' says the study. More than 7,000 California schools, virtually all the state's schools, were included in the study." San Francisco Chronicle (December 23, 2003) Online.]

[Request #S9947]

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HEAD START

Federal Formula Grants and California: Head Start. By Tim Ransdell and Shervin Boloorian. (Public Policy Institute of California, San Francisco, California) October 2003. 40 p.

Full Text at: www.ppic.org/content/pubs/FF_1003TRFF.pdf

["This paper examines the workings and results of the distribution method used to determine the allocation of Head Start funds to the states. As with other federal programs, Head Start is treated as a formula grant because it awards funds geographically on the basis of a mathematical construct—a formula. However, Head Start differs from many other formula programs insofar as its formulaic directives are paired with unusually wide discretion that Congress has given to the federal agency distributing program funds. As might be expected, this hybridized authority and wide administrative latitude complicates prediction of future funding distribution."]

[Request #S9948]

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HEALTH

CHILDREN

State Experiences With Crowd-Out Under SCHIP. By Anna Scanlon, National Conference of State Legislatures. Legisbrief. Vol. 12, No. 2. (NCSL, Denver, Colorado) January 2004. 2 p.

["Both the concern about crowd-out and the policies designed to limit it vary widely.... Preliminary reports do show that some substitution occurred in the early years of SCHIP, but most states have not found it to be a serious problem.... Many states are looking to increase enrollment in the program after a slow start.... As the program gets older, states will have a better chance to evaluate the need for and the effectiveness of crowd-out provisions."]

[Request #S9949]

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Out in the Cold: Enrollment Freezes in Six State Children's Health Insurance Programs Withhold Coverage From Eligible Children. By Donna Cohen Ross and Laura Cox. (Kaiser Family Foundation, Washington, DC) December 2003. 21 p.

Full Text at: www.kff.org/medicaid/loader.cfm?url=/commonspot/security/getfile.cfm&PageID=28333

["This report presents the findings of a survey of state SCHIP officials and child health advocates in six states that were implementing enrollment freezes in November 2003. The survey found that the enrollment freezes in these states are causing tens of thousands of eligible children to go without health insurance and are creating inequities among children. The enrollment freezes also have amplified the need for effective outreach efforts aimed at helping families."]

[Request #S9950]

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DENTAL CARE

Unmet Dental Needs. By ChildTrends DataBank. (ChildTrends, Washington, DC) December 2003. 8 p.

Full Text at: www.childtrendsdatabank.org/pdf/82_PDF.pdf

["This paper provides information on an indicator about children's and adolescents' unmet dental needs. The indicator, one of over 80 key indicators of child and adolescent well-being in the databank, provides information on how unmet dental needs affect child and adolescent well-being; trends in unmet dental needs among children and adolescents ages 2 to 17; and differences in unmet dental needs among children and adolescents by race/ethnicity, health insurance coverage, poverty status, and age. International estimates, national goals, definitions, and data sources are also provided." National Center for Education in Maternal and Child Health and Georgetown University's MCH Alert (December 19, 2003) online.]

[Request #S9951]

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HEALTH INSURANCE

Up to 1.6 Million Low-Income People -- Including About Half A Million Children -- Are Losing Health Coverage Due To State Budget Cuts. By Michelle Bazie, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. (The Center, Washington, DC) December 22, 2003. 10 p.

Full Text at: www.cbpp.org/12-22-03health-pr.pdf

["More than 1.2 million low-income Americans, including 500,000 children, have lost health coverage as a result of state cutbacks in programs for the poor, according to this study. Further cuts are likely next year, when a temporary federal government increase in its share of Medicare expires." Sacramento Bee (December 20, 2003) A19.]

[Request #S9952]

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HEALTHY FAMILIES

Policy Matters: Setting and Measuring Benchmarks for State Policies. Promoting Better Family Health: Recommendations for State Policy. By Thabiti Anyabwile and others, Center for the Study of Social Policy. (The Center, Washington, DC) October 2003. 74 p.

Full Text at: www.cssp.org/uploadFiles/2545_Family_Health_final.pdf

["This paper presents a framework for health policies and health policy benchmarks to focus state-level strategic thinking about, and also contribute to, a national consensus on policy directions for promoting the physical and mental health of children and families. Specifically, this paper examines issues affecting the health prospects of low- and moderate-income families (up to 250 percent of the federal poverty level) from three major vantage points: (1) the affordability, availability, and accessibility of appropriate health care services; (2) health related behaviors; and (3) health supporting environments."]

[Request #S9953]

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HUMAN SERVICES

CHILD CARE

Unsupervised Time: Family and Child Factors Associated with Self-Care. By Sharon Vandivere, Child Trends, and others. Prepared for the Urban Institute. Occasional Paper No. 71. (The Institute, Washington, DC) November 2003. 47 p.

Full Text at: www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/310894_OP71.pdf

["3.3 million 6 to 12-year old children regularly take care of themselves without adult supervision, according to data from the National Survey of America's Families. Seven percent of children ages 6 to 9 and 12 percent of low-income children are in self-care." Assessing the New Federalism (December 4, 2003 1.]

[Request #S9954]

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Child Care Price Dynamics in California. By Grecia Marrufo and others. (Public Policy Institute of California, San Francisco, California) 2003.

["Although expenditures on child care subsidies in California rose from $125 million in 1992 to $1.5 billion in 2001, some 200,000 children in California are still on the waiting list for child care vouchers, and many families are eligible for assistance but unaware that they qualify for it. The authors examine California’s child care market in light of these recent policy changes. They document double-digit increases in real child care prices, significant price variation by region, and stable earnings for child care workers. They also conclude that state subsidies, which accounted for roughly 20 percent of gross receipts in the California child care market in the 1990s, put significant upward pressure on child care prices."]

Research Brief. 2 p.:
http://www.ppic.org/content/pubs/RB_1203GMRB.pdf

Full Report. 104 p.:
http://www.ppic.org/content/pubs/R_1203GMR.pdf

[Request #S9955]

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Coming Together For Children With Disabilities: State Collaboration to Support Quality, Inclusive Child Care. By Jennifer Mezey, Center for Law and Social Policy, and others. (The Center and Easter Seals, Washington, DC) December 2003. 42 p.

Full Text at: www.clasp.org/DMS/Documents/1070980704.1/ccdf_idea_rpt.pdf

["This report discusses the challenges low-income families face in attempting to access quality child care for children with disabilities; describes the CCDF and IDEA programs and the children and families they serve; discusses the importance of and barriers to collaboration; presents the findings of the CLASP/Easter Seals survey; and suggests policy recommendations for federal and state governments."]

[Request #S9956]

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CHILDREN

States Face Challenges in Developing Information Systems and Reporting Reliable Child Welfare Data. By the U.S. General Accounting Office. GAO-04-267T. (The Office, Washington, DC) November 19, 2003. 34 p.

Full Text at: www.gao.gov/new.items/d04267t.pdf

["This report focuses on three key issues: states' experiences in developing child welfare information services and Health and Human Services' role in assisting in their development; factors that affect the reliability of data that states collect and report; and HHS's role in ensuring the reliability of those data and practices that child welfare agencies use to overcome challenges."]

[Request #S9958]

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Children's Legislative Report Card: Interim Report. By The Children's Advocacy Institute. (The Institute, San Diego, California) 2003. 20 p.

Full Text at: www.caichildlaw.org/Leg_Report_Card_2003/ReportCard2003.pdf

["This Report Card reflects the grades attributed to California legislators for their votes on child-related legislation during the first year of the 2003-04 legislative session. The grades reflect each legislator's votes on 23 bills that ran through policy and fiscal committees and achieved votes on the Assembly and Senate floors."]

[Request #S9959]

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FAMILIES

Celebrating 25 Years of Working with Infants, Toddlers, and Families [Special Theme.] Zero To Three: Journal of Zero to Three National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families. Vol. 24, No. 1. (Zero to Three, Washington, DC) September 2003. pp. 1-63.

[Includes: "Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health: A Comprehensive Developmental Approach to Assessment and Intervention;" "Infant-Toddler Child Care in the United States: Where Has It Been? Where Is It Now? Where Is It Going?;" "A View of Early Childhood Development;" and others. NOTE: Zero To Three ... is available for 3-day loan."]

[Request #S9960]

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LOW INCOME

How Belief in a Just World Influences Views of Public Policy. By Lauren Appelbaum and others, National Center for Children in Poverty, Columbia University. Public Attitudes Toward Low-Income Families and Children. Research Report No. 2. (The Center, New York, New York) October 2003. 11 p.

Full Text at: www.nccp.org/media/pat03b-text.pdf

["This report examines the psychological concept of 'Belief in a Just World' and how it influences public opinion about low-income mothers and their efforts to become economically self-sufficient. Understanding these attitudes helps generate support for policies that assist low-income families."]

[Request #S9961]

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POVERTY

Family Structure, Intergenerational Mobility, and the Reproduction of Poverty: Evidence for Increasing Polarization? By Kelly Musick, University of Southern California, and Robert D. Mare, University of California, Los Angeles. Prepared for the California Center for Population Research, University of California, Los Angeles. Online Working Paper Series. Paper CCPR 025-03. (The Center, Los Angeles, California) October 2003. 44 p.

Full Text at: repositories.cdlib.org/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1020&context=ccpr

["This paper examines how patterns of intergenerational inheritance play out in the population over the long run. It found that recent patterns of intergenerational inheritance are contributing to growth in poverty and single parenthood, but their contribution is modest, falling well short of recent historical change and having little effect on the relative economic positions of single-parent and two-parent families."]

[Request #S9962]

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Administration Is Misstating Amount of Child Care Funding in Pending TANF Reauthorization Bills. By Sharon Parrott, Center for Law and Social Policy, and others. (The Center, Washington, DC) December 2003. 8 p.

Full Text at: www.clasp.org/DMS/Documents/1071588118.09/CC_funds.pdf

["Administration officials have asserted that pending authorization legislation provides $3.3 billion, the Congressional Budget Office has determined that 'at most' that figure is $1.5 billion while the author finds that the bills commit the federal government to only $1 billion in additional child care funding over the next five years."]

[Request #S9964]

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SOCIAL POLICY

Social Program Spending and State Fiscal Crises. By Kenneth Finegold and others, Urban Institute. (The Institute, Washington, DC) November 2003. 106 p.

Full Text at: www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/310888_OP70.pdf

["This analysis of seven states (California, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, and Washington) shows that the severity of the current revenue crisis far exceeds that of the recession that triggered it because states cut taxes and expanded programs based on unsustainable revenue growth during the late 1990s. All of the states studied responded to revenue declines with short-term solutions -- using reserves, transferring other funds to the general fund, refinancing debt, and shifting expenditures or revenues across fiscal years."]

[Request #S9963]

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STUDIES TO COME
[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.]

HEALTH

CHILDREN

California Report Card 2003: Focus on Children's Health. By Children Now. (Children Now, Oakland, California) November 2003.

["While California's rate of uninsured children has dropped by one-third in the past ten years, 14.3 percent of children statewide -one in seven - remain uninsured. The report focuses on infant health, health insurance and access to care, oral and mental health, nutrition and physical fitness. It was based on state and federal statistics and UCLA's 2001 California Health Interview Survey of more than 50,000 respondents." Capitol Hill Bulletin (December 19, 2003) 3. NOTE: California Report Card 2003 ... will be available for 3 day loan.]

[Request #S9965]

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INFANT MORTALITY

"Early Origins of the Gradient: The Relationship Between Socioeconomic Status and Infant Mortality in the United States." By Brian Karl Finch. IN: Demography, vol. 40, no. 4 (November 2003) pp. 675-699.

["Although relationships between social conditions and health have been documented for centuries, the past few decades have witnessed the emergence of socioeconomic gradients in health and mortality. These gradients indicate that health improves at higher levels of socioeconomic status. The results indicate that absolute material conditions are the most important determinants of socioeconomic effects on the risk of infant mortality." RAND Child Policy Project Update (December 2003) online.]

[Request #S9966]

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INFANTS & CHILDREN

"A Practice-Based Intervention to Enhance Quality of Care in the First 3 Years of Life: The Healthy Steps for Young Children Program." By Cynthia S. Minkovitz and others. IN: JAMA: Journal of the American Medical Association, vol. 290, no. 23. (December 17, 2003) pp. 3081-3091.

["Researchers found that physician practices with childhood developmental specialists on staff showed 'significant improvements' in effectiveness, patient-centeredness, timeliness, and efficiency of care. These improvements included marked parental satisfaction with the services they received; timelier preventive care, such as immunizations; and receipt of more developmental services." Commonwealth Fund (December 17, 2003) 1.]

[Request #S9967]

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MENTAL HEALTH

"Childhood and Adolescent Predictors of Major Depression in the Transition to Adulthood." By Helen Z. Reinherz and others. IN: American Journal of Psychiatry, vol. 160, no. 12. (December 2003) pp. 2141-2147.

["The study investigated the family and behavioral-emotional factors in childhood and adolescence that predict depression from ages 18 through 26. Data were collected from multiple informants, including mothers and participants, at seven points between age 5 and age 26. Findings suggest clear markers for major depression in the transition to adulthood are apparent early in life."]

[Request #S9968]

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OBESITY

"Neighborhood Playgrounds, Fast Food Restaurants, and Crime: Relationships to Overweight in Low-Income Preschool Children." By Hillary L. Burdette, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, and Robert C. Whitaker, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. IN: Preventive Medicine, vol. 38, issue 1 (January 2004) pp. 57-63.

["This study examined the relationship between overweight in preschool children and three environmental factors — the proximity of the children’s residences to playgrounds and to fast food restaurants and the safety of the children’s neighborhoods. The study concluded that overweight was not associated with proximity to playgrounds and fast food restaurants or with the level of neighborhood crime."]

[Request #S9969]

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