Subject: Studies in the News 04-9 (February 10, 2004)

Studies in the News
Children and Family Supplement

Contents This Week

Introductory Material EDUCATION
   Impact of space on children
   Head Start services
   Analysis of the Head Start bill
   Rise in children's nut allergies
   Quality indicators for low-birthweight infants
   Strengthening the supply of vaccines
   Low-income children and child care
   Long term effects of family investment program
   Assessing the effects of foster care
   Aging out of foster care
   Factors affecting home visitation quality
   Study of welfare leavers
   Child's play and academic achievement
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:



"Beginnings Workshop: Space [Issue Theme.]" IN: Child Care Information Exchange, no. 155. (January/February 2004) pp. 33-48.

[Includes: "The Experience of Space, The Pleasure of Space;" "Thinking Inside the Box: An Architect Looks at New Models for Children's Space;" "A Place for Spatial Knowledge in Person and Social Understanding;" and others.]

[Request #S1180]

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Head Start Comprehensive Services: A Key Support For Early Learning For Poor Children. By Kate Irish, Docs for Tots, and others. Head Start Series. Brief No. 4. (Center for Law and Social Policy, Washington, DC) January 2004. 8 p.

Full Text at:

["This policy brief uses available information to describe Head Start and Early Head Start services. We present data from Head Start Program Information Reports from the most recent program year, 2001-2002, and compare them, when possible, to national data on the services low-income children and families receive."]

[Request #S1181]

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Head Start Reauthorization: A Section-By-Section Analysis of the Senate Bill (S. 1940.) By Rachel Schumacher and Mark Greenberg, Center for Law and Social Policy. (The Center, Washington, DC) January 23, 2004. 44 p.

Full Text at:

["The Head Start Improvements for School Readiness Act (S. 1940) was filed November 24, 2003, by Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) on behalf of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee. This document provides an overview summary of the provisions of the Senate HELP Committee bill, a brief summary of key similarities with and differences from the House-passed reauthorization bill (H.R. 2210), and a section-by-section analysis of the 117-page Senate bill." Moving Ideas News (January 28, 2004).]

[Request #S1182]

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"Prevalence of Peanut and Tree Nut Allergy in the United States Determined by Means of a Random Digit Dial Telephone Survey: A 5-Year Follow-up Study." By Scott H. Sicherer and others. And "Prevalence of Peanut Allergy in Primary-School Children in Montreal, Canada." By Rhoda S. Kagan and others. IN: Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, vol. 112, no. 6 (December 2003) pp. 1203-1207; 1223-1228.

["Studies See Rise in Children's Nut Allergies: Nut and peanut allergies may be getting more common in children, doubling over the last five years in the United States researchers reported. Two reports suggest that peanut and tree nut allergies, which can be deadly, will continue to become more common. Peanut allergies affect an estimated 1.5 million Americans, and 200 people die every year from severe allergic reactions, called anaphylactic reactions, to peanuts." Los Angeles Times (December 11,2003) 24.]

[Request #S1183]

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"Indirect Versus Direct Hospital Quality Indicators for Very Low Birthweight Infants." By Jeannette A. Rogowski and others. IN: JAMA: Journal of the American Medical Association, vol. 291, no. 2 (January 14, 2004) pp. 202-209.

["The goal of the study was to assess how accurately patient volume predicts quality of care for VLBW infants and to compare volume with direct indicators, such as patient mortality.... The analysis found that an increase in volume was associated with a fairly large decrease in VLBW infant mortality.... Hospitals with fewer than 50 annual admissions of VLBW infants, an additional ten admissions were associated with an 11 percent reduction in mortality." Rand Health Research Highlights (2004) 1.]

[Request #S1184]

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"Strengthening the Supply of Routinely Recommended Vaccines in the United States: Recommendations From the National Vaccine Advisory Committee." By The National Vaccine Advisory Committee. IN: JAMA: Journal of the American Medical Association, vol. 290, no. 23 (December 17, 2003) pp. 3122 - 3128.

["The report ... found that starting in late 2000, 'significant unprecedented and unanticipated shortages' of vaccines for chicken pox, diphtheria, measles, mumps, pneumonia, rubella, tetanus and whooping cough occurred in the United States. According to the report, the shortages occurred because of a relatively small number of vaccine suppliers; a lack of investment in vaccine manufacturing facilities; the high cost and complexity of development, approval, manufacturing and distribution of vaccines; and the 'low value' the public places in vaccines as represented by the prices paid." Washington Times (December 17, 2003).]

[Request #S1185]

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Children in Low-Income Families Are Less Likely to be in Center-Based Child Care. By Jeffrey Capizzano and Gina Adams. Snapshots3 of America's Families. No. 16. (Urban Institute, Washington, DC) 2004. 2 p.

Full Text at:

["Seventy-three percent of children younger than 5 with employed mothers are regularly in child care. Three- and four-year-olds in higher-income families are more likely than low-income children to be in center-based care (46 percent compared with 36 percent)." Urban Institute Update (January 28, 2004) 1.]

[Request #S1186]

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The Long-Term Effects of the Minnesota Family Investment Program on Marriage and Divorce Among Two-Parent Families. By Lisa A. Gennetian, Management Decision and Research Center. Prepared for the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (The Center, New York, New York) October 2003. 41 p.

Full Text at:

["Even though the Minnesota Family Investment Program made a big difference, it was expensive and wasn't renewed when the initial experiment came to an end.... By allowing welfare checks to be combined with income from work, the MFIP helped to keep couples together and made marriage seem a more viable option." Business Week (October 20, 2003) 116.]

[Request #S1187]

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Assessing the Effects of Foster Care: Early Results From the Casey National Alumni Study. By Peter J. Pecora and others, Casey Family Programs. (The Programs, Seattle, Washington) 2003. 57 p.

Full Text at:

["This study compiles case record data from more than 1,000 foster care alumni who went through any of 23 Casey programs and presents factors that researchers found predicted success for those youth when they became adults. Among the key factors: life skills preparation, being male, retaining housing after aging out, and getting a high school diploma before leaving foster care." Youth Today (December/January 2004) 30.]

[Request #S1188]

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Dependent Youth Aging Out of Foster Care: A Guide For Judges. By Jennifer Pokempner and Lourdes M. Rosado, Juvenile Law Center. (The Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) 2003. 10 p.

Full Text at:

["Many young people who are raised in families remain in their parents' homes and draw on parental support -- both financial and non-financial -- well after reaching the age of majority. By contrast, youth in care do not have this option and often are cut off from their sole support system at age 18. The juvenile court has the opportunity -- and a special obligation -- to ensure that youth entrusted to the state’s care have the support they need to age out of care as self-sufficient, healthy, and productive adults. This publication is designed to aid the court in planning for these youth."]

[Request #S1189]

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"Relations Among Mother and Home Visitor Personality, Relationship Quality, and Amount of Time Spent in Home Visits." By Elizabeth A. Sharp and others. IN: Journal of Community Psychology, vol. 31, no. 6 (November 2003) pp. 591-606.

["Research indicates home visiting relates to better outcomes for families, but few programs actually provide the prescribed amount of home visiting time. Until now, reasons for the discrepancy between prescribed and actual home visits have been unclear. This study has found personality traits of both mothers and home visitors may impact the amount of time spent in home visits." Children's Bureau Express (December 2003/January 2004) online.]

[Request #S1190]

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Moving Beyond Welfare: What Do We Know About Former CalWORKs Recipients? By Scott Graves, California Budget Project. (The Project, Sacramento, California) December 2003. 17 p.

Full Text at:

["The report, using data from major California metropolitan areas, other states, and the nation examined why recipients left the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) system, where they went and how much they earned if they took jobs.... The study recommends that the state initiate ongoing monitoring and evaluation of welfare leavers, including outcomes by race and ethnicity, and include rural areas in its tracking efforts." California Capitol Report (January 9, 2004) 1.]

[Request #S1191]

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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.]



Einstein Never Used Flash Cards: How Our Children REALLY Learn - And Why They Need to Play More and Memorize Less. By Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Temple University, and Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, University of Delaware. (Rodale, Inc., New York, New York) 2003. 302 p.

[" The authors join together to prove that training preschoolers with flash cards and attempting to hurry intellectual development doesn't pay off. In fact, the authors claim, kids who are pressured early on to join the academic rat race don't fair any better than children who are allowed to take their time. Instead of pushing preschoolers into academically oriented programs that focus on early achievement, they suggest that children learn best through simple playtime, which enhances problem solving skills, attention span, social development and creativity. 'Play is to early childhood as gas is to a car,' say Hirsh-Pasek and Golinkoff, explaining that reciting and memorizing will produce 'trained seals' rather than creative thinkers." Publishers Weekly. NOTE: Einstein Never...will be available for 3-day loan.]

[Request #S1192]

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