Subject: Studies in the News 04-31 (May 6, 2004)

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Studies in the News
Children and Family Supplement

Contents This Week

   Impact of incarceration and reentry on families
   Partnerships for early school change
   Resources for early childhood classrooms
   Training of an ECE workforce
   ECE teacher preparation in California
   Health access and racial disparity
   Research on migrant farmworker demographics
   Hispanic migrant children discuss health issues
   Dental x-rays and infant birth weight
   Early childhood teacher development
   A case for quality child care
   Postmodernist ideas and social research
   Teacher-preschooler classroom conversations
   Children and environmental exposures
   Obesity and bullying in school-age children
Introduction to Studies in the News

Studies in the News (SITN) is a current compilation of policy-related items significant to the Legislature and Governor's Office. It is created weekly by the State Library's Research Bureau and State Information & Reference Center to supplement the public policy debate in California's Capitol. To help share the latest information with state employees and other interested individuals, these reading lists are now being made accessible through the State Library's website.

How to Obtain Materials Listed in SITN:

  • When available on the Internet, the URL for the full-text of each item is provided.

  • California State Employees may contact the State Information & Reference Center (916-654-0206; with the SITN issue number and the item number [S#].

  • All other interested individuals should contact their local library - the items may be available there, or may be borrowed by your local library on your behalf.

The following studies are currently on hand:



Prisoners Once Removed: The Impact of Incarceration and Reentry on Children, Families, and Communities. Edited by Jeremy Travis and Michelle Waul. (The Urban Institute Press, Washington, DC) 2003. 396 p.

[Includes: "Prisoners Once Removed: The Children and Families of Prisoners;" "The Skill Sets and Health Care Needs of Released Offenders;" "From One Generation to the Next: How Criminal Sanctions are Reshaping Family Life in Urban America;" "The Effects of Parental Incarceration on Children: Perspectives, Promises, and Policies;" and others. NOTE: Prisoners Once Removed ... is available for 3-day loan.]

[Request #S1983]

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Effective Partnering for School Change: Improving Early Childhood Education in Urban Classrooms. By Jie-Qi Chen and Patricia Horsch. (Teachers College Press, Columbia University, New York, New York) 2004. 173 p.

["This book covers a range of topics in early childhood education (pre-K-Grade 3), including high-stakes standardized testing, a child-centered curriculum, the social-emotional development of children, behavioral management, and the effective uses of technology. It emphasizes the quality and nature of the partner relationship as the critical factor in the process of achieving school change,incorporates the voices and opinions of both sides of the partnership revealing the varied issues and competing agendas that shape these collaborations, and summarizes the major lessons learned, offering experience-based guidance on building and sustaining a university-school partnership that can serve as a foundation for improved teaching and learning, especially with young urban children." NOTE: Effective Partnering ... is available for 3-day loan.]

[Request #S1984]

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Creative Resources for the Early Childhood Classroom. By Judy Herr and Yvonne Libby Larson. (Thomson, Delmar Learning, Clifton Park, New York) 2004. 709 p.

["This book includes over one hundred activities that complement a variety of themes that make learning interesting and challenging for young children, including references for children's books, music and multimedia, sample parent letters, and methods for constructing and evaluating creative, interactive bulletin boards. The book focuses on the growth of the whole child and includes theme goals, concepts, vocabulary words, finger plays, music, resources, and experiences in art, math, and cooking." NOTE: Creative Resources ... is available for 3-day loan.]

[Request #S1985]

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Getting Qualified: A Report on the Efforts of Preschool Teachers in New Jersey’s Abbott Districts to Improve Their Qualifications. By Sharon Ryan and Debra J. Ackerman, Rutgers University. (National Institute for Early Education Research, New Brunswick, New Jersey) March 3, 2004. 34 p.

Full Text at:

["Research shows the most effective preschool teachers – those with at least a four-year college degree and specialized training in early childhood – are consistent indicators of quality in preschool programs. However, as policymakers work to increase children’s access to high-quality preschool, they also face the challenge of meeting the growing demand for the qualified teachers necessary for quality programs. Focused on teachers’ efforts to get qualified by an externally imposed time frame, this report documents the findings of a study of New Jersey’s efforts to develop qualified preschool teachers in newly created Preschool- Grade 3 (P-3) teacher preparation programs, and offers policy recommendations for the state as it works to ensure that every child in an Abbott classroom is taught by a qualified teacher."]

[Request #S1986]

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Training the Next Generation of Teachers: A Preliminary Survey of California's Higher Education Programs in Early Childhood Education and Child Development. By Marcy Whitebook and others, Center for the Study of Child Care Employment. (The Center, Berkeley, California) April 2004. 75 p.

Full Text at:

["With increased discussion of universal preschool in California, and the possibility of increased educational standards for early childhood educators, it's becoming critically important to assess the capacity of the state's higher education system to meet rising demands for teacher preparation. This report is an initial scan of the state's existing college and university offerings in early childhood education and child development."]

[Request #S1987]

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Access to Care, Provider Choice and Racial Disparities in Infant Mortality. By Anna Aizer, Brown University, and others. NBER Working Paper. No. 10445. (National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, Massachusetts) April 2004. 52 p.

Full Text at:

["Preliminary evidence suggests that 'over this period [1990-1995], neonatal mortality for black mothers on Medicaid declined 8.6 percent,' write the authors of this paper. They point out that children born to poor parents in the United States are more than twice as likely to die within the first year as those born to higher-income parents, and that it has long been hypothesized that these differences are due, in part, to unequal access to care faced by the poor. The authors examine a change in policy that occurred in California in the early 1990s that suddenly increased Medicaid payments to hospitals and that led to a sharp change in where women on Medicaid delivered, and explore whether choice of provider explains differences in neonatal death rates." Maternal and Child Health Alert (April 29, 2004).]

[Request #S1988]

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"Migrant Farmworker Children: Health Status, Barriers to Care, and Nursing Innovations in Health Care Delivery." By Marni E. Gwyther and Melinda Jenkins. IN: Journal of Pediatric Health Care, vol. 12, no. 2 (March/April 1998) pp. 60-66.

["Migrant farmworkers are one of the most health care-impoverished populations in the United States. This article presents a synthesis of the existing research on migrant demographics, major health risks, and geographic, financial, and cultural barriers to health care access. It explores innovative nursing strategies to enhance access and improve the health of migrant children."]

[Request #S1989]

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"Listening to the Quiet Voices of Hispanic Migrant Children About Health." By Astrid Hellier Wilson and others. IN: Journal of Pediatric Nursing, vol. 15, no. 3 (June 2000) pp. 137-147.

["There is a paucity of literature related to school-aged migrant children's perceptions of their own health. To best provide culturally competent care, focus-groups allowed their voices to be heard by primary health care providers at a summer school program for children of migrant farm workers in Georgia. Six themes emerged: healthy behaviors; acculturation issues; environmental influences; health care actions; health behavior outcomes; and learning needs."]

[Request #S1990]

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"Antepartum Dental Radiography and Infant Low Birth Weight." By Phillipe P. Hujoel and others. IN: Journal of the American Medical Association, vol. 291, no. 16 (April 28, 2004) pp. 1987-1993.

["Dental X-Rays Might Lead to Small Babies: Women who undergo dental X-rays while pregnant face an increased risk of having underweight babies, a study found. The study lacked data on whether babies born to X-ray - exposed mothers developed any problems associated with low birth weight, including lung ailments and delays in physical or mental growth....While doctors and dentists usually are cautious about taking X-rays during pregnancy, pregnant women have been told that medical and dental X-rays are safe." San Francisco Chronicle (April 28, 2004) A5.]

[Request #S1991]

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By a Thread: How Child Care Centers Hold on to Teachers, How Teachers Build Lasting Careers. By Marcy Whitebook and Laura Sakai. (W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, Kalamazoo, Michigan) 2004. 145 p.

["Despite the growing demand and the increased recognition of the importance of early childhood development, the child care industry suffers from high turnover among both staff and leadership, thereby imperiling the overall quality of care provided by child care centers. The authors conclude with three policy recommendations that echo the suggestions made to them by the teaching staff and directors interviewed in their survey. They recommend: 1) expanding the focus of K-12 education reforms to include preschool years; 2) creating national legislation that encourages state and local investments to improve compensation for child care workers; and 3) considering whether child care workers might strengthen their hand when it comes to negotiating compensation packages through formal organization." NOTE: By A Thread ... is available for 3-day loan.]

[Request #S1992]

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Growing Up in Child Care: A Case for Quality Early Education. By Ben Mardell. (Heinemann, Portsmouth, New Hampshire) 2002. 97 p.

["High-quality child care has proven effective in longitudinal studies of the subsequent intellectual, emotional, and social growth of children... By looking closely at the experiences of a group in a high-quality center, the author offers concrete data from children and parents about what child care entails, a model for child-care teachers for building an effective classroom, an image of what is possible, and a call to action." NOTE: Growing Up in Child Care... is available for 3-day loan.]

[Request #S1993]

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New Approaches in Social Research. By Carol Grbich. (Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, California) 2004. 152 p.

["This book is split into two parts: Part 1 offers a critical discussion of recent philosophical debates and emerging trends within the field of postmodernism; Part 2 breaks down the research process into its constituent parts and reflects on the changing aspects of postmodern thought and their impact on the process of researching the social world." NOTE: New Approaches . . . is available for 3-day loan.]

[Request #S1994]

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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.]



"Teacher–Child Conversation in the Preschool Classroom." By Susan L. Massey, University of Virginia. IN: Early Childhood Education Journal, vol. 31, no. 4 (June 2004) pp. 227-231.

["This article explores conversations between preschool children and their teachers in the classroom environment where teachers have an opportunity to engage students in cognitively challenging conversations at critical times during the day: book reading, playtime, and mealtimes. The article provides examples of the types of conversations preschool educators can model and facilitate in order to further develop a child's oral language and subsequent literacy skills during the school day."]

[Request #S1995]

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"The Vulnerability, Sensitivity, and Resiliency of the Developing Embryo, Infant, Child, and Adolescent to the Effects of Environmental Chemicals, Drugs, and Physical Agents as Compared to the Adult." By R. Brent and M. Weitzman. IN: Pediatrics, vol. 113, no. 4, Supplement. (April 2004) pp. 933-1172.

["This study provides information about the effects of environmental exposures on children and ways to protect them from these exposures. The articles in the supplement provide information on well-known environmental exposures including prenatal and postnatal environmental tobacco smoke, lead, mercury, pesticides, and air pollution. Examples of other topics are (1) the variable effect of environmental toxicant exposures on the organs and tissues of infants, children, and adolescents and (2) the changing requirements for evaluating pharmacologic agents." Maternal and Child Health Alert (April 16, 2004).]

[Request #S1996]

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"Associations Between Overweight and Obesity With Bullying Behaviors in School-Aged Children." By Ian Janssen and others. IN: Pediatrics, vol. 113, no. 5 (May 2004) pp. 1187-1194.

["Bullying A Concern For Obese Children: Overweight kids are more likely to be victims and abusers. The results in a study of 5,749 Canadian youngsters ... echo data from a U.S. study published last year in which obese children rated their quality of life as low as that of young cancer patients because of teasing and weight-related health problems." Sacramento Bee (May 3, 2004) A5.]

[Request #S1997]

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