Subject: Studies in the News 04-61 (September 15, 2004)

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Studies in the News for
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Children and Families Commission

Contents This Week

Introductory Material

   Children of prisoners
   Teaching social communication skills
   Quality pre-k and public schools
   Children and structured free play
   Preschool and school achievement gap
   Reading with children
   Family income and parents' education
   Parents working and raising children
   Air pollution and lung development
   Child development and relationships
   Orphanages and foster care
   Poverty and children
   Barriers and health care for special needs children
   Children with special health care needs
Introduction to Studies in the News

Studies in the News: Children and Family Supplement is a service provided to the First 5 California by the California State Library. The service features weekly lists of current articles focusing on Children and Family policy. Prior lists can be viewed from the California State Library's Web site at

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:



Children of Prisoners: [Special Issue.] IN: Children's Voice, vol. 13, no. 5 (September/October 2004) pp. 1-47.

[Includes: "Children of Prisoners;" "Mentoring;" "Making Their Voices Heard;" "A Bill of Rights;" "How to Have an Effective Parent-Teacher Conference (with Relatively Little Stress);" "A 12-Step Approach for Recovering Parents;" and others. NOTE: Children's Voice is available for 3-day loan.]

[Request #S3979]

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Good Talking Words: A Social Communications Skills Program for Preschool and Kindergarten Classes. By Lucy Hart Paulson and Rick van den Pol. (Sopris West, Longmont, Colorado) 1998. Kit.

["This program provides a method of teaching developmentally appropriate social communication skills to young children through a direct instructional approach. The lessons focus on teaching specific concepts and vocabulary to children that give them the words to use and show them the expected behaviors needed for successful interactions with their peers and adults." NOTE: Good Talking Words ... is available for 3-day loan.]

[Request #S3980]

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Julie Hancock et al. vs. David P. Driscoll et al. Massachusetts Superior Court. April 26, 2004.

["Judge Sees Quality Pre-K Necessary Part of 'Adequate' Public Schools; Key Finding Could Lead to Public Preschool for 60,000 Children Across the State.... If the Massachusetts Supreme Court follows the recommendations of a superior court judge ... children in Massachusetts may have the right to high quality preschool with certified teachers and small classes." Preschool Matters (April/May 2004) 3.]

Table of Contents. 10 p.:

Summary of Report. 5 p.:

Report. 315 p.:

Appendix A. 4 p.:

Appendix B. 15 p.:

[Request #S3981]

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Directed Play: 230 Activities for Young Children. By Michael A. Rettig and Kelly McCarthy-Rettig. (Sopris West, Longmont, Colorado) 2003. 403 p.

["Play is a fun and natural way for children to learn about the world and to practice the skills they will need as adults. Directed Play, a teaching curriculum for three-to six-year-olds, uses 'structured free play' as a means to focus on target objectives and to direct the efforts of any educator who might have concerns about a child's social or personal development." NOTE: Directed Play... is available for 3-day loan.]

[Request #S3982]

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Open the Preschool Door, Close the Preparation Gap. By Sara Mead, Progressive Policy Institute. (The Institute, Washington, DC) September 2004. 23 p.

Full Text at:

["In states around the country, there's a closely related debate underway: how to reduce the school achievement gap between disadvantaged kids and their peers at the very beginning, before they enter kindergarten. The author lays out a realistic national strategy for early childhood education aimed at creating high-quality preschool opportunities for all 4-year-olds through a federal-state partnership and a commitment to accountability for results." CDPI Early Education in the News (September 12, 2004).]

[Request #S3983]

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How to Read With Your Children: Parent/Caregiver's Guide and Educator/Workshop Leader's Guide. By Phyllis A. Wilken. (Sopris West, Longmont, Colorado) 1996. 107 p.

["Reading is a skill that opens doors for life. It is also a skill that improves with practice. The author shares simple suggestions about why, what, where, when, and how parents and other caregivers can read to preschool and primary grade children. Parents/caregivers who read with children on a regular basis have the opportunity to demonstrate the importance of reading, observe their children's reading development and performance, and fully participate in making their children lifelong, independent readers." NOTE: How to Read... is available for 3-day loan.]

[Request #S3984]

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The Effects of Parental Education on Income. By Heather Koball. (The National Center for Children in Poverty, New York, New York) September 2004. 2 p.

Full Text at:

["Higher education is one of the most effective ways that parents can raise their families’ incomes. There is clear evidence that more highly educated parents have higher earnings. Over the past two decades, parents with less education have been losing economic ground. Policies that support education for low-income parents and children offer them the potential for lasting economic security."]

[Request #S3985]

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Parents Raising Children: The Workplace. By Donna M. Klein, Corporate Voices for Working Families. Presented to U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Children and Families, Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. (Corporate Voices, Washington, DC) April 22, 2004. 8 p.

Full Text at:

["This paper focuses on four essential pillars that working families need and often do not have: early care and education for young children as well as after-school for older children; flexibility in the scheduling of work; supportive elder care; and family economic security."]

[Request #S3986]

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"The Effect of Air Pollution on Lung Development from 10 to 18 Years of Age." By W. James Gauderman, Department of Preventative Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, and others. IN: New England Journal of Medicine, vol. 351, no. 11 (September 9, 2004) pp. 1057-1067.

["New research shows that teenagers who grow up in heavy air pollution have reduced lung capacity, putting them at risk for illness and premature death as adults. In the longest study to date of pollution's impact on developing lungs, University of Southern California researchers followed children raised in communities around Los Angeles - some very polluted, some not - for eight years. They found about 8 percent of 18-year-olds had lung capacity less than 80 percent of normal, compared with about 1.5 percent of those in communities with the least pollution. San Jose Mercury News (September 9, 2004) online.]

[Request #S3987]

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Young Children Develop in an Environment of Relationships. By the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child. Working Paper No. 1. (The Council, Waltham, Massachusetts) 2004. 12 p.

Full Text at:

["Young children experience their world as an environment of relationships, and these relationships affect virtually all aspects of their development – intellectual, social, emotional, physical, behavioral, and moral. The quality and stability of a child’s human relationships in the early years lay the foundation for a wide range of later developmental outcomes that really matter – self-confidence and sound mental health, motivation to learn, achievement in school and later in life, the ability to control aggressive impulses and resolve conflicts in nonviolent ways, knowing the difference between right and wrong, having the capacity to develop and sustain casual friendships and intimate relationships, and ultimately to be a successful parent oneself. This paper highlights the research supporting this concept."]

[Request #S3988]

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A Return to Orphanages? By Madelyn Freundlich and others. (Children's Rights, New York, New York) July 2004. 45 p.

Full Text at:

["The 'new orphanages' examined in this study reflect a cyclical interest in institutional care for children in foster care in the United States. Interest in developing orphanages, for example, surfaced in the early 1990s, declined, then arose again in the early 2000s. The most recent wave of interest appears to have been spurred by the convergence of two factors: a growing dissatisfaction with the quality of foster care in the US and the leadership of charismatic individuals who are committed to institutional care as the solution to the needs of children in the foster care system. Based on the research conducted for this study, there appears to be consensus that although the level of interest in developing 'new orphanages' has stabilized over the past two years, 'orphanages' will 'never go away.' Based on what is known from the research about the highly negative impact of institutional care on children, efforts to create new institutions raise serious concerns about the impact of these approaches on children’s well-being and the investment of increasingly limited resources in such efforts."]

[Request #S3989]

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Defining Poverty and Why it Matters for Children. By the Children's Defense Fund. (The Fund, Washington DC) August 2004. 3 p.

Full Text at:

["According to this analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data, the overwhelming majority of newly poor Americans are children. Today 35.9 million people, including 12.9 million children, are living in poverty. Extreme child poverty grew 11.5 percent in one year. Latino and black children have been the hardest hit." Moving Ideas News (September 8, 2004).]

[Request #S3990]

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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.]



"Parents' Reports of Barriers to Care for Children with Special Health Care Needs: Development and Validation of the Barriers to Care Questionnaire." By M. Seid and others. IN: Ambulatory Pediatrics, vol. 4, no. 4 (July/August 2004) pp. 323-331.

["The article describes the development and validation of the BCQ (Barriers of Care Questionnaire,) an instrument designed to measure parents' reports of experiences or circumstances that may interfere with access to or use of care for their CSHCN (children with special health care needs), with making the most of the clinical encounter, or with adhering to medical instructions.... The data implies, the authors conclude, that 'modifiable factors, such as access, barriers, and processes of care, might be fruitful targets for policies and programs to reduce racial and ethnic disparities.'"]

[Request #S3991]

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"A National Assessment of Children with Special Health Care Needs: Prevalence of Special Needs and Use of Health Care Services Among Children in the Military Health System." By Thomas V. Williams, TRICARE Management Activity. IN: Pediatrics, vol. 114, no. 2 (August 2004) pp. 384-393.

["Children with Special Health Care Needs (CSHCN) compose 23% of the enrollees who are younger than 18 years and whose parents responded to the survey. The needs of a majority of these children consist of prescription medications and services targeting medical, mental health, and educational needs. CSHCN experience 5 times as many admissions and 10 times as many days in hospitals compared with children without special needs. CSHCN are responsible for nearly half of outpatient visits for enrolled children and more than three quarters of inpatient days. Service utilization varies dramatically by type of special need and other demographic variables. CSHCN represent a major challenge to organized systems of care and our society. Because they represent a group of children who are particularly at risk with potential for improved health outcomes, efforts to improve quality, coordinate care, and optimize efficiency should focus on this target population."]

[Request #S3992]

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