Subject: Studies in the News 05-11 (April 27, 2005)

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Studies in the News for
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Children and Families Commission

Contents This Week

   Defining and measuring child neglect
   Child maltreatment statistics
   Prekindergarten and educational achievement
   Academic achievement variables
   Ready environments and kindergarten achievements
   Prekindergarten and middle income children
   Early care and education in Mexico
   Early education and care in Canada
   Preschool and socioemotional development
   Definition of school readiness
   Predictors of bullying behavior
   Newborn hearing screening
   International perspective on child care
   Nutrition and health of low-income Americans
   Life expectancy variables
   Neighborhood conditions and health
   Childcare and aggressive children
   Early learning research and school readiness
   Medicaid and children with special health 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:



"Definition and Measurement of Neglectful Behavior: Some Principles and Guidelines." By Murray A. Strauss and Glenda Kaufman Kantor. IN: Child Abuse and Neglect, vol. 29, no. 1 (January 2005) pp. 19-29.

["According to the authors' definition, neglect is a failure to act in ways that are presumed by a culture to be necessary to meet the needs of the child and that are considered to be the responsibility of the caregiver to provide. The authors provide a conceptual analysis of their definition of neglect and identify principles, criteria, and problems in creating measures of neglect." Children's Bureau Express (April 2005).]

[Request #S51101]

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Child Maltreatment 2003. By the Administration of Children and Families, Department of Health and Human Services. (The Department, Washington, DC) 2005. 170 p.

Full Text at:

["According to this report, approximately 906,000 children were victims of child abuse or neglect in 2003. The rate of victimization for 2003 was 12.4 victims per 1,000 children -- a rate that has remained fairly steady for the last few years (12.3 in 2002 and 12.4 in 2001) but that represents a significant decrease from 1993, when the rate of abused and neglected children peaked at 15.3 per 1,000 children." Children's Bureau Express (April 2005) 1.]

[Request #S51102]

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Effects of Preschool on Educational Achievement. By Luis M. Laosa. NIEER Working Paper. (National Institute for Early Education Research, New Brunswick, New Jersey) March 30, 2005. 15 p.

Full Text at:

["Can current school reform policies like the 'No Child Left Behind Act' close the achievement gap? This paper addresses the origins of the achievement gap and the role prekindergarten can play in the public school system as it addresses the problem."]

[Request #S51103]

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Physical, Environmental, and Sociodemographic Influences on Elementary Students. By the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. ResearchBrief. Vol. 3, No. 8. (The Association, Alexandria, Virginia) April 12, 2005. 3 p.

Full Text at:

["In designing the study, the researchers looked at a variety of measures outside of the school and then attempted to measure how these variables related to student achievement and physical development?particularly for high-and low-poverty students."]

[Request #S51104]

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"The Impact of Ready Environments on Achievement in Kindergarten." By Regena Fails Nelson. IN: Journal of Research in Childhood Education, vol. 19, no. 3 (Spring 2005) pp. 215-221.

["The purpose of this study was to examine how young children's homes and preschool programs influence kindergarten achievement by being 'ready environments.' Ready environments provide opportunities for cognitive and social growth through culturally and developmentally appropriate activities, interactions, and materials. Data from 10,000 kindergarten children were analyzed."]

[Request #S51105]

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The Benefits of Prekindergarten for Middle Income Children. By Karen Schulman and W. Steven Barnett, National Institute for Early Education Research. Policy Report. (The Institute, New Brunswick, New Jersey) March 2005. 14 p.

Full Text at:

[?Many children from middle-income families enter kindergarten behind their peers, often because the supply of early care and education programs in middle-income neighborhoods is no greater than in low-income neighborhoods. Yet research shows that high-quality preschool programs provide gains for middle-income children, particularly in letter-word identification and spelling scores. This policy report analyzes what the research says about access to and gains made in high-quality preschool programs by children from middle-income families.?]

[Request #S51106]

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OECD Thematic Review of Early Childhood Education and Care: Mexico Reports. By the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. (OECD, Paris, France) 2003.

["Invited by the participating countries, OECD expert teams evaluate each country?s policy, programs and provision for children from birth to compulsory school age. Prior to the Review, participating countries publish a background report describing current policy and practice, and outline the challenges that ECEC policy faces in the coming years. After the expert review, the OECD publishes a country note that notes the issues observed, and suggests solutions and recommendations for the consideration of the competent authorities."]

Background Report (Spanish Only). 224 p.:

Country Note for Mexico. 62 p.:

[Request #S51107]

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OECD Thematic Review of Early Childhood Education and Care in Canada. By Gillian Doherty, Martha Friendly and Jane Beach, Social Development-Canada. (Social Development-Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) 2004. 97 p.

Full Text at:

["This report contributes to the growing body of knowledge in Canada concerning best practices for early childhood education and care programs and services that support children's healthy development and help working parents and those returning to school. It provides an overview of early childhood education and care policy and provision across the country."]

[Request #S51108]

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Promoting Children?s Social and Emotional Development Through Preschool. By Judi Boyd and others, National Institute for Early Education Research. Policy Report. (The Institute, New Brunswick, New Jersey) 2005. 20 p.

Full Text at:

[?This policy report describes the importance of social and emotional development of children, reviews the evidence that high-quality preschool can promote social and emotional development, and describes characteristics of programs most likely to benefit children. Recommendations include establishing standards on the outcomes programs are expected to achieve for social and emotional development and expanding access to high-quality preschool programs.?]

[Request #S51109]

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Prepared for Kindergarten: What Does "Readiness" Mean? By Debra J. Ackerman and W. Steven Barnett, National Institute for Early Education Research. (The Institute, New Brunswick, New Jersey) 2005. 23 p.

Full Text at:

[?What does school readiness mean? From age-eligibility requirements to readiness testing and from academics to social skills, it often depends on whom you ask. Studies have shown that teachers cite children's ability to communicate and pay attention as important factors of readiness while parents often concentrate on academic skills, such as counting to 20 or knowing letters, as being necessary for school readiness. How can we know that children are truly ready for school? This brief examines key issues for public policy related to school readiness, the relationship between school readiness and other factors in young children's lives, and challenges in readying children for kindergarten.?]

[Request #S51110]

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"Early Cognitive Stimulation, Emotional Support, and Television Watching as Predictors of Subsequent Bullying Among Grade-school Children." By Frederick J. Zimmerman and others. IN: Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, vol. 159, no. 4 (April 2005) pp. 384-388.

["This study found that the more television 4-year-old children watch the more likely they are to becomes bullies later on in school. At the same time, children whose parents read to them, take them on outings and just generally pay attention to them are less likely to become bullies. Bullying can now be added to the list of potential negative consequences of excessive television viewing along with obesity, inattention and other types of aggression." Reuters (April 4, 2005) 1.]

[Request #S51111]

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Tune in to Newborn Hearing Screening. By the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs. Policy Brief. (The Association, Washington, DC) March 2005. 2 p.

Full Text at:

["This brief discusses the impact of undetected hearing loss in infants and children and presents recommendations for achieving the national Healthy People 2010 goal of hearing screening of 100% of newborns by age 1 month. It addresses the state and federal roles in early hearing detection and intervention and tracking and data management." MCH Alert (March 18, 2005).]

[Request #S51112]

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International Struggles and Strategies in Improving Caregiving/Child Relationships in Group Care [Issue Theme.] Infant Mental Health Journal. Vol. 26, No. 2. (World Association for Infant Mental Health, East Lansing, Michigan) March/April 2005. pp. 93-176.

[Includes: "Improvements in early care in Russian orphanages and their relationship to observed behaviors;" "Emotional quality of childcare centers in Israel: The Haifa study of early childcare;" and "An educational intervention improves developmental progress of young children in a Romanian orphanage; and others." NOTE: Infant Mental Health Journal is available for 3-day loan.]

[Request #S51113]

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Nutrition and Health Characteristics of Low-income Populations. By Biing-Hwan Lin and others, Economic Research Service, U. S. Department of Agriculture. Agriculture Information Bulletin No. AIB796. (The Service, Washington, DC) February 2005.

["The summaries highlight key findings of the multi-volume Nutrition and Health Outcomes Study and examine the nutritional and health status of: Food Stamp Program participants; Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children participants; school-age children; and older Americans."]

Nutrition and Health Characteristics of Low-Income Populations: Healthy Eating Index. By Biing-Hwan Lin. 4 p.:

Nutrition and Health Characteristics of Low-Income Populations: Usual Nutrient Intakes. By Katherine Ralston. 4 p.:

Nutrition and Health Characteristics of Low-Income Populations: Body Weight Status. By Biing-Hwan Lin. 4 p.:

Nutrition and Health Characteristics of Low-Income Populations: Meal Patterns, Milk and Soft Drink Consumption, and Supplement Use. By Elizabeth Frazao. 4 p.:

Nutrition and Health Characteristics of Low-Income Populations: Clinic Measures of Iron, Folate, Vitamin B12, Cholesterol, Bone. By Elizabeth Frazao. 4 p.:

[Request #S51114]

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"A Potential Decline in Life Expectancy in the United States in the 21st Century." By Jay S. Olshansky and others. IN: New England Journal of Medicine, vol. 352, no. 11 (March 17, 2005) pp. 1138-1146.

["When it comes to impending disasters, junk food and inactivity may pose a greater threat than the massive temblor haunting the California consciousness. The report stated that obesity threatens to dramatically reduce life expectancy for the first time in centuries." Contra Costa Times (March 19, 2005) 1.]

[Request #S51115]

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Does Neighborhood Deterioration Lead to Poor Health? By Cohen D. K. Mason, RAND Health, The RAND Corporation. (The Corporation, Santa Monica, California) 2005. 4 p.

Full Text at:

[?These studies make clear that, while the traditional thinking about health in America society has been that the individual alone decides whether or not to engage in healthy or unhealthy behaviors, the conditions in which the individual lives may also contribute to his or her health and longevity. Although the research could not establish the cause-and-effect relationships between neighborhood conditions and health outcomes, future studies may be able to shed more light on the role of the environment in determining people?s health.?]

[Request #S51116]

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Early Child Care and Children's Development in the Primary Grades: Follow-up Results from the NICHD Study of Early Child Care. By Deborah Lowe Vandell and others. Presented at the Society for Research in Child Development. (The Society, Atlanta, Georgia) April 2005.

["Child care turns children into aggressive and disobedient kindergarten kids. While babies and toddlers who spent 45 hours or more a week in day-care centers became more aggressive for a few years than peers who spent less time in child care, researchers found behavioral problems disappeared by the end of year 3 at school. The study also found that children in quality care developed better language and memory skills than children in poor quality care, and were more adept at reading and math in year 3." (April 11, 2005) 1.]

[Request #S51117]

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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.]



Leading Early Childhood Learning Communities: What Principals Should Know and Be Able to Do. By the National Association of Elementary School Principals. (The Association, Alexandria, Virginia) 2005. 96 p.

["The report provides a synthesis of key research findings on early childhood learning, including recent research on brain development, which shows that children's learning is enhanced by their early childhood experiences. This research, coupled with practical examples of principals from around the country, provides a framework to help school leaders and others who lead pre-k programs reflect on their work and improve their schools." Early Education in the News (April 17, 2005). NOTE: Leading Early Childhood Learning Communities .... will be available for 3-day loan.]

[Request #S51118]

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"Incentives in a Medicaid Carve-out: Impact on Children with Special Health Care Needs." By Moira Inkelas, UCLA School of Public Health. IN: Health Services Research, vol. 40, no. 1 (February 2005) pp. 79-100.

["This study shows that a financing policy designed to preserve access can actually improve children's access to prevailing standards of care by strengthening health plan and provider incentives to identify vulnerable populations in need of specialty care, and care coordination." Maternal and Child Health Alert (March 4, 2005).]

[Request #S51119]

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