Subject: Studies in the News 05-31 (September 13, 2005)

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Studies in the News for
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Children and Families Commission

Contents This Week

   Developmental delays and young maltreated children
   Achieving high returns for ECD
   Early childhood professional development
   Developmentally appropriate practice
   Devloping quality rating systems in early care
   Challenges to states of providing pre-k
   Helping toddlers become readers
   Home environment and school readiness
   Male teachers in preschool education
   Preschoolers and new classrooms
   Emotional capacity of infants
   Maternal depression and infant mental health
   Young children's behavior in married/unmarried families
   Skipping care because of cost
   Parenting skills and preschoolers
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:



Identification of Young Maltreated Children's Developmental Delays. By Steven Rosenberg, University of Colorado, Denver and others. Prepared for the Conference on Child Protection: Using Research to Improve Policy and Practice. (Brookings Institution, Washington, DC) June 2005. 10 p.

Full Text at:

["Children who are maltreated are thought to have high rates of developmental problems. This study estimated rates of developmental delays for maltreated children under three years of age, and caseworker recognition of those developmental problems using the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW). Study findings indicate that developmental delays occurred in 43 percent of these children. However, caseworkers were only able to identify 21 percent of the children who were found to have delayed development based on assessments conducted for NSCAW. This evidence of high rates of developmental problems that are often unrecognized by child welfare workers suggests more effective mechanisms are needed for identifying and enrolling these children these into early intervention services for children with developmental delays."]

[Request #S53101]

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A Proposal for Achieving High Returns on Early Childhood Development. By Rob Grunewald and Arthur Rolnick, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Draft. (The Bank, Minneapolis, Minnesota) May 2005. 34 p.

Full Text at:

["We argue that a large-scale program can succeed if it has the following three features: the program focuses on at-risk children and encourages direct parent involvement; the program represents a long-term commitment to ECD; and the program rewards successful outcomes in order to encourage high-quality and innovative practices. To establish a successful, large-scale ECD program, therefore, we propose a permanent scholarship fund for all families with at-risk children."]

[Request #S53102]

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Cross-Sector Early Childhood Professional Development. By Anne Mitchell and Sarah LeMoine, National Child Care Information Center. (The Center, Fairfax, Virginia) February 2005. 38 p.

Full Text at:

["The objective of this paper is to present information on State cross-sector early care and education professional development systems for State research and planning. Recommended action steps: bring together representatives of the public agencies and professional associations that broadly represent the early childhood workforce; determine the current status of the professional development system—across sectors; begin with content; examine and analyze the delivery system(s) for professional development; determine the current status of the early childhood workforce; analyze the financial status of the professional development system."]

[Request #S53103]

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Developmentally Appropriate Practice in 2005: Updates from the Field [Issue Theme.] By the National Association for the Education of Young Children. IN: Beyond the Journal: Young Children on the Web (July 2005) Various pagings.

Full Text at:

Issue includes: "See, Hear, Touch! The Basics of Learning Readiness;" "Viewpoint. Whatever Happened to Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Literacy?;" and "Reflecting, Discussing, Exploring-Questions and Follow-Up Activities on Developmentally Appropriate Practice in 2005."]

[Request #S53104]

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Stair Steps to Quality: A Guide for States and Communities Developing Quality Rating Systems for Early Care and Education. By Anne W. Mitchell, Alliance for Early Childhood Finance. (United Way: Success By 6, Alexandria, Virginia) July 2005. 86 p.

Full Text at:

["The study sheds additional light on those factors in the child care program that were associated with enduring child outcomes. Children did best in elementary school if they had experienced child care settings that used high-quality classroom practices and if they had close relationships with their child care teachers. Following the pattern set by the Cost, Quality and Child Outcomes project, numerous syntheses of child care research studies, as well as original research, have been conducted. In general, child care research has moved from the attempt to determine whether typical child care as operated at the community level is helpful (or harmful) to a focus on what level of quality is necessary to produce important and sustained benefits and what factors are present in high-quality programs. A synthesis of 28 child care research studies found that quality in family child care homes and child care centers is generally mediocre, particularly in programs used by low-income families. The researchers confirmed that high-quality program settings are associated with benefits for children"]

[Request #S53105]

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Going to Scale with High-Quality Early Education: Choices and Consequences in Universal Pre-Kindergarten Efforts. By Rachel Christina and JoVictoria Nicholson-Goodman. (RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, California) 2005.

["The movement toward universal pre-kindergarten (pre-K) presents policymakers and implementers with many new challenges. Drawing on a review of the literature and interviews with pre-K personnel in a representative sample of eight U.S. states, this report describes the challenges confronting states that are seeking to create statewide public systems of high-quality pre-K services, as well as some of the progress they have made in doing so. Two main challenges were identified: 1) providing universal services and 2) providing comprehensive services."]

Full Document. 101 p.:

Summary. 9 p.:

[Request #S53106]

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Charming the Next Generation: A Strategy for Turning Toddlers Into Readers. By Renea Arnold. IN: School Library Journal, vol. 51, no. 7 (July 2005) p. 30-32.

["You know how it goes. Typically, when a parent and a toddler share a picture book, the adult reads and the child listens. But practitioners of a special, research-based technique called dialogic reading are turning that age-old model upside down. Dialogic reading transforms youngsters into storytellers and adults into active listeners, increasing the likelihood that the members of the Goodnight Moon set will become successful, lifelong readers."]

[Request #S53107]

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"A Model of Home Learning Environment and Social Risk Factors in Relation to Children’s Emergent Literacy and Social Outcomes." By Martha A. Foster, Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia, and others. IN: Early Childhood Research Quarterly, vol. 20, no. 1 (2005) pp. 13-36.

["The quality of the home environment is widely recognized as a strong contributor to young children’s emergent literacy and social competence and to their subsequent educational success. The present study examined the relationships between family variables (socioeconomic status (SES), social risk factors, and home learning variables) and children’s emergent literacy competence and children’s social functioning. The sample for this study was obtained by randomly selecting 48 classrooms within three Head Start programs and, then, randomly selecting five girls and five boys from each class."]

[Request #S53108]

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"Male Teachers in Early Childhood Education: Issues and Case Study." By Jennifer Sumsion, Institute of Early Childhood, Macquarie University, Australia. IN: Early Childhood Research Quarterly, vol. 20, no. 1 (2005) pp. 109-123.

["Much of the debate about the desirability or otherwise, of attempting to address the gender imbalance in the early childhood teaching profession has been limited by a reliance on rhetoric rather than empirical evidence. The purpose of this article is to assist in shifting this debate to a more empirical basis by reporting findings from an exploratory empirical investigation of children’s perceptions and gender positioning of their male preschool teacher."

[Request #S53109]

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"Effects of Transitions to New Child Care Classes on Infant/Toddler Distress and Behavior." By Debby Cryer, FPG Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and others. IN: Early Childhood Research Quarterly, vol. 20, no. 1 (2005) pp. 37-56.

["Changes in distress and problem behaviors of 38 infants/toddlers were examined after children transitioned from familiar to new classrooms to look at effects of non-continuity of caregiver. Child’s age, classroom quality, teacher sensitivity, and transitioning with a peer were examined as possible mediators. Results suggest that transitions were associated with increased distress, especially for younger children."]

[Request #S53110]

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"Reading Your Baby's Mind: New Research on Infants Finally Begins to Answer the Question 'What's Going on in There?'" By Pat Wingert and Martha Brant. IN: Newsweek, vol. CXLVI, no. 7 (August 15, 2005) pp. 32-39.

["New brain-monitoring technology and increasing knowledge of how to read babies' responses have led scientists to new insights about how early - and under what circumstances - babies experience emotions like joy and jealousy and develop (or don't) the capacity to remember objects and faces and even learn languages. For any parent who has wondered what's going on in there, the answer is a lot more than previous generations of experts ever thought."]

[Request #S53111]

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Improving Maternal and Infant Mental Health: Focus on Maternal Depression. By Ngozi Onunaku, Zero to Three Policy Center. (National Center for Infant and Early Childhood Health Policy at UCLA, Los Angeles, California) July 2005. 20 p.

Full Text at:

["This study discusses the impact of maternal depression on the social and emotional health of young children and recommends specific steps that early childhood programs and public health administrators can take to address the unmet mental health needs of mothers." MCH Alert (August 19, 2005).]

[Request #S53112]

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Young Children's Behavioral Problems in Married and Cohabitating Families. By Cynthia Osborne and others. Fragile Families Research Brief. No. 33. (June 2005) 4 p.

Full Text at:

["Our findings indicate that although children raised in stable, cohabiting-parent families exhibit more behavior problems at age three than children raised in stable, married-parent families, the difference is largely due to differences in the background characteristics of the parents who choose marriage over cohabitation. Once these factors are taken into account, children of cohabiting and married parents are very similar in terms of their behavioral problems. Moreover, the children of cohabiting parents who marry after birth are no better off than the children of cohabiting parents who remain unmarried."]

[Request #S53113]

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Women and Health Care: A National Survey: Key Findings from the Kaiser Women's Health Survey. By Alina Salganicoff, Kaiser Family Foundation and others. (The Foundation, Menlo Park, California) July 2005.

["Parents’ access to health care affects not only their own health and well-being, but the likelihood that their children will have regular preventative care and a 'medical home' – a physician or practice who knows them and their issues. A new survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation finds that 27 percent of women ages 18 to 65, and 67 percent of uninsured women delayed or went without needed medical care in the last year because they did not think they could afford it. The numbers were as high as one in three among Latina women. Eight in 10 mothers or legal guardians said they had the responsibility for health care decisions in the family, according to the survey." Connect for Kids (July 11, 2005) online.]

Report Highlights. 4 p.:

Full Report. 62 p.:

[Request #S53114]

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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.]



"Community Involvement in Adapting and Testing a Prevention Program for Preschoolers Living in Urban Communities: ParentCorps." IN: Journal of Child & Family Studies, vol. 14, no.3 (September 2005) pp. 373-386.

["We describe a university-community collaborative effort to tailor and deliver a prevention program for families of preschoolers living in low-income, urban communities. ParentCorps, which builds on efficacious interventions with parents and young children, aims to promote child social competence and prevent conduct problems by strengthening parenting skills, enhancing support for parents, and empowering parents to access resources in their communities. Active community engagement and collaboration were viewed as critical to the development of the program and its feasibility testing. We present an overview of community involvement in the development of ParentCorps and approaches taken to involve community members during a feasibility study. Areas of success and lessons learned are discussed."]

[Request #S53115]

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