Subject: Studies in the News 06-22 (May 24, 2006)


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Studies in the News for
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Children and Families Commission


Contents This Week

Introductory Material DEMOGRAPHY
   Young children's census data
   Children of immigrants
   Demographics of children under 5
   Young children in immigrant families
EDUCATION
   Early literacy and preschool
   Preschool directors Prop 82 survey
   California's Preschool for All proposition
   Governors' 2007 pre-k proposals
   Full-day vs. half-day preschool
   Child care teacher wages
HEALTH
   Childhood obesity and public-private collaboration
   State agencies working with physicians
   Industry helping prevent childhood obesity
   Supporting young children's mental development
   Uninsured children and health insurance
   U.S. trails in infant survival rate
HUMAN SERVICES
   Child Care and Development Fund
   Interventions for homeless children
   Survey of skid row children
   Child care subsidies and TANF
   Parents' perspectives on child care subsidies
   Child care subsidies and leaving welfare
   Policies affecting child care subsidies
   Families nearing TANF time limit
STUDIES TO COME
   Risk factors for poor pediatric care
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 www.library.ca.gov/CRB/SITN/.

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; cslsirc@library.ca.gov) 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:

DEMOGRAPHY

CHILDREN

"Selected Age Groups for the Population by Race and Hispanic Origin for the United States: July 1, 2005." By U.S. Census Bureau. IN: Nation’s Population One-Third Minority. By Robert Bernstein, Public Information Office. Press Release. (U.S. Census Bureau, Washington, D.C.) May 10, 2006.

["The census figures show that the number of Hispanic and Asian children younger than 5 grew by double-digit percentages since 2000. The number of black children grew more slowly. The number of non-Hispanic white children younger than 5 declined for two years this decade before increasing again. The nation's Asian population growth still is dominated by immigration, the census report shows, but among Hispanics, births added more to the population growth than immigrants did this decade. That means the growth trend among the youngest Hispanics 'is only going to accelerate under almost any scenario you can think about, even without immigration,' said demographer Jeffrey S. Passel of the Pew Hispanic Center." Washington Post (May 10, 2006) A01.]

Selected Age Groups for the Population by Race and Hispanic Origin: 1 p.
http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/2006/nationalracetable3.pdf

Press Release: 5 p.
http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/population/006808.html

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Children of Immigrants: Facts and Figures. By the Urban Institute. (The Institute, Washington, DC) May 2006. 4 p.

Full Text at: www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/900955_children_of_immigrants.pdf

["While Congress and the administration debate the future of the 11-12 million unauthorized immigrants, it is important to look also at the more than 5 million children in families with unauthorized parents. Two-thirds of these children are U.S.-born citizens, a share that increases to 93 percent among those under age 6. A new fact sheet presents a statistical portrait of the children of immigrants." Urban Institute Update (May 18, 2006) 1.]

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"Of U.S. Children Under 5, Nearly Half Are Minorities: Hispanic Growth Fuels Rise, Census Says." By D'Vera Cohn and Tara Bahrampour. IN: The Washington Post (May 10, 2006) p. A01.

Full Text at: www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/09/AR2006050901841.html

["Nearly half of the nation's children under 5 are racial or ethnic minorities, and the percentage is increasing mainly because the Hispanic population is growing so rapidly, according to a census report.... Hispanics are the nation's largest and fastest-growing minority group. They accounted for 49 percent of the country's growth from 2004 to 2005, the report shows. And the increase in young children is largely a Hispanic story, driving 70 percent of the growth in children younger than 5. Forty-five percent of U.S. children younger than 5 are minorities. The new numbers offer a preview of demographic shifts to come, with broad implications for the nation's schools, workforce and Social Security."]

Steven - I just tested this link and it works. I will leave it up to you whether to include it or not. -JD

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IMMIGRANTS

Young Children in Immigrant Families - The Role of Philanthropy: Sharing Knowledge, Creating Services, and Building Supportive Policies. Report of a Meeting held January 18-19, 2006. By Kinsey Alden Dinan, National Center for Children in Poverty. (The Center, New York, New York) May 2006.

["A growing number of young children in this country are children of immigrants - and while immigrant families display important strengths, they are also more likely than native-born families to be low income and face other challenges that can place their children at risk. At the Young Children in Immigrant Families meeting in January 2006, members of the foundation community came together to explore strategies for promoting positive outcomes for this critical population. The NCCP report on this meeting provides an overview of the key issues and findings that emerged from the meeting panels and discussions."]

Executive Summary: 6 p.
http://nccp.org/media/imr06_sum.pdf

Full Report: 80 p.
http://nccp.org/media/imr06_text.pdf

[Request #S62204]

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EDUCATION

EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

Early Literacy: Policy and Practice in the Preschool Years. By Dorothy S. Strickland and Shannon Riley-Ayers. Preschool Policy Brief. (National Institute for Early Education Research, New Brunswick, New Jersey) April 2006. 12 p.

Full Text at: nieer.org/resources/policybriefs/10.pdf

[This "brief discusses the growing focus on early literacy and develops recommendations and discussion in the context of five issues - standards, curriculum, accountability and assessment, teacher education and home-school connections. Strickland is the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Professor of Education at the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers and a NIEER distinguished fellow. Riley-Ayers is an assistant research professor at NIEER."]

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PRESCHOOL

Community Voices: Preschool Directors Speak on Policy Options. Preliminary Findings. (Graduate School of Education, University of California, Berkeley) May 16, 2006.

["As California voters ponder filmmaker Rob Reiner's Proposition 82 to expand free preschool, directors of neighborhood programs worry about the prospect of aligning their classrooms with standardized tests and the move to unionize a low-paid teaching force, according to a statewide survey.... The survey examined a representative sample of directors of California's 439 community preschools between November 2005 and early May 2006. Some interviews were conducted online and others were conducted by UC Berkeley staff.... 'The voices of those running community preschools have not been sufficiently heard,' said Bruce Fuller, a sociologist and a UC Berkeley professor of education and public policy, who directed the survey. 'We discovered openness to change, but great concern over the possibility of Sacramento controlling their classrooms and child development philosophy.'"

Community Voices - Preliminary Findings: 11 p.
http://gse.berkeley.edu/preschoolsurvey/Preschool_Survey_Results.doc

Community Voices - Graphics: 9 p.
http://gse.berkeley.edu/preschoolsurvey/Preschool_Survey_Results_Graphics.doc

Community Voices - Map: 1 p.
http://gse.berkeley.edu/preschoolsurvey/ca_page.jpg

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California’s Preschool for All Act (Proposition 82): A Policy Analysis. By W. Steven Barnett and others. (National Institute for Early Education Research, New Brunswick, New Jersey) May 18, 2006. 15 p.

Full Text at: nieer.org/resources/files/CAProp82Analysis.pdf

["A California ballot initiative that would establish a statewide, voluntary preschool program for all 4 year olds offers substantial educational and economic benefits to the state and its residents, according to a policy analysis by a leading research institute that studies state-funded preschool programs.... NIEER researchers said California has the opportunity to create the nation's premiere preschool education system. In their study, they also addressed many of the criticisms of preschool education for all. Specifically, they took issue with suggestions that the benefits of preschool fade out as children advance in elementary school, that preschool teachers don't need Bachelor degrees, that expanding preschool to all children would serve only a limited number of children not now in preschool and that it will disproportionately benefit the children from wealthy families."]

[Request #S62207]

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Leadership Matters: Governors’ Pre-K Proposals Fiscal Year 2007. By Jennifer V. Doctors and others. (Pre-K Now, Washington, DC) May 2006. 24 p.

Full Text at: www.preknow.org/documents/LeadershipReport_May2006.pdf

["'Two years ago just 11of the nation's governors had pre-k on their policy and budgetary agendas,' said Libby Doggett.... 'Our report shows that number has more than doubled with proposals by 24 governors to increase funding for pre-k....' The report also found that: The trend toward increased funding for pre-k enjoys the support of both Democratic and Republican governors alike, including 11 Republicans and 12 Democrats as well as the Mayor of D.C.; Gubernatorial budget proposal increases for FY07 averaged 25 percent; Governors in every region of the country proposed increases for pre-k and only two governors proposed decreased funding for pre-k... ; Despite continued budget deficits; governors in Connecticut, Illinois and Washington found a way to propose increases to pre-k totaling more than $46 million; and Southern governors lead regionally when it comes to offering pre-k but as Midwestern governors stand out for individual leadership; 'Political will is critical to moving pre-k forward in any state,' Doggett said. 'Governors are committed to reforming an American education system that is failing many children. High-quality pre-k is a proven way to begin those efforts.'" US Newswire (May 10, 2006) Online.]

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Is More Better? The Effects of Full-Day vs. Half-Day Preschool on Early School Achievement. By Kenneth B. Robin and others. NIEER Working Paper. (National Institute for Early Education Research, New Brunswick, New Jersey) May 2006. 22 p.

Full Text at: nieer.org/resources/research/IsMoreBetter.pdf

["Findings from a randomized trial comparing children in half-day and full-day public preschool programs show that children attending full-day programs fared better on mathematics and literacy tests than children in a traditional 2.5 to 3-hour public preschool program. What's more, those achievement gains continued at least until the end of first grade. Even though the children were from low-income families, those who received the full-day program achieved test score gains that approached national norms. NIEER researchers conducted the trial with a sample of about 300 4-year-olds in an urban school district in northern New Jersey." NIEER Online Newsletter (May 19, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S62209]

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TEACHERS

"The Costs of Being a Child Care Teacher: Revisiting the Problem of Low Wages." By Debra J. Ackerman, National Institute for Early Education Research, Rutgers University. IN: Educational Policy, vol. 20, no. 1 (January 2006) pp. 85-112.

["The demand for child care in the United States continues to grow, but child care workers’ wages remain minimal. Using examples within New Jersey, the author demonstrates how low wages impact child care quality and are directly related to the effects of the competitive marketplace. Various historical, regulatory, and cultural contexts also contribute to low wages, however. Because most child care workers are female, the author uses a feminist critical policy analysis lens to examine the gendered aspects of these contextual factors. The author argues that the gender-related issues within these contexts exacerbate the problem of low wages and also contribute to the intractability of the issue, particularly in terms of accessing policymakers’ agendas. The author concludes with a brief summary of issues that policymakers and advocates will need to keep in mind as they search for solutions to the problem of low wages."]

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HEALTH

CHILDREN

Tackling Childhood Obesity Through Public-Private Collaboration. By Hafiza Pirani and Kathryn Kushner. NIHCM Issue Brief. (NIHCM Foundation, Washington, DC) April 2006. 3 p.

Full Text at: www.nihcm.org/finalweb/obesitybrief2006.pdf

["Tackling Childhood Obesity Through Public-Private Collaboration reveals numerous insights on the topic of childhood obesity and the innovative strategies that health plans are pursuing to address the problem. The brief, prepared with support from the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, discusses the causes of childhood obesity and its health, psychosocial, and economic consequences. Strategies that health plans are implementing to fight the epidemic and their efforts to evaluate intervention strategies are presented. A summary of the most current and key obesity-reduction-related recommendations for clinical and community-based interventions is also included. The brief is intended for use by the private and public sectors in working together to develop a successful national strategy for combating childhood obesity." MCH Alert (May 12, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S62211]

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How States Are Working with Physicians to Improve the Quality of Children’s Health Care. By Helen Pelletier. (National Academy for State Health Policy, Portland, Maine) April 2006. 100 p.

Full Text at: www.nashp.org/Files/CW13_final_website.pdf

["This new NASHP report examines how state agencies and medical providers are working together to improve the quality of health care for children, particularly for those who are underserved and members of at-risk populations. The paper discusses the roles that states can play in supporting providers’ quality improvement efforts and offers detailed profiles of a number of different models, among them learning collaboratives and practice-based seminars. It concludes by summarizing the lessons that states - and their partners - have learned from these efforts."]

[Request #S62212]

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Progress in Preventing Childhood Obesity: Focus on Industry - Brief Summary: Institute of Medicine Regional Symposium. By the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. (National Academies Press, Washington, DC) 2006. 45 p.

Full Text at: www.nap.edu/catalog/11614.html

["This summary highlights the recurring themes for accelerating change and how industry collectively can move forward with obesity prevention efforts that emerged from the symposium. The themes include reverse the obesity trend; market health and nutrition; make a business commitment to health; change the food and physical activity environment; forge strategic partnerships; garner political support to ally public health and industry; educate stakeholders; collect, disseminate, and share local data; and evaluate programs and interventions."]

Rebecca or Steven - This link leads to a page where anyone wishing to download this publication has to briefly register first. I will leave it up to you whether to leave this link in or capture the publication.

[Request #S62213]

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Improving the Delivery of Health Care that Supports Young Children’s Healthy Mental Development: Early Accomplishments and Lessons Learned from a Five-State Consortium. By Neva Kaye. (National Academy for State Health Policy, Portland, Maine) April 2006. 48 p.

Full Text at: www.nashp.org/Files/CW14_final_website.pdf

["This report examines the early experiences of the five states (CA, IL, IA, MN, UT) involved in the second phase of the Assuring Better Child Health and Development (ABCD II) program. Medicaid and other state agencies in each of the five states are working to improve the delivery of services that support young children’s healthy mental development. This report documents their successful efforts and is designed to provide helpful information to other states interested in working to ensure young children’s healthy mental development."]

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HEALTH INSURANCE

Opening Doorways to Health Care for Children: 10 Steps to Ensure Eligible but Uninsured Children Get Health Insurance. By Dawn Horner and Beth Morrow, The Children’s Partnership. Publication no. 7506. (Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, Washington, DC) April 2006. 44 p.

Full Text at: www.kff.org/medicaid/upload/7506.pdf

["Despite the success of Medicaid and SCHIP in reducing the number of uninsured low-income children by one-third in the last decade, over eight million children remain uninsured. Seventy percent of these uninsured children are eligible for public health coverage. This report by the Children's Partnership lays out a plan for creating a series of enrollment doorways that make enrollment and renewal of children both routine and timely - as close to automatic as possible. The recommendations require a combination of both state and federal action."]

[Request #S62215]

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INFANT MORTALITY

State of the World's Mothers 2006: Saving the Lives of Mothers and Newborns. By Save the Children. (Save the Children, Westport, Connecticut) May 2006. 58 p.

Full Text at: www.savethechildren.org/publications/SOWM_2006_final.pdf

["An estimated 2 million babies die within their first 24 hours each year worldwide and the United States has the second worst newborn mortality rate in the developed world.... American babies are three times more likely to die in their first month as children born in Japan, and newborn mortality is 2.5 times higher in the United States than in Finland, Iceland or Norway, Save the Children researchers found. Only Latvia, with six deaths per 1,000 live births, has a higher death rate for newborns than the United States, which is tied near the bottom of industrialized nations with Hungary, Malta, Poland and Slovakia with five deaths per 1,000 births. 'The United States has more neonatologists and neonatal intensive care beds per person than Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom, but its newborn rate is higher than any of those countries,' said the annual State of the World's Mothers report." CNN (May 9, 2006) Online.]

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HUMAN SERVICES

CHILD CARE

Investing in Quality: A Survey of State Child Care and Development Fund Initiatives. By Melanie Pittard, National Association of State Child Care Administrators, and others. (Child Trends, Washington, DC) April 2006. 54 p.

Full Text at: http://www.fylrr.com/archives.php?doc=InvestinginQualityChildcareRpt.pdf

["The Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) is a critical work support for low-income families, and a key component in national and state efforts to support early childhood development and promote school readiness. The program is structured as a block grant to states.... In light of the wide diversity of strategies that states use to improve child care quality, the state agencies that administer CCDF programs decided to conduct a survey - the results of which are provided in this report - to more closely examine state quality investments. State child care administrators were particularly interested in describing the objectives of quality activities.... The survey asked states to identify the objectives of their quality activities, based on a list of 17 objectives, each of which is grounded in child development research."]

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CHILDREN

"Targeted Interventions for Homeless Children at a Therapeutic Nursery." By Carole Norris-Shortle, University of Maryland School of Medicine, and others. IN: Zero To Three, vol. 26, no. 4 (March 2006) pp. 49-55.

["PACT: Helping Children with Special Needs... operates a therapeutic nursery that serves families who have at least one child from birth to 3 years of age, and who are living in a Baltimore City homeless shelter.... PACT Therapeutic Nursery provides high-quality childcare while parents look for housing and employment. The Therapeutic Nursery also offers mental health, nursing, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy evaluations and interventions for the children. The homeless children in the nursery demonstrate language delays, delay in the development of imaginative play, and difficulty in their attachment relationships."]

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POVERTY

Toxic Playground: Growing Up In Skid Row: Youth Survey Findings and Recommendations. By the United Coalition East Prevention Project. (Social Model Recovery Systems, Inc., Covina, California) 2005. 8 p.

Full Text at: www.socialmodel.com/pdf/Toxic%20Playground.pdf

["Hundreds of children are growing up in the dangerous, toxic environment of downtown Los Angeles’ 'skid row'. They endure horrible living conditions, with no place to play, no sports, no chance for a good education. These young people are easy targets for the drug dealers and sexual predators. Yet the police rarely offer protection. We must start now - before they succumb to illness, crime, despair and death - to improve their environment and provide them with opportunities for the future.... Remarkably, the children themselves are leading the way. This report sets out practical recommendations for steps public agencies can take to make a qualitative difference in the lives of our children living in 'skid row'."]

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TEMPORARY ASSISTANCE FOR NEEDY FAMILIES

Child Care Subsidies and TANF: A Synthesis of Three Studies on Systems, Policies, and Parents. By Pamela Holcomb and others, the Urban Institute. (The Institute, Washington, DC) 2006. 30 p.

Full Text at: www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/311302_synthesis.pdf

["Although the connection between child care as a work support and the TANF program’s mandate to help welfare recipients obtain employment is conceptually simple, the actual processes and policies used by states and localities to ensure child care assistance are far more complicated.... This document highlights overarching issues and themes, including those facing administrators and agencies working to provide these services to parents, and the implications of these issues for TANF clients and their children."]

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Parents’ Perspectives on Child Care Subsidies and Moving from Welfare to Work. By Kathleen Snyder and others. (Urban Institute, Washington, DC) 2006. 54 p.

Full Text at: www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/311303_parents_perspectives.pdf

["This paper summarizes findings from the third phase of the study. It is based on focus groups conducted in four locations in 2003 with current TANF participants and parents who had left TANF within the past year and were receiving child care subsidies. The report examines how these parents accessed and retained child care subsidies as they moved through and off welfare. However, it is important to note that this study did not examine the experiences of families that were not using subsidies. As a consequence, this study provides important information to help us better understand how these systems and polices work for families in the system, but it does not represent the perspectives of families that were unsuccessful in navigating these systems."]

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Child Care Subsidies and Leaving Welfare: Policy Issues and Strategies. By Gina Adams and others. (Urban Institute, Washington, DC) 2006. 49 p.

Full Text at: www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/311304_policy_issues.pdf

["The second phase of the study examined a range of issues around subsidy use among parents who leave TANF. It included... an examination of research on welfare leavers and subsidy patterns, a review of state policies regarding child care subsidies for welfare leavers for a range of states, and interviews with national experts to discuss the retention of child care subsidies as parents transition off cash assistance."]

[Request #S62221]

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Child Care Subsidies for TANF Families: The Nexus of Systems and Policies. By Gina Adams and others. (Urban Institute, Washington, DC) 2006. 114 p.

Full Text at: www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/311305_nexus.pdf

["This is the first report of a three-part study that explores different aspects of the intersection of the child care and welfare systems. This report focuses on the systems and policies that affect families' child care subsidies while they are receiving cash assistance through TANF and participating in work activities."]

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When Five Years Is Not Enough: Identifying and Addressing the Needs of Families Nearing the TANF Time Limit in Ramsey County, Minnesota. By LaDonna A. Pavetti and Jacqueline Kauff, Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. Lessons From the Field: Information for Evaluators, Program Leaders, and Policymakers. (Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., Princeton, New Jersey) March 2006. 24 p.

Full Text at: www.mathematica-mpr.com/publications/pdfs/timelimitramsey.pdf

["Concern for families reaching the time limits imposed under welfare reform has led states to develop strategies for addressing the needs of this hard-to-employ population. Ramsey County, in the St. Paul area of Minnesota, implemented the Intensive Integrated Intervention project to reduce the number of families that would reach that limit without employment or other sources of economic support. The intervention's focus on assessment and intensive case management revealed that many recipients demonstrated low cognitive functioning, along with serious physical and mental health problems, which often made it difficult for recipients to complete even the most basic activities of daily living and challenging for parents to rear their children effectively. This report finds that despite the extreme difficulties program staff uncovered, they believed that, with the right services and supports, most recipients could eventually work. However, staff ended up granting numerous time-limit extensions and transferring many recipients to the Supplemental Security Income rolls because funding was insufficient to sustain the intensive interventions they believed necessary to help recipients make a lasting transition to unsubsidized employment." Mathematica Update (April 11, 2006) 1.]

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STUDIES TO COME
[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.]

HEALTH

CHILDREN

"Disparities in Primary Care for Vulnerable Children: The Influence of Multiple Risk Factors." By Gregory D. Stevens, and others. IN: Health Services Research, vol. 41, no. 2 (April 2006) pp. 507-531.

["Researchers analyze vulnerability as a profile of multiple risk factors for poor pediatric care based on race/ethnicity, poverty status, parent education, insurance, and language. Profiles are used to examine disparities in child/adolescent health status and primary care experience. The authors find that about 43 percent of (or 4.4 million) children in California have two or more risk factors. This study demonstrates a dose–response relationship of higher risk profiles with poorer child health status, access to, and continuity of primary care. ... Higher profiles appear to be associated with greater barriers to accessing primary care for children in 'fair or poor' health, suggesting that vulnerable children who have the greatest health care needs also have the greatest difficulty obtaining primary care." RAND Child Policy Update (March 2006) 1.]

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