Subject: Studies in the News 06-34 (August 2, 2006)


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Studies in the News for
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Children and Families Commission


Contents This Week

Introductory Material EDUCATION
   Learning disabilities in preschoolers
   Connecting Pre-K through third grade
   Infant/toddler developmental curriculum
   Reading to very young children
   Latino opinion survey on pre-k
   Pre-K and Latinos
   Literacy assessment for Spanish-speaking preschoolers
   Full-day preschool?
   Facilitating language learning
ENVIRONMENT & NATURAL RESOURCES
   Babies of California farmworkers and DDT
HEALTH
   Los Angeles Healthy Kids
   Children's emotional and behavioral health
   Chlorinated pools and childhood asthma
   Children's Health Initiative programs
   Healthy Kids programs evaluation
   Childhood obesity and online food marketing
HUMAN SERVICES
   Assessing quality in family child care
   Changes in child poverty
STUDIES TO COME
   Bridging cultures in early education
   Mothers and preschool children's literacy
   Difference found in autistic brains
   Parenting style and overweight children
   Infants and maternal periodontal disease
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:

EDUCATION

DISABILITIES

Recognition and Response: An Early Intervening System for Young Children At-Risk for Learning Disabilities. By Mary Ruth Coleman and others. (FPG Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina) May 1, 2006. 60 p.

Full Text at: www.fpg.unc.edu/~randr/pdfs/2006FPGSynthesis_RecognitionAndResponse.pdf

["This report compiles the current thinking on how to create an effective system for spotting learning disabilities in young children and intervening before the kids have a chance to experience school failure. The proposed system is based on the idea that parents and teachers can learn to recognize early warning signs that a young child may not be learning in an expected manner and also learn to respond in ways that positively affect that child's early school success. Under current state and federal guidelines, preschoolers are unlikely to meet eligibility for having a learning disability since at that age, there has not yet been a sufficiently measurable discrepancy between the child's aptitude and academic achievement - something that often doesn't occur until 2nd grade." NIEER Online News (July 14, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S63401]

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EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

PK-3: What Is It and How Do We Know It Works? By Bill Graves. FCD Policy Brief No. 4 (Foundation for Child Development, New York, New York) May 2006. 8 p.

Full Text at: www.fcd-us.org/PDFs/GravesBrief.pdf

[This Policy Brief, "identifies the five key components of PK-3: alignment, school organization, qualified teachers, classrooms as learning environments, and accountability to parents and communities. This policy brief reviews research to show that, when combined, these PK-3 components can improve student achievement and sustain the benefits of investments in PK programs. The brief also recommends actions which state departments of education and local school boards can take to implement a PK-3 approach into current programs." The Learning Curve, No. 24 (July 24, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S63402]

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Beautiful Beginnings: A Developmental Curriculum for Infants and Toddlers. By Helen Raikes and Jane McCall Whitmer. (Paul H. Brookes Publishing Company, Baltimore, Maryland) 2006. 428 p.

["Developed by two respected research consultants for Early Head Start, this extensive curriculum takes a joyful activity-based approach to enhancing the development of infants and toddlers.... Ideal for use in a variety of programs and settings, such as Early Head Start, center-based care, home visits, and parent education programs, this engaging and effective curriculum helps young children meet developmental goals and enhances their school readiness." NOTE: Beautiful Beginnings... is available for loan.]

[Request #S63403]

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"Mother-Child Bookreading in Low-Income Families: Correlates and Outcomes During the First Three Years of Life." By: Helen Raikes and others. IN: Child Development, vol. 77, no. 4. (July/August 2006) pp. 924-953.

["Although reading to preschoolers has been shown to influence their later language and cognitive development, few studies have examined these relationships for children under age 3. Researchers studied over 2,500 low-income English- and Spanish-speaking families across the country who were participating in the Early Head Start evaluation. About half of the mothers reported reading daily to their children, and frequency was higher among white mothers than other ethnic groups, as well as among mothers of girls, firstborn children, and children in the Early Head Start program. English-speaking mothers who read to their children at a very early age had 2-year-olds with greater language comprehension; larger, more expressive vocabularies; and higher cognitive scores. Spanish-speaking mothers who read to very young children every day had 3-year-olds with greater language and cognitive development. The researchers note that language-oriented interventions for vulnerable children should begin earlier than has been generally proposed." NOTE: Child Development... is available for loan.]

[Request #S63404]

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LATINOS

Latino Public Opinion Survey of Pre-Kindergarten Programs: Knowledge, Preferences, and Public Support. By Valencia, Pérez and Echeveste, and the Tomas Rivera Policy Institute. (Valencia, Pérez and Echeveste, and the Institute, South Pasadera, and Los Angeles, California) April 2006 11p.

Full Text at: www.pewtrusts.org/pdf/Latino_prek_0706.pdf

["Based on Pre-K Now’s Request For Proposal description and subsequent conversations with Pre-K Now, Valencia, Pérez and Echeveste (VPE) and the Tomás Rivera Policy Institute (TRPI) designed a survey that captured Latino adults' opinions about the benefits, importance, and costs associated with enrolling children in pre-kindergarten programs. The objective of the survey was to gauge support for government-subsidized pre-kindergarten programs among the Latino community and better understand Latinos’ motivators and barriers in order to develop effective, culturally-relevant messages to increase support for pre-kindergarten programs. In designing the survey instrument, items from previous Pre-K Now surveys were favored to provide consistent comparisons."]

[Request #S63405]

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Pre-K and Latinos: The Foundation for America’s Future. By Eugene E. Garcia and Danielle M. Gonzales. (Pre-K Now, Washington, DC) July 2006.

Full Text at:

["Hispanic children are more likely than whites to start school without the foundational math and reading knowledge and skills necessary for academic success.... However, pre-k has been shown to improve these skills in all children - -- and particularly in Hispanic children. According to the most recent Census reports, one in five children under the age of five in the U.S. is Hispanic. Unfortunately just 40 percent of Hispanic children attend pre-k compared with 60 percent of their white and African American peers.... Recommendations in the report include: Pre-k programs should engage all families in meaningful ways in the school and classroom regardless of the language they speak; States should adopt at least one bilingual or Spanish language pre-k curriculum; and States should establish appropriate measures to assess how well programs are providing services to all children, with a particular focus on first-language development and second-language acquisition." PR Newswire (July 13, 2006) 1.]

Full Report: 24 p.
http://www.preknow.org/documents/Pre-KandLatinos_July2006.pdf

Executive Summary: 4 p.
http://www.preknow.org/documents/exec_Pre-KandLatinos_July2006.pdf

Executive Summary (en Español): 4 p.
http://www.preknow.org/documents/exec_Pre-KandLatinos_July2006_sp.pdf

[Request #S63406]

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Early Literacy Assessment for Spanish-Speaking Preschoolers: Filling a Need. By Andrea DeBruin-Parecki, High/Scope Early Childhood Reading Institute. IN: High/Scope ReSource, vol. 25, no. 1 (Spring 2006) pp. 21-23.

Full Text at: www.highscope.org/NewsandInformation/ReSourceReprints/Spring06pdfs/EarlyLiteracyAssess.pdf

["Between 2000 and 2010, there is a projected 34% increase in the overall Hispanic population (U.S. Census Bureau, 2004). Knowing this, it seems apparent that our schools, beginning with prekindergarten, must be prepared to assess these children in their native language to accurately determine the literacy skills they have developed. It is only through this type of assessment that the most effective instructional methods in both English and Spanish can be determined. If we test these young children in English only, a less than truthful picture of their actual abilities and knowledge will emerge, and inappropriate instruction may follow."]

[Request #S63407]

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PRESCHOOL

Preschool Matters [Entire Issues.] By the National Institute for Early Education Research, Vol. 4, No.4 (The Institute, New Brunswick, New Jersey) May/June 2006. 12 p.

Full Text at: nieer.org/resources/printnewsletter/MayJun2006.pdf

["The May/June 2006 issue of Preschool Matters takes a look at the latest NIEER research on the impacts of the length of day in preschool programs and the role it plays in addressing the school readiness gap.Includes:; Preschoolers and Digital Technology; Study Finds Preschool Helps Low-Birth Weight Kids; Is There Life After Public Pre-K for Child Care Centers?; Q & A with Head Start Commissioner Channell Wilkins." NIEER Online Newsletter (July, 14, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S63408]

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PRESCHOOL EDUCATION

Facilitating Language Skills: Inservice Education for Early Childhood Educators and Preschool Teachers. By Luigi Girolametto, University of Toronto, and others. IN: Infants and Young Children, vol. 19, no.1 (January-March 2006) pp. 36-49.

["Learning Language and Loving It is a well-known model of inservice education for early childhood educators and preschool teachers. Its objectives are to facilitate language learning, peer interaction, and literacy development in naturalistic classroom contexts. The inservice education program consists of 8 evening group sessions and 6 individual video feedback sessions.... Educators also learn strategies to facilitate peer interactions and early literacy skills. Investigations of the efficacy of this inservice program indicate that it effectively improves educators' language facilitation strategies and verbal supports for peer interaction. Typically developing children evidenced increased talkativeness, used a more diverse vocabulary; and e.g. increased their peer interactions. The program's use with children who have disabilities (eg, language disorders) and children who are learning English as a second language is beginning to be explored."]

[Request #S63409]

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ENVIRONMENT & NATURAL RESOURCES

PESTICIDES

"In Utero Exposure to Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) and Dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE) and Neurodevelopment Among Young Mexican American Children." By Brenda Eskenazi, University of California Berkeley, and others. IN: Pediatrics, vol. 118, no. 1 (July 2006) pp. 233-241.

["Babies and toddlers of California farmworkers exposed to the insecticide DDT have neurological effects that are severe enough in some cases to slow their mental and physical development, according to research by UC Berkeley scientists.... [The authors] caution 'the benefit of using DDT to control malaria should be balanced carefully against the potential risk to children's neurodevelopment. Whenever possible, alternative antimalarial controls should be considered, especially in areas where pregnant women and children may be exposed." Los Angeles Times (July 5, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S63410]

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HEALTH

CHILDREN

Los Angeles Healthy Kids Improves Access to Care for Young Children: Early Results from the Healthy Kids Evaluation. By Lisa Dubay and Embry Howell, the Urban Institute. Health Policy Briefs, No. 18 (The Institute, Washington, DC) July 2006. 6 p.

Full Text at: www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/311407_healthy_kids.pdF

["Mathematica conducted this survey of parents with children enrolled in the Los Angeles Healthy Kids program. Early findings reveal that the initiative is improving children's access to primary care and easing parents' concerns about meeting their children's health care needs." News from Mathematica (July 24, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S63411]

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"Emotional, Developmental, and Behavioral Health of American Children and Their Families: A Report From the 2003 National Survey of Children's Health." By Laura T. Blanchard, and others. IN: Pediatrics, vol. 117, no. 6 (June 2006) pp. e1202-e1212.

Full Text at: pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/reprint/117/6/e1202

["New insights on the impact of children's emotional, developmental, and behavioral problems on child participation and family functioning have become available through the recently released data of the 2003 National Survey of Children's Health (NSCH). This article addresses the following questions: 1) how are families coping with having a child with emotional, developmental, or behavioral problems?, 2) how do children with such problems compare with other children in terms of demographics and functional status?, and 3) are children with such problems as involved with their schools and communities as children without problems?" MCH Alert (June 30, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S63412]

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"Chlorinated Pool Attendance, Atopy and the Risk of Asthma During Childhood." By Alfred Bernard and others. IN: Environmental Health Perspectives, EHP-in-Press (Online June 8, 2006) 35 p.

Full Text at: www.ehponline.org/members/2006/8461/8461.pdf

["Attendance of indoor chlorinated pools especially by young children interacts with atopic status to promote the development of childhood asthma. These findings further support the hypothesis implicating pool chlorine in the rise of childhood asthma in industrialized countries."]

[Request #S63413]

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HEALTH INSURANCE

Policy Framework for Outreach, Enrollment, Retention and Utilization for Health Care Coverage in California. By Caroline Rivas and others, Community Health Councils, Inc. (The California Endowment, Los Angeles, California) May 2006. 27 p.

Full Text at: www.calendow.org/reference/publications/pdf/access/PolicyFrameworkOERUFINAL2.pdf

["This report describes the experiences and successes of local programs, such as Children's Health Initiatives, in providing health coverage to all children and families throughout California. The findings can help increase the knowledge and capacity to ensure the effectiveness of outreach, enrollment and retention policies, systems and strategies."]

[Request #S63414]

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Monitoring the Expansion of Children’s Health Initiatives in California. By Gregory D. Stevens, Division of Community Health, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, and others. (The California Endowment, Low Angeles, California) May 2006. 8 p.

Full Text at: www.calendow.org/reference/publications/pdf/access/MonitoringtheExpansionFINAL.pdf

["Healthy Kids programs, both operational and planned, have now emerged in 31 counties and have enrolled more than 85,000 children, changing the insurance landscape for children in the state. This evaluation brief describes the experiences of and challenges faced by these innovative programs."]

[Request #S63415]

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OBESITY

It's Child's Play: Advergaming and the Online Marketing of Food to Children. By Elizabeth S. Moore, University of Notre Dame. (Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, Menlo Park, California) July 2006.

["This study is the first systematic analysis of the content of online food marketing to children. It covers topics such as advergaming, viral marketing, branded entertainment, promotions, downloads, and media tie-ins. Children appear to be willing consumers of these marketing communications. Approximately 64% of children (ages 5–14) who access the Internet do so to play games (U.S. Dept. of Education 2003). More than 13.1 million children ages 2 to 11 use the Internet, and their numbers are increasing rapidly.... Nielsen/Net Ratings reported that usage among 2–11 year-olds increased 34% in October 2005 over the same time period the year before.... Even very young children are active participants. Sixty-six percent of 4–6 year olds live in homes with Internet access, 56% can use the computer by themselves, and 30% have visited a website for children."]

Executive Summary: 37 p.
http://www.kff.org/entmedia/upload/7537.pdf

Full Report: 57 p.
http://www.kff.org/entmedia/upload/7536.pdf

[Request #S63416]

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HUMAN SERVICES

CHILD CARE

Assessing Quality in Family, Friend and Neighbor Care: The Child Care Assessment Tool for Relatives. By Toni Porter and others. (Institute for a Child Care Continuum, Bank Street College of Education, New York, New York) April 2006. 42 p.

Full Text at: www.bankstreet.edu/gems/ICCC/CCATRfinal5.8.06.pdf

["This paper describes the Child Care Assessment Tool for Relatives (CCAT-R), an observation instrument specifically designed for measuring quality in child care provided by relatives.... Findings from the analysis of the sample of relatives indicate that quality was associated with several structural aspects of care, including caregivers’ educational background and experience, and the number of children in care. It was also positively associated with the variety of materials as well as the number of health and safety features in the home. In addition, quality was higher when parents expressed an interest in caregivers’ lives, and when caregivers were paid for providing child care. The paper points to some issues for consideration by policy makers, practitioners and researchers who have an interest in family, friend and neighbor care that is exempt from regulation. Among them are the role of the subsidy system in promoting quality in care provided by relatives, potential strategies for improving the care that they offer to children, and the need for additional research on these settings."]

[Request #S63417]

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POVERTY

Understanding Changes in Child Poverty Over the Past Decade. By Austin Nichols. Discussion Paper. (The Urban Institute, Washington, DC) May 2006. 32 p.

Full Text at: www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/411320_DP06-02.pdf

["Child poverty dropped dramatically from 1993 to 2000 and rose again from 2000 to 2004, especially among black children, according to a recent Urban Institute report. Why these ups and downs? Work, education, and family structure play a significant role, and economic factors like unemployment and the minimum wage can’t be ignored." Connect for Kids (July 24, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S63418]

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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.]

EDUCATION

EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

Bridging Cultures in Early Care and Education: A Training Module. By Marlene Zepeda and others. (Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Mahwah, New Jersey) 2006. 160 p.

["A resource to help pre-service and in-service early childhood educators, including infant-toddler caregivers, understand the role of culture in their programs and in their interactions with parents.... 'Bridging Cultures in Early Care and Education: A Training Module' explains and illustrates how early childhood educators can use the organizing concepts of individualism and collectivism as a means of understanding cultural conflict and difference. The concepts of individualism and collectivism have been shown to be highly useful in improving home-school understanding across cultures. Based on real-life examples of cultural dilemmas in early care and education settings, participants engage the concepts of individualism and collectivism to solve a variety of scenarios in a dynamic and engaging manner."]

[Request #S63419]

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LITERACY

"Mothers' Literacy Beliefs: Connections with the Home Literacy Environment and Pre-school Children's Literacy Development." By Daniel J. Weigel and others, University of Nevada, Reno. IN: Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, vol. 6, no. 2. (August 2006) pp. 191-211.

["This study examined mothers' beliefs about literacy development, the association of those beliefs with other aspects of the home literacy environment, and connections between parental literacy beliefs and pre-school aged children's literacy development. Data were collected from 79 mothers and their children over one year, and two profiles of parental literacy beliefs emerged. 'Facilitative' mothers believed that taking an active role in teaching children at home would provide opportunities for their children to gain vocabulary, knowledge, and morals. 'Conventional' mothers expressed the belief that schools, more than parents, are responsible for teaching children and tended to report many challenges to reading with children. Homes with Facilitative mothers tended to be more literacy enriching than homes of Conventional mothers, and children with Facilitative mothers displayed more advanced print knowledge and interest in reading. These findings have implications for understanding the connections among parental literacy beliefs, home literacy environments, and children's literacy outcomes."]

[Request #S63420]

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HEALTH

AUTISM

"Stereological Analysis of Amygdala Neuron Number in Autism." By Cynthia Mills Schumann and David G. Amaral, University of California, Davis. IN: Journal of Neuroscience, vol. 26, no. 29 (July 19, 2006) pp. 7674-7679.

["New research shows that males with autism have fewer neurons in the amygdala, an area of the brain that plays a role in emotion and memory. Neurons are brain cells responsible for creating and transmitting electrical signals. This study, by a team from the University of California, Davis, is the first to identify this distinct neuroanatomical feature in the brains of people with autism.... The California team said their next step is to determine why people with autism have fewer neurons in the amygdala, and if other parts of the brain are also affected." HealthDay News (July 19, 2006) online.]

[Request #S63421]

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CHILDREN

"Parenting Styles and Overweight Status in First Grade". By Kyung E. Rhee, Boston University School of Medicine, and others. IN: Pediatrics, vol. 117, no. 6 (June 2006) pp. 2047-2054.

["Your parenting style affects your child's weight and whether she will be overweight by first grade, a new study found. 'Children of authoritarian parents had five times the risk of being overweight compared to children of authoritative [a more diplomatic style] mothers,' said Dr. Kyung Rhee... the study's lead author. Authoritarian parents are described as strict disciplinarians, Rhee said, while authoritative parents are more respectful of a child's opinions and thoughts while maintaining boundaries. Two other parenting styles were evaluated by the researchers: Permissive, in which parents are indulgent and don't practice discipline, and neglectful, in which parents are emotionally uninvolved and don't set rules.... Authoritarian parenting was associated with the highest risk of overweight, the researchers found, with the risk five times higher. Children of permissive and neglectful mothers were twice as likely to be overweight as children of authoritative mothers, they also found." HealthDay News (June 6, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S63422]

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INFANTS

"Maternal Periodontal Disease in Early Pregnancy and Risk for a Small-for-Gestational-Age Infant." By Kim A. Boggess, MD, and others. IN: American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, vol. 194, no. 5 (May 2006) pp. 1316-1322.

["The objective of the study was to determine whether periodontal disease is associated with delivery of a small-for-gestational-age infant.... Results. Sixty-seven of 1017 women (6.6%) delivered a small-for-gestational-age infant, and 143 (14.3%) had moderate or severe periodontal disease. The small-for-gestational-age rate was higher among women with moderate or severe periodontal disease, compared with those with health or mild disease.... Moderate or severe periodontal disease was associated with a small-for-gestational-age infant, a risk ratio of 2.3 (1.1 to 4.7), adjusted for age, smoking, drugs, marital and insurance status, and pre-eclampsia. Conclusion. Moderate or severe periodontal disease early in pregnancy is associated with delivery of a small-for-gestational-age infant. Understanding the mechanism of periodontal disease–associated adverse pregnancy outcomes could lead to interventions to improve fetal growth."]

[Request #S63423]

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