|April 5, 2014||Posted by M. P. under Policy, Technology|
Although technology allowed for the spread of human trafficking activities across mobile platforms and sites, anti-trafficking interventions are using mobile media to advocate for and reach potential victims. In March 2013, The Polaris Project, an organization committed to fighting human trafficking as well as strengthening the anti-trafficking movement, activated a mobile code to assist victims of human trafficking in locating help. This textable short code, BEFREE or 233733, puts a victim in touch with someone who can help them plan an escape from their situation and, if possible, connect them with local resources for further assistance. After a year of operation, the organization released data that indicate victims of trafficking are utilizing the text option more than the hotline (17 percent versus 9 percent). Other findings include
- nearly 75 percent of the calls referred to sex trafficking,
- 68 percent of the calls mentioned one female victim (or more),
- 8 percent of the calls mentioned one male victim (or more),
- and adults were the victims in 58 percent of the calls.
In Pennsylvania, data from 2007 to 2013 reported to the Human Trafficking Resource Center show the majority of potential trafficking situations are related to sex (74 percent), followed by labor (16 percent). Additional data on human trafficking in the Commonwealth, as well as resources for those seeking information and assistance, are available on the Polaris Project website.
|March 31, 2014||Posted by M. P. under Behavorial Health, Federal Government, Policy, Research|
Just over 4 percent of Pennsylvania adults reported experiencing severe mental illness in the past year, while approximately 18 percent reported any mental illness during the same time period, according to the new brief from SAMHSA, State Estimates of Adult Mental Illness for the 2011 and 2012 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health. The report contains data from over 92,000 adults in the United States who participated in the National Survey of Drug Use and Health in 2011 and 2012. The rate in Pennsylvania has increased only incrementally since the 2008 and 2009 report, when 3.5 percent of adults in Pennsylvania reported a severe mental illness in the past year, while 17.7 percent reported any mental illness.
In the 2011, 2012 report, West Virginia had the highest rate of severe mental illness (5.5 percent) reported among adults, as well as the highest rate of any mental illness among adults, 21.4 percent. There does not seem to be any regional correlation to rates of mental illness, as states with high and low rates of both severe mental illness and any mental illness are located in all regions of the country. However, these data can assist in examining connections between mental health and other health issues at the state level, such as the link between mental illness and non-response to traditional anti-smoking interventions, hopefully leading to similar innovative approaches to public policy.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (February 28, 2014). The NSDUH Report: State Estimates of Adult Mental Illness from the 2011 and 2012 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health. Rockville, MD.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (October 6, 2011). The NSDUH Report: State Estimates of Adult Mental Illness. Rockville, MD.
|March 11, 2014||Posted by M. P. under Education, Federal Government, Management, News|
Last month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that American volunteerism had declined to 25.4 percent, the lowest rate since such data were first collected in 2002. The drop in volunteering occurred across many groups including,
- men and women (though overall, women still volunteer more than men)
- whites and blacks (no change among Asian and Hispanic volunteers)
- persons employed (full or part-time) and those not in the workforce
- persons with a high school diploma or a college degree
The median amount of time a person volunteered in 2012-2013 was 50 hours, with 72 percent reporting that they volunteer for one organization. Approximately 43 percent of respondents sought out the opportunity to volunteer, while just about 41 percent were asked to do so by another person.
The BLS brief defines volunteers as “persons who performed unpaid volunteer activities,” which could also encompass internships by high school and college students. This younger group does not appear to be experiencing a decline their interest to donate time, in fact, a study by Millennial Branding and Internships.com found that 77 percent of high school students were strongly motivated to volunteer, a rate even higher than their college counterparts (63 percent). The study suggests that high school youth recognize the educational (skill development) and pragmatic (networking) benefits associated with unpaid internships for organizations or companies that align with their career interests.
Have you noticed any changes in the volunteer pool at your nonprofit?
|February 20, 2014||Posted by M. P. under Children and Family, Health, Policy, Research, Youth Development|
After a period of aggressive growth, obesity rates among American youth have stabilized somewhat in the last decade. Unfortunately, this good news may distract from the trend data indicating that obesity remains a cause for concern among certain sub-groups of youth.
In the paper, Increasing socioeconomic disparities in adolescent obesity, authors Carl B. Frederick, Kaisa Snellman, and Robert D. Putnam discuss the idea of income level as a kind of dividing line in recent obesity trends. In the early 2000’s, obesity rates declined for youth in higher socioeconomic categories, while slowing down or increasing among lower-income groups. The authors found that youth with college-educated parents also experienced a decline in obesity. Due to the national sample limitations, the interaction of race+class was not tested.
Examining weight management as an equation of calories taken in versus calories expended, these findings indicate that lower income youth and/or youth with parents who had a high school education consumed more calories than their higher income peers and reported less recreational activity or exercise. Issues of transportation to markets that carry a wide variety of items including produce, budget limits and the lure of easy to prepare, tasty (but processed) foods all likely play a role in consumption habits, but that is only half of the equation. The authors note that in 2003, 86.6 percent of adolescent children with college-educated parents reported playing a sport or exercising for at least 20 minutes during the past 7 days compared to 79.8 percent of youth with high-school educated parents. In 2010, the gap in exercise/recreation time increased to 91 percent and 80.4 percent, respectively. Also, at a time when high school sport participation is at record levels, Frederick et al., point out that participation in school sports is declining among lower-income students.
Is income level a factor in youth recreation?
An article in ESPN the Magazine by Bruce Kelley and Carl Carchia dives into the data on youth sports participation, citing research from Dr. Don Sabo, Professor at D’Youville College and Co-Director of their Center for Research on Physical Activity, Sport & Health (CRPASH), that points to household income as the primary factor in how early a child begins playing sports. The article refers to Sabo’s work again in noting that low-income boys (27 percent) and low-income girls (17 percent) were among the least likely groups to be on multiple teams (3 or more) during grades 3 through 8. In addition, the report Progress Without Equity: The Provision of High School Athletic Opportunity in the United States, by Gender 1993-94 through 2005-06, published by the Women’s Sports Foundation (Dr. Sabo is a co-author), found differences in access to recreation, noting that opportunities for athletic participation for students was lowest among urban schools (compared to town, suburban and rural) during the research period.
Trend data indicate that the message to eat healthier and move more is making an impact, but perhaps only among certain social classes, particularly those with the resources to enroll their children in school and club sports. With childhood obesity linked to physical health risks as well as risk-taking behaviors such as drug and alcohol experimentation and conflicts with peers, is it time to lessen the focus on “awareness” and look at realistic ways to increase physical activity for all youth?
Social Sciences – Social Sciences – Biological Sciences – Medical Sciences: Carl B. Frederick, Kaisa Snellman, and Robert D. Putnam Increasing socioeconomic disparities in adolescent obesity PNAS 2014; published ahead of print January 13, 2014, doi:10.1073/pnas.1321355110
Sabo, D. and Veliz, P. (2011). Progress Without Equity: The Provision of High School Athletic Opportunity in the United States, by Gender 1993-94 through 2005-06. East Meadow, NY: Women’s Sports Foundation.