SAMHSA’s 2015 Behavioral Health Barometer: Pennsylvania Offers Look at Substance Use, Mental Health Treatment
|April 2, 2016||Posted by M. P. under Behavorial Health, Children and Family, Drug and Alcohol|
Earlier this year The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) published the third edition of their Behavioral Health Barometer: Pennsylvania – part of series of reports at both the national and the state level that provides a “snapshot of behavioral health.” The Barometer pulls data on youth and adult behavioral health markers from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services, the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, the Monitoring the Future survey, and services used by Medicare enrollees. This free report is a great source of data for needs assessments and grant proposals, be sure to download the national and state (of your choice) report at the SAMHSA website.
Below are data from the report on aspects of youth and adolescent behavioral health and substance use. Overall, the state percentages are comparable to national percentages, with higher proportions in reported cigarette use and binge drinking.
For Pennsylvania in 2013/2013-14:
- approximately 84,000 adolescents (12 to 17 years old), just under 9 percent of all adolescents, used illegal drugs during the month prior.
- 6.6 percent of adolescents used cigarettes within the last month – this is higher than the national data point of 5.2 percent.
- 16.5 percent of adolescents binged on alcohol within the last month – again, higher than the national percentage of 14 percent.
- 198,088 youth (under 18 years of age) received services from the public mental health system, with 63.5 percent reporting improvement post-treatment, lower than the national data point of 69.5 percent.
Report Citation: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Behavioral Health Barometer: Pennsylvania, 2015. HHS Publication No. SMA–16–Baro–2015–PA. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2015.
|February 22, 2016||Posted by M. P. under Health, Research|
Although it is preventable, dental disease is perhaps the most prevalent chronic childhood illness in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 20 percent of children 5 to 11 years old have one tooth with untreated decay, a situation that may lead to more severe health problems. Youth from lower-income families have a higher rate of untreated tooth decay than their peers.
As dental care has long been a component of public health policy, RAND examined access to dental care across Pennsylvania using a series of indicators to determine the distribution and available of dentists and dental hygienists. Two counties (Potter and Juniata) did not meet the guideline of full-time dentist per number of residents. Other counties varied greatly across study indicators. A sample of findings:
- Two counties do not have dentists that accept Medicaid.
- 58 percent of counties in Pennsylvania do not have pediatric dental specialists.
- High unemployment rates were associated with fewer providers of dental care.
- The Head Start program appears to be a successful method in getting dental care to children who might not otherwise have access to it.
Citation: Baird, Matthew D., Michelle K. Baird and Joseph V. Vesely. Access to Dental Providers in Pennsylvania: Exploration of the County-Level Distribution of Dental Providers and Populations in 2013. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation, 2016. http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR1351.html.
|January 20, 2016||Posted by M. P. under Education, Research, Youth Development||
The inclusion of ethnic studies (ES) in high school curricula is a topic of much debate, with one state banning some ES classes and another state’s Governor vetoing a bill that would have mandated them in public schools. Although both critics and supporters of culturally relevant teaching have strong views regarding its impact on students, there was little quantitative research in this area. Until now.
A study out of Stanford University found statistically significant increases in key academic outcomes among at-risk students in ES classes. Data from several student cohorts from 3 schools in the San Francisco Unified School District indicate that those students enrolled in the classes increased school attendance by 21 percent, GPA by 1.4 points and academic credits earned by 23. Male students and Hispanic students showed the largest increase in positive outcomes.
The authors of the study note that while their work offers empirical evidence of the impact of culturally relevant pedagogy on student performance, questions remain on the scalability of the approach and the size of the effect (if any) on students with higher levels of academic achievement. The paper is available for download on the Stanford Center for Education Policy Analysis webpage.
Citation: Dee, T., & Penner, E. (2016). The Casual Effects of Cultural Relevance: Evidence from an Ethnic Studies Curriculum (CEPA Working Paper No.16-01). Retrieved from Stanford Center for Education Policy Analysis: http://cepa.stanford.edu/wp16-01