Monthly Archives: October 2011
|October 19, 2011||Posted by M. P. under Juvenile Delinquency, Policy, Program Model, Research||
Findings from the Pathways to Desistance Study out of the University of Pittsburgh, one of the largest current collaborative longitudinal studies in the United States to follow juveniles post-adjudication, indicate that youth offenders tend to decrease their level of criminal behavior over time, no matter the intervention applied. In the brief, Highlights from Pathways to Desistance: A Longitudinal Study of Serious Adolescent Offenders, principle researcher Edward P. Mulvey discusses other key findings of the study including,
- less drug and alcohol use and a higher level of stability in daily life are factors that differentiate serious juvenile offenders who have stopped offending from those who continue criminal behavior;
- recidivism is not reduced by sentencing juveniles to longer terms in institutions;
- in the short term, drug and alcohol treatment does reduce substance abuse and criminal activity.
|October 15, 2011||Posted by M. P. under News, NRM, Policy, Research||
These organizations and bloggers are excellent resources for data, commentary and timely updates on the policy, politics, data trends and general goings-on that may have an impact on (or be useful knowledge for) nonprofits in western Pennsylvania. In the spirit of full disclosure, my spouse works at one of these organizations – but that had nothing to do with why it took me this long to add the link. THAT had everything to do with how I feel about housekeeping in general.
|October 12, 2011||Posted by M. P. under Children and Family, Federal Government, Management, Policy||
The latest edition of the policy journal The Future of Children (a collaborative project between Princeton University and the Brookings Institution) was formally released last week at an event in Washington, DC. The theme of the Fall 2011 issue is Work and Family, a timely topic what with approximately 70 percent of mothers currently in the workforce and an increasing number of single-parent families in the country. Yet another new demographic trend adding strain to the work-family balance is the large number of aging and elderly parents, grandparents and other relatives who are or will be in need of care as their health declines.
I included a link to the audio of the event at the bottom of this post and encourage interested readers to give it a listen. The presentation concludes with a question and answer segment that expounds on methods to best balance both the needs of businesses and their employees around work-family policy changes such as paid leave (not paid for by the employer) and scheduling flexibility such as “right to request”. An aside – my personal favorite is a comment by a woman who claims that childbirth, based on her experience, only requires a 2-day disability leave.
The journal features 9 submissions on topics ranging from elder care, to an international examination of family leave practices in competitive economies, to the role of the government in work-family conflicts. With the federal government on the sidelines, unable to move forward with any legislation, now may be the time for state-level policy-makers and businesses to take the lead and address the very real issue of work-family conflicts. Some takeaways from the journal’s executive summary include:
- flexibility in the workplace is a win-win as it is associated with higher productivity for employers and better health, job engagement and satisfaction for employees;
- family leave policies are not equitable – they are more often seen in higher-paying professions; and
- there is a need for policies in the workplace that realistically support men and women carrying the responsibility for young child and elder care to reduce work-family conflict at little to no additional cost to the employer.
Work and Family Balance
|October 10, 2011||Posted by M. P. under Children and Family, Drug and Alcohol, Evaluation, Juvenile Delinquency, Program Model, Youth Development||
A study published online in the journal Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine offers evidence that the program Communities That Care is successful in preventing drug and alcohol use and other high-risk behaviors among youth. Communities That Care is essentially a prevention strategy developed by researchers at the University of Washington. According to the CTC Facebook page, the approach is described as a “coalition-based prevention operating system that uses a public health approach to prevent youth problem behaviors such as violence, delinquency, school drop out and substance abuse”.
The most recent study tracked students (via surveys) for 5 years (from 5th grade to 10th grade), including a period of time after the external support for the CTC program in their community had been withdrawn. According to a new release from the University of Washington, adolescents in the communities where the program operated:
- were half as likely to have tried cigarettes by the 10th grade;
- had 38 percent lower odds of trying alcohol by grade 10;
- 25 percent lower odds of participating in physical violence; and
- 17 percent lower odds of participating in delinquent behaviors including theft, vandalism and drug sales than their peers in other communities.
A brief summary of the study, Sustained Decreases in Risk Exposure and Youth Problem Behaviors After Installation of the Communities That Care Prevention System in a Randomized Trial by J. David Hawkins, PhD; Sabrina Oesterle, PhD; Eric C. Brown, PhD; Kathryn C. Monahan, PhD; Robert D. Abbott, PhD; Michael W. Arthur, PhD; and Richard F. Catalano, PhD is available at the Archives of Pediatric Adolescent Medicine website. Additional information on this study and comments from the head researcher are included in the news release from the University of Washington.