Monthly Archives: March 2012
|March 29, 2012||Posted by M. P. under Children and Family, Research, Youth Development|
A report from Child Trends examines the impact of emotional support for mothers on familial relationships and child outcomes among disadvantaged families. The researchers measured the effect of emotional support – often found in healthly, reassuring relationships – of mothers on the variables of school engagement, school competence and symptoms of depression in their children. Findings include,
- The children of mothers reporting emotional support were more engaged in school than those of mothers lacking emotional support. These findings held across three groups – among single mothers (74 percent versus 67 percent), mothers who did not finish high-school (75 percent versus 70 percent), and in low income families (76 percent versus 70 percent).
- The children of mothers reporting emotional support were more likely to have social competence than children with mothers lacking support across the same three groups – single mothers (56 percent to 43 percent), mothers who did not finish high school (49 percent versus 38 percent), and households below the poverty line (54 percent versus 41 percent).
Overall, data indicate that youth with mothers who have emotional support in their lives experience better behavioral outcomes than their peers from families lacking this specific protective factor. The implications of these findings should resonate with nonprofit and community organizations who work with low-income families or in disadvantaged neighborhoods and inform their programmatic offerings.
The report, Disadvantaged Families and Child Outcomes: The Importance of Emotional Support for Mothers by Tawana Bandy, B.S., Kristine M. Andrews, Ph.D., and Kristin Anderson Moore, Ph.D. is available at the Child Trends site.
|March 22, 2012||Posted by M. P. under Juvenile Delinquency, Policy, Research||
This week the Supreme Court began hearing arguments on the constitutionality of sentencing juveniles as young as 14 years old to life imprisonment without parole. As of 2009, 2,589 inmates serving life without parole sentences in the United States were less than 18 years of age when they committed their crime, 17 percent of them in Pennsylvania.
An infographic from Amnesty International displays additional descriptive data on juveniles sentenced to life without parole, including the fact that for nearly 60 percent of the sample, the sentence was given for their first criminal conviction.
If you are interested in learning more about this subset of the prison population, The Lives of Juvenile Lifers: Findings from a National Survey by Dr. Ashley Nellis of The Sentencing Project is an excellent examination of the environment, history and nature of the crimes committed by youth currently serving sentences of life without parole. Findings include, histories of exposure to violence, physical and sexual abuse, racial disparities in sentencing, and the inability to attend prison programming due to lifer status. A complete copy of the report is available at The Sentencing Project website.
This report, in addition to the headlines around the current Supreme Court case and the memory of the travesty in Luzerne County, have only crystallized for me the complete transformation of the juvenile justice system from one created to reform a system characterized by harsh punishments and little distinction between youth and adult offenders, to the punitive one operating today.
|March 20, 2012||Posted by M. P. under Drug and Alcohol, Federal Government, Health|
If you are at all interested in drug and alcohol abuse and treatment trends, a wealth of data is available in the 2010 National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSATS) report, based on an annual census of substance abuse treatment facilities conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). This information provides a picture of the presence and nature of alcohol and drug treatment in the country that may be useful for predicting and planning for future treatment needs. Highlights from the survey include,
- The number of clients in treatment facilities increased by 4 percent between 2006 and 2010, although the number of facilities remained stable
- 92 percent of facilities reported clients receiving treatment for both alcohol and drug abuse in March of 2010
- A breakdown of treatment centers by type indicates the majority of clients are served in private nonprofit treatment facilities (53 percent), just under 1/3 (32 percent) are served in private for profit treatment centers, 6 percent in facilities run by the local government, 4 percent in state-operated facilities and 4 percent in federally run facilities
- There was little change in the type of treatment received from 2006 to 2010 – outpatient services treated 90 percent of clients, residential treatment accounted for 10 percent, and 1 percent of clients received hospital inpatient treatment
- Approximately 8 percent of treatment clients were under age 18 between 2006 and 2010. The break-out of type of care mirrored that of the total population above – 88 percent of clients in outpatient care, 12 percent in residential treatment and up to 2 percent in hospital inpatient treatment
Additional data on utilization rates, services and therapeutic approaches and licensing/accreditation are available in the full report, National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSATS): 2010 Data on Substance Abuse Treatment Facilities.
Citation: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSATS): 2010. Data on Substance Abuse Treatment Facilities. DASIS Series S-59, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 11-4665. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2011.
|March 16, 2012||Posted by M. P. under Children and Family, Health, Research||
A new report, from the U.S. Surgeon General highlights the challenges in communicating the dangers of smoking to students and young adults. The publication, Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults: A Report of the Surgeon General, found that the trend of decreasing tobacco use has greatly slowed or stopped among young people. Other findings include,
- Nearly 1/4 of high school seniors are smokers.
- Use of several tobacco products concurrently is not uncommon among youth, almost 33 percent of high school females and over 50 percent of high school males report using multiple tobacco products in the past month.
- Of adults who are daily smokers, 88 percent had their first cigarette before age 18. Less than 1 percent of adults start smoking after age 25.
- Marketing and promotions by tobacco companies lead to youth experimentation with and continuation of smoking. Cigarette marketing budgets are now 48% more than they were in 1998.
This data illustrate the continued importance of tobacco prevention activities aimed at school-age youth, but the campaign against smoking may need to be expanded to include an even younger target audience to counteract new marketing strategies.
Citation: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2012.