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Research/Reports

A New Suite of Data on Safeguards for Youth

Safeguards for Youth is a compilation of the latest data on promoting California children’s health and well-being. The data describe protective factors and supportive services, both of which are critical to building a solid foundation for life and addressing the effects of childhood adversity. Protective factors highlight the importance of preventive health care, a strong start in education, and a nurturing school community. Supportive services address adverse experiences such as health...

Positive Childhood Experiences May Buffer Against Health Effects Of Adverse Ones [npr.org]

By Selena Simmons-Duffin, National Public Radio, September 9, 2019 Plenty of research shows that adverse childhood experiences can lead to depression and other health problems later in life. But researcher Christina Bethell wondered whether positive experiences in childhood could counter that. Her research comes from a personal place. In the 1970s, in a low-income housing complex in Los Angeles, Bethell had a tough childhood. Sometimes she didn't have money for lunch. Sometimes, when a free...

Breaking the Silence on Early Child Care and Education Costs: A Values-Based Budget for Children, Parents, and Teachers in California

By Elise Gould, Marcy Whitebook, Zane Mokhiber, and Lea J.E. Austin, Center for the Study of Child Care Employment, July 23, 2019. What this report finds: California’s child early care and education (ECE) system is underfunded, and California policymakers have not been willing to acknowledge the true cost of creating a comprehensive ECE system. Proposals for ECE reform have focused primarily on improving access and affordability for families but have ignored the elephant in the room: Early...

How Does Toxic Stress Affect Low-Income and Black Children? [citylab.com]

John Singleton, the groundbreaking director who died last month at age 51 after suffering a stroke, grew up in South Central Los Angeles. In 1991, at first-night screenings in South Central for his debut film Boyz n the Hood, violence broke out. At least one man was killed. The then-23-year-old Singleton remarked about the stress of it: “I think I lost about five years of my life.” He was channeling a bit of conventional wisdom, that extreme stress has lasting effects on health and...

Promising Research on Mindfulness for Kids (eomega.org)

Mindfulness trains our brains to respond in ways we choose instead of always in a default manner, which often is a knee-jerk reaction from the reptilian part of the brain. This is especially pertinent in situations that bring up stress or conflict. For instance, if a child has learned to use violence to react to feeling scared, mindfulness can help him or her become aware of this habitual behavior and the feelings underneath it, and ultimately rewire the reaction to a constructive and...

Data-for-Equity Research Brief [nichq.org]

Child care offers a safe space for children to grow and learn while their families are at work, making it a critical resource to support healthy development. However, child care is unaffordable for the majority of working parents, especially for low-income and black and Hispanic working parents. This research brief provides insight and analysis about the challenges families face in affording childcare, which can exacerbate inequities in early childhood health and development. [For more on...

Among preschoolers, bullies who get bullied are at high risk for depression [hechingerreport.org]

It turns out the old saying about sticks and stones breaking bones but words never hurting is bunk. According to research newly published in the peer-reviewed Early Childhood Research Quarterly, emotional bullying in the preschool years hurts quite a lot. When a child both bullies and gets bullied, the findings are especially clear: Depression symptoms begin to appear as early as age 3. Depression in early childhood increases the risk of depression in later childhood, which predicts...

Earlier always better? Child development reseachers question old assumption [CenterforHealthJournalism.org]

It’s always worth revisiting what we think we know. In recent years, there’s been a trend among early childhood researchers to keep moving the focus to earlier and earlier in children’s lives. The storyline might go something like this: Sure, grade school matters, but we need to think about high-quality preschools to level the playing field. Actually, preschool is too late — the interactions kids have with their parents in the first years of life are really what’s crucial for development....

Strengthening self-regulation in childhood may improve resiliency later in life [medicalxpress.com]

Millions of families live in poverty in the United States. Associated stressors can often lead to adverse life experiences for children in those families, and negative socioemotional outcomes later in life. Family-centered programs are a well-supported way of buffering against these effects. More than two decades of peer-reviewed research suggests family -focused interventions play a role in improving outcomes over a long period of time. Now, a paper published in Child Development finally...

NEW: 2018-19 California County Scorecard of Children's Well-Being

Children Now is pleased to announce that we've just released our new 2018-19 California County Scorecard of Children's Well-Being! The latest edition is an interactive tool that provides a comprehensive snapshot of how children are faring in each of the 58 counties, over time, and by race and ethnicity. The tool's indicators cut across four domains of education, early childhood, child welfare and health. This updated edition of the Scorecard features significant enhancements including heat...

Educating the Whole Child: Improving School Climate to Support Student Success

Each year in the United States, 46 million children are exposed to violence, crime, abuse, homelessness, or food insecurity, as well as a range of other experiences that cause psychological trauma. These experiences create toxic stress that can affect children’s attention, learning, and behavior. Research on human development shows that the effects of such trauma can be mitigated when students learn in a positive school climate that offers long-term, secure relationships that supports...

Child’s behavior may be linked to parent’s adverse childhood experiences [contemporarypediatrics.com]

Parents who have experienced adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), such as abuse, neglect, or household dysfunction, are more likely than parents without these experiences to have children with behavioral health problems, according to an analysis of data from several large, nationally representative surveys of US households that addressed ACEs and children’s behavioral problems and diagnoses. Of the more than 2500 children for whom researchers had data, one-fifth had a parent who reported...

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