Featured Articles Summer 2014
Montessori Public School Pre-K Programs and the School Readiness of Low-Income Black and Latino Children
Arya Ansari and Adam Winsler
Journal of Educational Psychology 2014
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Abstract: Within the United States, there are a variety of early education models and curricula aimed at promoting young children’s pre-academic, social, and behavioral skills. This study, using data from the Miami School Readiness Project (Winsler et al., 2008, 2012), examined the school readiness gains of low income Latino (n _ 7,045) and Black (n _ 6,700) children enrolled in 2 different types of Title-1 public school pre-K programs: those in programs using the Montessori curriculum and those in more conventional programs using the High/Scope curriculum with a literacy supplement. Parents and teachers reported on children’s socio-emotional and behavioral skills with the Devereux Early Childhood Assessment (Lebuffe & Naglieri, 1999), whereas children’s pre-academic skills (cognitive, motor, and language) were assessed directly with the Learning Accomplishment Profile–Diagnostic (Nehring, Nehring, Bruni, & Randolph, 1992) at the beginning and end of their 4-year-old pre-K year. All children, regardless of curriculum, demonstrated gains across pre-academic, socio-emotional, and behavioral skills throughout the pre-K year; however, all children did not benefit equally from Montessori programs. Latino children in Montessori programs began the year at most risk in pre-academic and behavioral skills, yet exhibited the greatest gains across these domains and ended the year scoring above national averages. Conversely, Black children exhibited healthy gains in Montessori, but they demonstrated slightly greater gains when attending more conventional pre-K programs. Findings have implications for tailoring early childhood education programs for Latino and Black children from low-income communities.
The Importance of Spousal Education for the Self-Rated Health of Married Adults in the United States
Dustin Brown, Robert A. Hummer, and Mark D. Hayward
Population Research and Policy Review 33:127-151, 2014
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Abstract: Education’s benefits for individuals’ health are well documented, but it is unclear whether health benefits also accrue from the education of others in important social relationships. We assess the extent to which individuals’ own education combines with their spouse’s education to influence self-rated health among married persons aged 25 and older in the United States (N = 337,846) with pooled data from the 1997–2010 National Health Interview Survey. Results from age- and gender-specific models revealed that own education and spouse’s education each share an inverse association with fair/poor self-rated health among married men and women. Controlling for spousal education substantially attenuated the association between individuals’ own education and fair/poor self-rated health and the reduction in this association was greater for married women than married men. The results also suggest that husbands’ education is more important for wives’ selfrated health than vice versa. Spousal education particularly was important for married women aged 45–64. Overall, the results imply that individuals’ own education and spousal education combine to influence self-rated health within marriage. The results highlight the importance of shared resources in marriage for producing health.
Academic Achievement as a Moderator for Genetic Influences in Alcohol Use in Adolescence
Aprile D. Benner, Natalie Kretsch, K. Paige Harden and Robert Crosnoe
Developmental Psychology 50(4):1170-1178, 2014
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Abstract: Prior research suggests a link between academic performance and alcohol use during adolescence, but the degree to which this association reflects actual protective effects continues to be debated. We investigated the role of genetic factors in the association between academic achievement and adolescent alcohol use and whether achievement might constrain the translation of genetic influences on drinking into actual behavior (a Gene _ Environment interaction). Analysis of twin data from Add Health (n _ 399 monozygotic and dizygotic twin pairs) revealed not only common genetic factors underlying the association between achievement and alcohol consumption but also evidence for a gene– environment interaction. Specifically, the protective effect of achievement operated by moderating heritability of alcohol use, which was particularly salient for adolescents at high genetic risk for alcohol use.
Factors Influencing the Likelihood of Instrumental Delivery Success
Catherine E. Aiken, Abigail R. Aiken, Jeremy C. Brockelsby, and James G. Scott
Obstetrics and Gynecology 123(4):796-803, 2014
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Abstract: OBJECTIVE: To evaluate risk factors for unsuccessful instrumental delivery when variability between individual obstetricians is taken into account. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of attempted instrumental deliveries over a 5-year period (2008–2012 inclusive) in a tertiary United Kingdom center. To account for interobstetrician variability, we matched unsuccessful deliveries (case group) with successful deliveries (control group) by the same operators. Multivariate logistic regression was used to compare successful and unsuccessful instrumental deliveries. RESULTS: Three thousand seven hundred ninety-eight instrumental deliveries of vertex-presenting, single, term newborns were attempted, of which 246 were unsuccessful (6.5%). Increased birth weight (odds ratio [OR] 1.11; P,.001), second-stage labor duration (OR 1.01; P,.001), rotational delivery (OR 1.52; P,.05), and use of ventouse compared with forceps (OR 1.33; P,.05) were associated with unsuccessful outcome. When interobstetrician variability was controlled for, instrument selection and decision to rotate were no longer associated with instrumental delivery success. More senior obstetricians had higher rates of unsuccessful deliveries (12% compared with 5%; P,.05) but were used to undertake more complicated cases. Cesarean delivery during the second stage of labor without previous attempt at instrumental delivery was associated with higher birth weight (OR 1.07; P,.001), increased maternal age (OR 1.03; P,.01), and epidural analgesia (OR 1.46; P,.001). CONCLUSION: Results suggest that birth weight and head position are the most important factors in successful instrumental delivery, whereas the influence of instrument selection and rotational delivery appear to be operator-dependent. Risk factors for lack of instrumental delivery success are distinct from risk factors for requiring instrumental delivery, and these should not be conflated in clinical practice.
Temporary Help Work: Earnings, Wages, and Multiple Job Holdings
Sarah Hamersma, Carolyn Heinrich, and Peter Mueser
Industrial Relations 53(1):72-100, 2014
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Abstract: Temporary help services (THS) employment has been growing in size, particularly among disadvantaged workers. An extended policy debate focuses on the low earnings, limited benefits, and insecurity that such jobs appear to provide. We investigate the earnings and wage differentials observed between THS and other jobs in a sample of disadvantaged workers. We find lower quarterly earnings at THS jobs but a $1 per hour wage premium. We reconcile these findings in terms of the shorter duration and lower hours worked at THS jobs. We interpret the premium as a compensating wage differential.
Dyadic Curve-of-Factors Model: An Introduction and Illustration of a Model for Longitudinal Nonexchangeable Dyadic Data
Tiffany A. Whittaker, S. Natasha Beretvas, and Toni Falbo
Structural Equation Modeling: A Multidisciplinary Journal 21:1-15, 2014
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Abstract: The analysis of longitudinal data collected from nonexchangeable dyads presents a challenge for applied researchers for various reasons. This article introduces the dyadic curve-of-factors model (D–COFM), which extends the curve-of-factors model (COFM) proposed by McArdle (1988) for use with nonexchangeable dyadic data. The D–COFM overcomes problems with modeling composite scores across time and instead permits examination of the growth in latent constructs over time. The D–COFM also appropriately models the interdependency among nonexchangeable dyads. Different parameterizations of the D–COFM are illustrated and discussed using a real data set to aid applied researchers when analyzing dyadic longitudinal data.
Measurement Equivalence of the Language-Brokering Scale for Chinese American Adolescents and Their Parents
Su Yeong Kim, Yijie Wang, Scott R. Weaver, Yishan Shen, Nina Wu-Seibold, and Cindy H. Liu
Journal of Family Psychology 28(2):180-192, 2014
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Abstract: Language brokering occurs frequently in immigrant families. Using data from 279 Chinese American families with adolescents who function as language brokers for their parents, the current study developed a comprehensive scale to assess adolescents’ and their parents’ perceptions of language brokering. Both versions, parent and adolescent, showed stable factor structures. We also examined measurement equivalence, including factorial and construct-validity invariance, for each subscale across parent gender, adolescent gender, adolescent nativity, and translation frequency. In general, metric factorial invariance was observed for most subscales across the different groups; these subscales can thus be used in future studies examining the relations between language brokering and other variables. Further, two adolescent subscales (i.e., adolescent-focused burden, positive relations with parents) and three parent subscales (i.e., parent-focused burden, negative feelings, positive relations with child) demonstrated strong factorial invariance consistently across different groups, and can thus be used in future studies examining mean group differences in language-brokering experiences. In terms of construct-validity equivalence, most subscales were associated with parent– child conflict and adolescent depressive symptoms to a similar degree across parent gender, adolescent gender, and nativity. Implications of the current findings and recommendations for future use are discussed.
Developmental Trends in Sleep Duration in Adolescence and Young Adulthood: Evidence From a National United States Sample
Julie Maslowsky and Emily J. Ozer
Journal of Adolescent Health 54:691-697, 2014
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Abstract: Purpose: To present normative values of mean sleep duration from adolescence through young adulthood (ages 13e32 years), prevalence of short (<6 hours) and long (>10 hours) sleep durations, and differences in each by sex and race/ethnicity. Methods: Mean sleep duration and prevalence of extremely short and long sleep were estimated using data from the United States National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, Waves 1e4 (N ¼ 15,701). Results: Sleep duration showed age-related trends, with decreases across the adolescent period from 8.5 hours per night at age 13 years to 7.3 hours at age 18 years, an increase through the emerging adulthood period to 8.5 hours at age 22, and a gradual decline across early adulthood to 7.7 hours at age 32 years. Prevalence of extremely long and short sleep followed similar developmental trends. Adolescent girls reported lower mean sleep duration than did boys, but women reported longer average sleep duration than did men from age 19 years onward. Short sleep duration was most common among African-Americans at all ages. Long sleep was most common among African-Americans in adolescence and emerging adulthood and among Hispanics in early adulthood. Conclusions: Sleep duration is developmentally patterned from adolescence through early adulthood. Mean and extreme sleep durations vary systematically by sex and race/ethnicity as well as age. These normative data on sleep duration will inform studies of the role of sleep in the etiology of a wide range of health conditions affecting adolescents and young adults.
Poverty and Awakening Cortisol in Adolescence: The Importance of Timing in Early Life
Michael J. McFarland and Mark D. Hayward
Society and Mental Health, 4(1):21-37, 2014
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Abstract: The deleterious effects of poverty on mental and physical health are routinely argued to operate, at least in part, via dysregulation of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, although empirical examinations connecting poverty with HPA axis functioning are rare. Research on the effects of timing of poverty is a particularly neglected aspect of this relationship. This study uses 15 years of prospective data from the Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development to assess how exposure to poverty during infancy, childhood, and adolescence is related to awakening cortisol (n = 826), a marker of HPA axis functioning. Among female participants, poverty exposure in infancy and adolescence, but not childhood, was negatively associated with awakening cortisol. Poverty exposure was unrelated to cortisol among male participants. The importance of timing and gender differences are discussed along with directions for future research.
I’ve Got You Under My Skin: Marital Biography and Biological Risk
Michael J. McFarland, Mark D. Hayward, and Dustin Brown
Journal of Marriage and Family 75:363-380, 2013
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Abstract: Social relationships shape adult health in profound ways. This study informs our understanding of this association by investigating how the transitions, timing, and exposures to marriage are associated with types of biological risk presumed to serve as pathways to disease and disability. Drawing on the 2005 – 2006 National Social Health and Aging Project (N=1,062), the authors evaluated how marital biography was associated with cardiovascular, metabolic, and chronic inflammation risk. The results showed that the effects of marital biography were highly sensitive to gender, the dimension of marital biography, and type of biological risk. For example, marital exposure was protective of cardiovascular risk for women, but not men, whereas an earlier age at first marriage had a pernicious effect on chronic inflammation among men, but not women. Health behaviors did not explain these associations. The implications of these findings are discussed as they pertain to under-the-skin risk processes and chronic morbidity.
Cumulative Childhood Adversity, Educational Attainment, and Active Life Expectancy Among U.S. Adults
Jennifer Karas Montez and Mark D. Hayward
Demography 51:413-435, 2014
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Abstract: Studies of the early-life origins of adult physical functioning and mortality have found that childhood health and socioeconomic context are important predictors, often irrespective of adult experiences. However, these studies have generally assessed functioning and mortality as distinct processes and used cross-sectional prevalence estimates that neglect the interplay of disability incidence, recovery, and mortality. Here, we examine whether early-life disadvantages both shorten lives and increase the number and fraction of years lived with functional impairment. We also examine the degree to which educational attainment mediates and moderates the health consequences of early-life disadvantages. Using the 1998–2008 Health and Retirement Study, we examine these questions for non-Hispanic whites and blacks aged 50–100 years using multistate life tables. Within levels of educational attainment, adults from disadvantaged childhoods lived fewer total and active years, and spent a greater portion of life impaired compared with adults from advantaged childhoods. Higher levels of education did not ameliorate the health consequences of disadvantaged childhoods. However, because education had a larger impact on health than did childhood socioeconomic context, adults from disadvantaged childhoods who achieved high education levels often had total and active life expectancies that were similar to or better than those of adults from advantaged childhoods who achieved low education levels.
Family Process Correlates of Firearm Ownership and Firearm Storage Among Families with Young Children
Alexa Martin-Storey, Kate C. Prickett and Robert Crosnoe
Maternal and Child Health Journal, 2014
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Abstract: To understand how family relations and dynamics were associated with firearm ownership among US families with 4-year-olds and with firearm storage among those families with firearms, controlling for sociodemographic characteristics of families and states. With representative data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort (n = 8,100), logistic regression models employed a set of family process variables (e.g., parenting practices, parental stress, maternal depression, and safety behaviors) as (1) predictors of firearm ownership among all families and, (2) as predictors of safe firearm storage among firearm owning families. An estimated 22 % of families with pre-kindergarten age children reported having firearms in their households. Among firearm owning families, 69 % of families kept firearms in a locked cabinet. Comparing families who did and did not report owning firearms, those who did were more likely to report spanking their children. Firearm owning parents who reported higher levels of parenting stress and lower likelihood that their child always wore a helmet when bicycling were also more likely to report unsafe firearm storage practices. Family processes differentiated both firearm owners from non-firearm owners and firearms owners who locked up their firearms from firearm owners who did not. These findings suggest that firearm ownership and firearm safety behaviors likely arise from a more general family context related to child health and safety.
Changes in Young Children’s Family Structures and Child Care Arrangements
Robert Crosnoe, Kate Chambers Prickett, Chelsea Smith and Shannon Cavanagh
Demography 51(2):459-483, 2014
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Abstract: Family structure change can disrupt the settings of children’s daily lives. Most scholarship focuses on disruption in the home environment. Moving beyond the home, this study explores the association between changes in family structure and changes in several dimensions of early child care. With longitudinal data from the NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development (n = 1,298), first-difference models reveal that family structure transitions are associated with changes in the type and quantity of early care as well as the number of care arrangements used, especially during the latter part of infancy. Given prior evidence linking these child care dimensions to behavioral and cognitive outcomes, these results suggest a policy-relevant mechanism by which family change may create inequalities among children.
Early-Life Social Origins of Later-Life Body Weight: The Role of Socioeconomic Status and Health Behaviors over the Life Course
Tetyana Pudrovska, Ellis Logan, and Aliza Richman
Social Science Research 46:59-71, 2014
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Abstract: Using the 1957–2004 data from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study, we apply structural equation modeling to examine gender-specific effects of family socioeconomic status (SES) at age 18 on body weight at age 65. We further explore SES and health behaviors over the life course as mechanisms linking family background and later-life body weight. We find that early-life socioeconomic disadvantage is related to higher body weight at age 65 and a steeper weight increase between midlife and late life. These adverse effects are stronger among women than men. Significant mediators of the effect of parents’ SES include adolescent body mass (especially among women) as well as exercise and SES in midlife. Yet, consistent with the critical period mechanism, the effect of early-life SES on late-life body weight persists net of all mediating variables. This study expands current understanding of life-course mechanisms that contribute to obesity and increase biological vulnerability to social disadvantage.
Why are Educated Adults Slim—Causation or Selection?
Paul T. von Hippel and Jamie L. Lynch
Social Science and Medicine 105:131-139
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Abstract: More educated adults tend to have lower body mass index (BMI) and a lower risk of overweight and obesity. We contrast two explanations for this education gradient in BMI. One explanation is selection: adolescents with high BMI are less likely to plan for, attend, and complete higher levels of education. An alternative explanation is causation: higher education confers lifelong social, economic, and psychological benefits that help adults to restrain BMI growth. We test the relative importance of selection and causation using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, 1997 cohort (NLSY97), which tracks self-reported BMI from adolescence (age 15) through young adulthood (age 29).
Ordinal regression models confirm the selection hypothesis that high-BMI adolescents are less likely to complete higher levels of education. Selection has primarily to do with the fact that high-BMI adolescents tend to come from socioeconomically disadvantaged families and tend to have low grades and test scores. Among high-BMI girls there is also some evidence that educational attainment is limited by bullying, poor health, and early pregnancy. About half the selection of high-BMI girls out of higher education remains unexplained.
Fixed-effects models control for selection and suggest that the causal effect of education on BMI, though significant, accounts for only one-quarter of the mean BMI differences between more and less educated adults at age 29. Among young adults, it appears that most of the education gradient in BMI is due to selection.
“Where Have All the Good Men Gone?” Gendered Interactions in Online Dating
Derek A. Kreager, Shannon E. Cavanagh, John Yen and Mo Yu
Journal of Marriage and Family 76(2): 387-410, 2014
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Abstract: This article explores gendered patterns of online dating and their implications for heterosexual union formation. Using 6 months of online dating data from a midsized Southwestern city (N = 8,259 men, 6,274 women), the authors found that men and women tend to send messages to the most socially desirable alters in the dating market regardless of their own desirability levels. They also found that male initiators connect with more desirable partners than men who wait to be contacted, but female initiators connect with equally desirable partners as women who wait to be contacted. Female-initiated contacts are also more than twice as likely as male-initiated contacts to result in a connection, but women send 4 times fewer messages than men. Finally, the authors compared partner desirability levels over repeated exchanges and concluded that couple similarities are more likely to result from relationship termination (i.e., nonreciprocity) than initial homophilous preferences.
Parents’ Employment and Children’s Wellbeing
Carolyn J. Heinrich
The Future of Children 24(1):121-146, 2014
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Abstract: Since modern welfare reform began in the 1980s, we have seen low-income parents leave the welfare rolls and join the workforce in large numbers. At the same time, the Earned Income Tax Credit has offered a monetary incentive for low-income parents to work. Thus, unlike some of the other two-generation mechanisms discussed in this issue of Future of Children, policies that encourage low-income parents to work are both widespread and well-entrenched in the
But parents’ (and especially mothers’) work, writes Carolyn Heinrich, is not unambiguously beneficial for their children. On the one hand, working parents can be positive role models for their children, and, of course, the income they earn can improve their children’s lives in many ways. On the other hand, work can impair the developing bond between parents and young children, especially when the parents work long hours or evening and night shifts. The stress that parents bring home from their jobs can detract from their parenting skills, undermine the atmosphere in the home, and thereby introduce stress into children’s lives. Unfortunately, it is low-income parents who are most likely to work in stressful, low-quality jobs that feature low pay, little autonomy, inflexible hours, and few or no benefits. And low-income children whose parents are working are more likely to be placed in inadequate child care or to go unsupervised. Two-generation approaches, Heinrich writes, could maximize the benefits and minimize the detriments of parents’ work by expanding workplace flexibility, and especially by mandating enough paid leave so that mothers can breastfeed and form close bonds with their infants; by helping parents place their children in high-quality child care; and by helping lowincome parents train for, find, and keep a well-paying job with benefits.
Reconsidering Racial/Ethnic Differences in Sterilization in the United States
Kari White and Joseph Potter
Contraception 89:550-556, 2014
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Abstract: Objective: Cross-sectional studies have found that low-income and racial/ethnic minority women are more likely to use female sterilization and less likely to rely on a partner’s vasectomy than women with higher incomes and whites. However, studies of pregnant and postpartum women report that racial/ethnic minorities, particularly low-income minority women, face greater barriers in obtaining a sterilization than do whites and those with higher incomes. In this paper, we address this apparent contradiction by examining the likelihood a woman gets a sterilization following each delivery, which removes from the comparison any difference in the number of births she has experienced. Study Design: Using the 2006–2010 National Survey of Family Growth, we fit multivariable-adjusted logistic and Cox regression models to estimate odds ratios and hazard ratios for getting a postpartum or interval sterilization, respectively, according to race/ethnicity and insurance status. Results: Women’s chances of obtaining a sterilization varied by both race/ethnicity and insurance. Among women with Medicaid, whites were more likely to use female sterilization than African Americans and Latinas. Privately insured whites were more likely to rely on vasectomy than African Americans and Latinas, but among women with Medicaid-paid deliveries reliance on vasectomy was low for all racial/ethnic groups. Conclusions: Low-income racial/ethnic minority women are less likely to undergo sterilization following delivery compared to low-income whites and privately insured women of similar parities. This could result from unique barriers to obtaining permanent contraception and could expose women to the risk of future unintended pregnancies. Implications: Low-income minorities are less likely to undergo sterilization than low-income whites and privately insured minorities, which may result from barriers to obtaining permanent contraception, and exposes women to unintended pregnancies.
The Impact of Payment Source and Hospital Type on Rising Cesarean Section Rates in Brazil, 1998-2008
Kristine Hopkins, Ernesto Friedrich de Lima Amaral and Aline Nogueira Menezes Mourao
Birth 41:169-177, 2014
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Abstract: Background: High cesarean section rates in Brazilian public hospitals and higher rates in private hospitals are well established. Less is known about the relationship between payment source and cesarean section rates within public and private hospitals. Methods: We analyzed the 1998, 2003, and 2008 rounds of a nationally representative household survey (PNAD), which includes type of delivery, where it took place, and who paid for it. We construct cesarean section rates for various categories, and perform logistic regression to determine the relative importance of independent variables on cesarean section rates for all births and first births only. Results: Brazilian cesarean section rates were 42 percent in 1998 and 53 percent in 2008. Women who delivered publicly funded births in either public or private hospitals had lower cesarean section rates than those who delivered privately financed deliveries in public or private hospitals. Multivariate models suggest that older age, higher education, and living outside the Northeast region all positively affect the odds of delivering by cesarean section; effects are attenuated by the payment source–hospital type variable for all women and even more so among first births. Conclusions: Cesarean section rates have risen substantially in Brazil. It is important to distinguish payment source for the delivery to have a better understanding of those rates.