Thursday, October 02, 2014

Poverty in the United States: 2013 (September 25, 2014)

Abstract:
In 2013, 45.3 million people were counted as poor in the United States under the official poverty measure—a number statistically unchanged from the 46.5 million people estimated as poor in 2012. The poverty rate, or percent of the population considered poor under the official definition, was reported at 14.5% in 2013, a statistically significant drop from the estimated 15.0% in 2012. Poverty in the United States increased markedly over the 2007-2010 period, in tandem with the economic recession (officially marked as running from December 2007 to June 2009), and remained unchanged at a post-recession high for three years (15.1% in 2010, and 15.0% in both 2011 and 2012). The 2013 poverty rate of 14.5% remains above a 2006 pre-recession low of 12.3%, and well above an historic low rate of 11.3% attained in 2000 (a rate statistically tied with a previous low of 11.1% in 1973).
Source: Congressional Research Service

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Ebola Virus Disease: Essential Public Health Principles for Clinicians

Abstract:
Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) has become a health emergency of international concern. The World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have developed guidance to educate and inform healthcare workers and travelers worldwide. Symptoms of EVD include abrupt onset of fever, myalgias, and headache in the early phase, followed by vomiting, diarrhea and possible progression to hemorrhagic rash, life threatening bleeding, and multi-organ failure in the later phase. The disease is not transmitted via airborne spread like influenza, but rather from person-to-person, or animal to person via direct contact with bodily fluids or blood. It is crucial that emergency physicians are well educated on disease presentation and how to generate a timely and accurate differential diagnosis that includes exotic diseases in the appropriate patient population. A patient should be evaluated for EVD with suggestive symptoms including unexplained hemorrhage; AND risk factors within 3 weeks prior, such as travel to an endemic area, direct handling of animals from outbreak areas, or ingestion of fruit or other uncooked foods contaminated with bat feces containing the virus. There are experimental therapies for treatment of the virus; however the mainstay of therapy is supportive care. Emergency department personnel on the frontlines must be prepared to rapidly identify and isolate febrile travelers if indicated. All healthcare workers involved in their care should wear personal protective equipment. Despite the intense media focus on EVD rather than other threats, emergency physicians must master and follow essential public health principles for management of all infectious diseases. This includes not only identification and treatment of individuals, but also protection of healthcare workers and prevention of spread, keeping in mind the possibility of other more common disease processes.
Source:  Western Journal of Emergency Medicine, Articles In Press [via eScholarship Repository]

Download full pdf publication | Read more about this article on eScholarship site

Identifying the Culprit: Assessing Eyewitness Identification

Description:
Eyewitnesses play an important role in criminal cases when they can identify culprits. Estimates suggest that tens of thousands of eyewitnesses make identifications in criminal investigations each year. Research on factors that affect the accuracy of eyewitness identification procedures has given us an increasingly clear picture of how identifications are made, and more importantly, an improved understanding of the principled limits on vision and memory that can lead to failure of identification. Factors such as viewing conditions, duress, elevated emotions, and biases influence the visual perception experience. Perceptual experiences are stored by a system of memory that is highly malleable and continuously evolving, neither retaining nor divulging content in an informational vacuum. As such, the fidelity of our memories to actual events may be compromised by many factors at all stages of processing, from encoding to storage and retrieval. Unknown to the individual, memories are forgotten, reconstructed, updated, and distorted. Complicating the process further, policies governing law enforcement procedures for conducting and recording identifications are not standard, and policies and practices to address the issue of misidentification vary widely. These limitations can produce mistaken identifications with significant consequences. What can we do to make certain that eyewitness identification convicts the guilty and exonerates the innocent?


Authors: Committee on Scientific Approaches to Understanding and Maximizing the Validity and Reliability of Eyewitness Identification in Law Enforcement and the Courts; Committee on Science, Technology, and Law; Policy and Global Affairs; Committee on Law and Justice; Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education; National Research Council [via National Academies Press]

Download full pdf publication | Read more about the publication on the National Academies website

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Ethnic Variation in Gender-STEM Stereotypes and STEM Participation: An Intersectional Approach

Abstract
Stereotypes associating men and masculine traits with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields are ubiquitous, but the relative strength of these stereotypes varies considerably across cultures. The present research applies an intersectional approach to understanding ethnic variation in gender-STEM stereotypes and STEM participation within an American university context. African American college women participated in STEM majors at higher rates than European American college women (Study 1, Study 2, and Study 4). Furthermore, African American women had weaker implicit gender-STEM stereotypes than European American women (Studies 2–4), and ethnic differences in implicit gender-STEM stereotypes partially mediated ethnic differences in STEM participation (Study 2 and Study 4). Although African American men had weaker implicit gender-STEM stereotypes than European American men (Study 4), ethnic differences between men in STEM participation were generally small (Study 1) or nonsignificant (Study 4). We discuss the implications of an intersectional approach for understanding the relationship between gender and STEM participation.
Source: Cultural Diversity & Ethnic Minority Psychology 

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Legislative Research for Congressional Staff: How to Find Documents and Other Resources

From the introduction:
This report is one of a series of reports on legislative process and research; it is intended to serve as a finding aid to sources of information, such as documents, news articles, analysis, contacts and services, used in legislative research. It does not define or describe the purpose of various government documents; that information can be found in companion CRS Report R41865, Legislative History Research: A Guide to Resources for Congressional Staff, and CRS Report RL33895, Researching Current Federal Legislation and Regulations: A Guide to Resources for Congressional Staff. This report is not intended to be a definitive list of all resources, but rather a guide to pertinent subscriptions available in the House and Senate in addition to select resources freely available to the public. This report is intended for use by Members and congressional office staff and will be updated annually.
Source: Congressional Research Service

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Department of Homeland Security's Review of U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Use and Compliance with Privacy and Civil Liberty Laws and Standards

From the Summary:
House Committee Report 113-91 accompanying the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2014 mandated GAO to review DHS’s Privacy Office (Privacy Office) and Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) joint review (DHS’s review) of CBP’s unmanned aerial systems program. House Committee Report 113-91 accompanying the fiscal year 2014 DHS Appropriations Act also mandated CRCL and the Privacy Office to conduct a review of CBP’s efforts to ensure that CBP’s UAS use (1) complies with existing law and applicable privacy and civil liberty standards and (2) is limited to operation along the border and coastal areas. CRCL and the Privacy Office completed their review and provided it to GAO on June 12, 2014.

This report examines the extent to which DHS’s review of CBP’s UAS addressed CBP efforts to (1) ensure compliance with existing privacy and civil liberty laws and standards and (2) ensure its UAS usage is limited to border and coastal areas of the United States.

GAO analyzed DHS’s review, CBP policies, and UAS flight data from fiscal year 2011 through April 2014, covering the time period when all UAS centers became operational.

Source: U.S. Government Accountability Office

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Passenger Travel Facts and Figures 2014

Description:
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) today released Passenger Travel Facts and Figures 2014, a snapshot of the characteristics and trends of personal travel in the United States; the network over which passenger travel takes place; and the related economic, safety, and environmental implications. The 77-page report summarizes the basic demographic and economic characteristics of the United States that contribute to the demand for passenger travel; examines travel patterns by trip purpose, transportation mode, and household characteristics; provides a picture of the passenger transportation system in 2005 and 2011 and summarizes movement on the system by transportation mode and congestion impacts; discusses the economic characteristics of passenger travel and tourism and discusses the safety, energy, and environmental impacts of passenger travel. It is intended as a companion to Freight Facts and Figures, which is produced jointly by BTS and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

Download full pdf publication | Visit report gateway to download chapters individually

Fully digitized Warren Commission Report: The collection includes 26 volumes

The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy, commonly known as the Warren Commission, was created by President Lyndon Johnson and chaired by Chief Justice Earl Warren to investigate President Kennedy's assassination. The Commission presented their findings in a report to President Johnson on September 24, 1964. The Commission also released 26 hearing volumes on November 23, 1964 comprised of testimonies from 550 witnesses and evidence.

GPO produced the Warren Commission Report and 26 hearing volumes in 1964. Altogether, GPO's work for the Commission resulted in nearly 235,000 copies of the report and nearly 5,600 sets of the hearings.

Source: Government Printing Office

Go to gateway and download the report in sections.

Download full pdf report (very large file)

Rotten Apples and Sterling Examples: Moral Reasoning and Peer Influences on Honesty in Managerial Reporting

Abstract:
We propose that idiosyncratic benefits from adhering to social norms explain the heterogeneity in honesty documented in many situations where misrepresentation yields a financial benefit. Further, information about the honesty of one's peers modifies the descriptive norm and hence, one's own honesty. We test these hypotheses in a reporting experiment with two managers in which one manager observes the reports of a peer. Managers’ honesty decreases when peers are less honest and increases when peers are more honest. The importance of the maintaining norms schema — assessed by the DIT-2 — explains these adjustments and, moreover, explains variation in reporting honesty in vacuo.

Source: Social Science Research Network

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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Ebola Updates from CDC, European Union, WHO Ebola Response Team


Recently released reports on the Ebola Outbreak:

CDC — 2014 Ebola Outbreak: Information and Updates
The 2014 Ebola outbreak is the largest Ebola outbreak in history and the first Ebola outbreak in West Africa. This outbreak is the first Ebola epidemic the world has ever known — affecting multiple countries in West Africa. Although the risk of an Ebola outbreak in the United States is very low, CDC and partners are taking precautions to prevent this from happening. Source: Center for Disease Control

The European Union’s response to Ebola
A number of West African countries are currently experiencing the worst Ebola epidemic in history. As the situation continues to deteriorate rapidly, the European Commission has stepped up its response since March 2014 and is now pledging more than €147 million in response to the devastating human, sanitary, economic and political effects of this crisis for the region. Since the beginning of the epidemic, the European Parliament has shown its concern as regards this critical situation. Source: European Parliamentary Research Service
WHO Ebola Response Team: Ebola Virus Disease in West Africa — The First 9 Months of the Epidemic and Forward Projections
Abstract: A total of 4507 confirmed and probable EVD cases were reported to the WHO between December 30, 2013, and September 14, 2014 — a 37-week period. A total of 718 confirmed and probable cases and 289 deaths were reported in the week of September 8 through September 14 alone. The numbers of confirmed and probable cases reported by each country over time are shown in Figure 1 and Figure 2. Detailed information was available on 3343 confirmed and 667 probable cases; these cases were used in all our analyses, with the exception of projections (results of analyses based on confirmed, probable, and suspected cases are provided in Supplementary Appendix 1). The median age of persons with EVD was 32 years (interquartile range, 21 to 44), and there were no significant differences in the age distribution of persons with EVD among countries. The majority of persons with EVD (60.8%) were between 15 and 44 years of age (this age group makes up only 44% of the population) (Table 1Table 1Demographic Characteristics and Signs and Symptoms in Confirmed and Probable Ebola Case Patients with a Definitive Clinical Outcome in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone.). There were also no significant differences among countries in the total numbers of male and female persons with EVD reported (49.9% of the total were male patients; within-country differences have not yet been fully investigated). EVD has taken a heavy toll among health care workers in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. By September 14, a total of 318 cases, including 151 deaths, had been reported among health care workers. Source: New England Journal of Medicine

Statistical Resource: The EU in the world

Introduction:
...provides a selection of statistics on the European Union (EU) — considered as a single entity — in comparison with the 15 non-EU countries from the Group of Twenty (G20). It aims to give an insight into the European economy, society and environment in comparison with the major economies from the rest of the world.
Table of contents
Introduction
1. Population
2. Living conditions
3. Health
4. Education and training
5. Labour market
6. Economy and finance
7. International trade
8. Industry, trade and services
9. Research and communication
10. Transport
11. Agriculture, forestry and fisheries
12. Environment
13. Energy
Source: Eurostat
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World Alzheimer Report 2014: Dementia and Risk Reduction

Description:
The World Alzheimer Report 2014, Dementia and Risk Reduction: An analysis of protective and modifiable factors critically examines the evidence for the existence of modifiable risk factors for dementia.

It focuses on sets of potential modifiable risk factors in four key domains: developmental, psychological and psychosocial, lifestyle and cardiovascular conditions. The report makes recommendations to drive public health campaigns and disease prevention strategies.

The report which was researched and authored by Prof Martin Prince, Prof Emiliano Albanese, Dr Maëlenn Guerchet and Dr Matthew Prina on behalf of the Global Observatory for Ageing and Dementia Care which is hosted at the Health Service and Population Research Department, King’s College London.
Source: Alzheimer’s Disease International

Download full pdf publication | Alzheimer’s Disease International Press Release


Who Runs the International System? Power and the Staffing of the United Nations Secretariat

Abstract:
National governments frequently pull strings to get their citizens appointed to senior positions in international institutions. We examine, over a 60 year period, the nationalities of the most senior positions in the United Nations Secretariat, ostensibly the world's most representative international institution. The results indicate which nations are successful in this zero-sum game, and what national characteristics correlate with power in international institutions. The most overrepresented countries are small, rich democracies like the Nordic countries. Statistically, democracy, investment in diplomacy, and economic/military power are predictors of senior positions--even after controlling for the U.N. staffi ng mandate of competence and integrity. National control over the United Nations is remarkably sticky; however the in influence of the United States has diminished as US ideology has shifted away from its early allies. In spite of the decline in US influence, the Secretariat remains pro-American relative to the world at large.
Source: Center for Global Development

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Diverse According to Whom? Racial Group Membership and Concerns about Discrimination Shape Diversity Judgments

Abstract:
People often treat diversity as an objective feature of situations that everyone perceives similarly. The current research shows, however, that disagreement often exists over whether a group is diverse. We argue that diversity judgments diverge because they are social perceptions that reflect, in part, individuals’ motivations and experiences, including concerns about how a group would treat them. Therefore, whether a group includes in-group members should affect how diverse a group appears because the inclusion or apparent exclusion of in-group members signals whether perceivers can expect to be accepted and treated fairly. Supporting our claims, three experiments demonstrate that racial minority group members perceive more diversity when groups included racial in-group members rather than members of other racial minority groups. Moreover, important differences exist between Asian Americans and African Americans, which underscore the need for more research to explore uniqueness rather than commonalities across racial minority groups.
Source: Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin October 2014 

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MacArthur Genius Grant winners announced.

Congratulations to subscriber Jennifer Eberhardt (CASBS 2006), winner of a 2014 MacArthur award. The MacArthur foundation writes:
Using statistical analysis to analyze how a defendant's skin color and hair texture relate to the sentencing decisions of jurors, Eberhardt has shown that black defendants are more likely to receive the death penalty if their facial characteristics are stereotypically black and their victims are white...
Read more about Jennifer Eberhardt's work | Read/listen to the NPR Story on all award winners.

Is There "White Flight" into Private Schools? Evidence from the National Educational Longitudinal Survey

Abstract:
Using a recently released confidential dataset from the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES), we find some evidence of "white flight" from public schools into private schools partly in response to minority schoolchildren. We also examine whether "white flight" is from all minorities or only from certain minority groups, delineated by race or income. We find that white families are fleeing public schools with large concentrations of poor minority schoolchildren. In addition, the clearest flight appears to occur from poor black schoolchildren. The results for "white flight" from Asians and Hispanics are less clear.
Source: Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz [via eScholarship Repository]

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Preserving Access to the Legal System: Common Errors by Federal Agencies in Dismissing Complaints of Discrimination on Procedural Grounds

From the Introduction:

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) developed an agency-wide Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP) for Fiscal Years 2012-2016 designed to maximize its ability, within the constraints of its resources, to have a sustainable impact in reducing and deterring discriminatory practices in the workplace.  Pursuant to this effort, EEOC has adopted a series of coordinated national priorities.  Among these priorities is the goal of preserving access to the legal system.  Under this priority, EEOC committed to targeting policies and practices that discourage or prohibit individuals from exercising their rights under the employment discrimination statutes, or that impede the EEOC's enforcement efforts.  The Commission approved the Federal Sector Complement Plan (FCP) to implement the SEP in the federal sector.  One of the strategies the FCP details for preserving access to the legal system in the federal sector is to prevent improper agency procedural dismissals of Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) complaints.

Source: U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission

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Violence against Women and Girls : Lessons from South Asia

Description:
This report documents the dynamics of violence against women in South Asia across the life cycle, from early childhood to old age. It explores the different types of violence that women may face throughout their lives, as well as the associated perpetrators (male and female), risk and protective factors for both victims and perpetrators, and interventions to address violence across all life cycle stages. The report also analyzes the societal factors that drive the primarily male — but also female — perpetrators to commit violence against women in the region. For each stage and type of violence, the report critically reviews existing research from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, supplemented by original analysis and select literature from outside the region. Policies and programs that address violence against women and girls are analyzed in order to highlight key actors and promising interventions. Finally, the report identifies critical gaps in research, program evaluations, and interventions in order to provide strategic recommendations for policy makers, civil society, and other stakeholders working to mitigate violence against women in South Asia.

Source: The World Bank

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A Sense of Déjà Vu: The Debate Surrounding State Biosimilar Substitution Laws

Description:
The Affordable Care Act created an approval pathway for less expensive generic versions of biologic drugs, known as biosimilars, or follow-on biologics. This Insight on the Issues discusses controversial new state legislation that could greatly limit the savings from biosimilars and notes similarities to the debate ignited by the passage of federal legislation that encouraged the development of traditional generic drugs.
Source: AARP Public Policy Institute

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Dating and Sexual Behavior Among Single Parents of Young Children in the United States

Abstract:
Theory and research on partnered parents suggests trade-offs between parenting and sexuality, with those trade-offs most pronounced among mothers of young children. However, little research has focused on how a growing demographic of single parents negotiates dating and sexual activity. The current study drew upon a 2012 nationally representative sample of 5,481 single Americans 21 years of age and older, of whom 4.3% were parents of a child age five or younger. Dependent variables were sexual thoughts, frequency of sexual activity, number of sexual partners in the past year, dates during the previous three months, and whether one was actively seeking a relationship partner. Covariates included parental age, sex/gender, sexual orientation, education, and income. Using the entire sample of singles, we found no main effects of number (0, 1, 2+) of children aged five years and younger or number of children aged two years and younger on dating and sexual behavior variables. Next, using analyses restricted to single parents (n = 2,121), we found that single parents with a child aged five years or younger, adjusting for covariates, reported greater frequency of sexual activity and first dates but no differences in other outcomes compared with single parents of older children.
Source: The Journal of Sex Research via University of Indiana News Service.

Press Release: Kinsey study of single parents' dating, sexual activity contradicts assumptions

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Math Gender Gap: The Role of Culture

Abstract:
This paper explores the role of cultural attitudes towards women in determining math educational gender gaps using the epidemiological approach. To identify whether culture matters, we estimate whether the math gender gap for each immigrant group living in a particular host country (and exposed to the same host country's laws and institutions) is explained by measures of gender equality in the parents' country of ancestry. We find that the higher the degree of gender equality in the country of ancestry, the higher the performance of second-generation immigrant girls relative to boys. This result is robust to alternative specifications, measures of gender equality and the inclusion of other human development indicators in the country of ancestry. The transmission of culture is higher among those in schools with a higher proportion of immigrants or in co-educational schools. Our results suggest that policies aimed at changing beliefs can prove effective in reducing the gender gap in mathematics.
Source: Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Download pdf of IZA Discussion Paper | Read abstract online

Teaching the Children: Wide Gaps over Teaching Faith, Tolerance, Obedience

As the public grows more politically polarized, differences between conservatives and liberals extend their long reach even to opinions about which qualities are important to teach children, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center.

Conservatives Prioritize Teaching Faith, Obedience; Liberals Value Tolerance People who express consistently conservative political attitudes across a range of issues are more likely than other ideological groups to rate teaching religious faith as especially important – and the least likely to say the same about teaching tolerance.

By contrast, people with consistent liberal opinions stand out for the high priority they give to teaching tolerance – and the low priority they attach to teaching religious faith and obedience.

Read the full overview | Download the complete pdf report | Download topline questionnaire

2013 American Community Survey data released 1-year estimates

Overview:
The American Community Survey is the only source of local statistics for most of the 40 topics it covers, such as educational attainment, occupation, language spoken at home, nativity, ancestry and selected monthly homeowner costs. The statistics are available for the nation, all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, every congressional district, every metropolitan area, and all counties and places with populations of 65,000 or more.

2013 ACS 1-year estimates released September 18
  • 2013 ACS 1-year estimates are available in American FactFinder.
  • 2013 ACS 1-year estimates are based on data collected from January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2013.
  • 2013 ACS 1-year estimates are available for geographic areas with populations of 65,000 or more.
Geography highlights
The 2013 ACS data release marks the first time estimates based on new Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas (or Core Based Statistical Areas) are available. Learn more on the Geography page.
2013 ACS 1-year reference maps
These Reference Maps highlight areas that will be published in the 2013 ACS 1-year data release.
ACS briefs
For the release of the 2013 ACS 1-year estimates, the Census Bureau produced reports for the American Community Survey Briefs series--short reports on specific topics based on newly released estimates.
Comparison guidance
Guidance on comparing the 2013 ACS 1-year estimates with Census 2000, 2012 ACS 1-year estimates, and 2010 Census by subject area is now available.

(International) Archived Legal Materials from Official Gazettes Now Available Through Law.gov

Description from blog post:
“The archived information includes English language summaries of laws, regulations, and related legal instruments that in turn link to the full-text PDFs that are in the official language(s) of the country. Legal items from the gazettes of the following countries are now available under the ‘Legislative’ sources list for each jurisdiction: Brazil, Canada, Democratic Republic of Congo, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Haiti, Republic of Korea, Kuwait, Mexico, Mauritania, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Taiwan, Tunisia, and United States.”

View available nations with archives.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

U. S. Census Bureau Facts: Hispanic Heritage Month 2014: Sept. 15–Oct. 15

From the Press Release:
In September 1968, Congress authorized President Lyndon B. Johnson to proclaim National Hispanic Heritage Week, observed during the week that included Sept. 15 and Sept. 16. Congress expanded the observance in 1989 to a monthlong celebration (Sept. 15 – Oct. 15) of the culture and traditions of those who trace their roots to Spain, Mexico and the Spanish-speaking nations of Central America, South America and the Caribbean.

Sept. 15 is the starting point for the celebration because it is the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on Sept. 16 and Sept. 18, respectively
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

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Medical Aspects of Transgender Military Service

Abstract:
At least eighteen countries allow transgender personnel to serve openly, but the United States is not among them. In this article, we assess whether US military policies that ban transgender service members are based on medically sound rationales. To do so, we analyze Defense Department regulations and consider a wide range of medical data. Our conclusion is that there is no compelling medical reason for the ban on service by transgender personnel, that the ban is an unnecessary barrier to health care access for transgender personnel, and that medical care for transgender individuals should be managed using the same standards that apply to all others. Removal of the military’s ban on transgender service would improve health outcomes, enable commanders to better care for their troops, and reflect the military’s commitment to providing outstanding medical care for all military personnel.
 Source: Armed Forces & Society August 19, 2014 doi: 0095327X14545625

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Federal Strategic Action Plan on Services for Victims of Human Trafficking in the United States 2013-2017

This report was developed by the Departments of Justice, Health and Human Services, and Homeland Security, in partnership with the member agencies of the President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons and other federal agencies. The plan discusses goals and objectives and the actions that federal agencies will take to ensure that all victims of human trafficking in the U.S. are identified and have access to the services they need to recover. 
 Source: Office for Victims of Crime

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New Data Show Child Mortality Rates Falling Faster Than Ever

From the press release:

New estimates in Levels and Trends in Child Mortality 2014 show that in 2013, 6.3 million children under five died from mostly preventable causes, around 200,000 fewer than in 2012, but still equal to nearly 17,000 child deaths each day.
The report notes that major improvements in child survival are in part due to affordable, evidence-based interventions against the leading infectious diseases, such as immunization, insecticide-treated mosquito nets, rehydration treatment for diarrhoea, nutritional supplements and therapeutic foods. The major causes of neonatal mortality – pre-term birth complications (35 per cent) or problems during delivery or birth (24 per cent) – require health interventions closely linked with protecting maternal health.

The Levels and Trends in Child Mortality 2014 report is developed annually by the United Nations Inter-Agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation, which is led by UNICEF and includes the World Health Organization, the World Bank Group and the United Nations Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs.
 Source: UNICEF, WHO, World Bank

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Coached for the Classroom: Parents’ Cultural Transmission and Children’s Reproduction of Educational Inequalities

Abstract:
Scholars typically view class socialization as an implicit process. This study instead shows how parents actively transmit class-based cultures to children and how these lessons reproduce inequalities. Through observations and interviews with children, parents, and teachers, I found that middle- and working-class parents expressed contrasting beliefs about appropriate classroom behavior, beliefs that shaped parents’ cultural coaching efforts. These efforts led children to activate class-based problem-solving strategies, which generated stratified profits at school. By showing how these processes vary along social class lines, this study reveals a key source of children’s class-based behaviors and highlights the efforts by which parents and children together reproduce inequalities.
Source:  American Sociological Review August 25, 2014 doi: 0003122414546931

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The Disruptive Rise of Value-Based Care

Description:
The health care industry is ripe for disruptive innovation as systemic challenges continue to face the industry and stakeholders demand increased value. A successful disruptor could emerge as value–based care gains traction and providers and health plans continue to look for new ways to deliver care and utilize technology to meet the needs of health care consumers. The potential disruptor could enter the market with a low-cost solution that initially serves an unattractive segment. Powered by an enabling technology, this new solution could, in short order, meet mainstream customers’ needs so much better that the innovator unseats the market leader. This is a likely scenario in the primary care physician market, where patient visits could shift to lower-cost settings, such as e-visits, or alternative clinicians, such as nurse practitioners.

"Good for what ails us: The disruptive rise of value-based care" explores how and where disruptive innovation might occur in health care, discusses what can be learned from other industries that have faced similar disruption and outlines innovation opportunities in a post-reform world.
Source: Deloitte Center for Healthcare Solutions

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A cross disciplinary study of link decay and the effectiveness of mitigation techniques

The dynamic, decentralized world-wide-web has become an essential part of scientific research and communication. Researchers create thousands of web sites every year to share software, data and services. These valuable resources tend to disappear over time. The problem has been documented in many subject areas. Our goal is to conduct a cross-disciplinary investigation of the problem and test the effectiveness of existing remedies.

Source:  BMC Bioinformatics 2013, 14(Suppl 14):S5  doi:10.1186/1471-2105-14-S14-S5

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Related article: Website linking: The growing problem of “link rot” and best practices for media and online publishers Source: Harvard Kennedy School of Government

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Younger Americans and Public Libraries: Downloading and Reading Books More Than You Think

From the Summary of Findings:
How those under 30 engage with libraries and think about libraries’ role in their lives and communities

This report pulls together several years of research into the role of libraries in the lives of Americans and their communities with a special focus on Millennials, a key stakeholder group affecting the future of communities, libraries, book publishers and media makers of all kinds, as well as the tone of the broader culture.
Source: Pew Research Internet Project

Download full pdf report | Read Summary of Findings

The State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America 2014

Key Findings
  • Race and Ethnicity: Obesity rates remain higher among blacks and Latinos than among whites. Rates among blacks topped 40 percent in 11 states; rates among Latinos exceeded 35 percent in 5 states; for whites, 10 states had rates over 30 percent.
  • Socioeconomic Status: More than 33 percent of adults 18 and older who earn less than $15,000 per year are obese, compared with 25.4 percent who earn at least $50,000 per year.
  • Geography: 9 out of the 10 states with the highest obesity rates are in the South.
  • Age: Baby Boomers (45-to 64-year-olds) have the highest obesity rates of any age group – topping 35 percent in 17 states.
  • Severity: More than 6 percent of adults are severely** obese; the number of severely obese adults has quadrupled in the past 30 years.
Source: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF)

Download full pdf publication | Learn more on RWJF website

Does Gifted Education Work? For Which Students?

Abstract:
Education policy makers have struggled for decades with the question of how to best serve high ability K‐12 students. As in the debate over selective college admissions, a key issue is targeting. Should gifted and talented programs be allocated on the basis of cognitive ability, or a broader combination of ability and achievement? Should there be a single admission threshold, or a lower bar for disadvantaged students? We use data from a large urban school district to study the impacts of assignment to separate gifted classrooms on three distinct groups of fourth grade students: non-disadvantaged students with IQ scores ≥130; subsidized lunch participants and English language learners with IQ scores ≥116; and students who miss the IQ thresholds but scored highest among their school/grade cohort in state-wide achievement tests in the previous year. Regression discontinuity estimates based on the IQ thresholds for the first two groups show no effects on reading or math achievement at the end of fourth grade. In contrast, estimates based on test score ranks for the third group show significant gains in reading and math, concentrated among lower-income and black and Hispanic students. The math gains persist to fifth grade and are also reflected in fifth grade science scores. Our findings suggest that a separate classroom environment is more effective for students selected on past achievement – particularly disadvantaged students who are often excluded from gifted and talented programs.
Source: University of Virginia and NBER

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