Sunday, November 25, 2007

Parents attitudes and opinions on the use of psychotropic medication in mental disorders of childhood

"A 20-item questionnaire was distributed to 140 parents during their first contact with an outpatient child psychiatric service. The questionnaire comprised of questions regarding the opinions, knowledge and attitudes of parents towards children's psychotropic medication. Sociodemographic data concerning parents and children were also recorded. Frequency tables were created and the chi-square test and Fisher's exact tests were used for the comparison of the participants' responses according to sex, educational level, age and gender of the child and use of medication." Source: Annals of General Psychiatry 2007, 6:32

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Will California Jumpstart National Health Care Reform?

"The sheer size of California and its volume of uninsured – who outnumber the entire population of Massachusetts – plus the state's and governor's political clout could help rev up the momentum for health-reform discussion at the national level, said Drew Altman, head of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit group that conducts national health-policy research. Health care already is emerging as a major issue in the 2008 presidential election." Source: Pew Research Center|

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Public's News Interests: Campaign, War and Returning Troops

"While the national news media focused heavily on the 2008 presidential campaign last week, the public divided its interest between the campaign and the Iraq war. More than one-fifth of the national newshole (21%) was devoted to the presidential campaign, while news about the war – including the situation in Iraq, returning U.S. troops and the Iraq policy debate – drew only about half as much coverage." Source: Pew Research Center for People and the Press

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Powerful Husbands and Virtuous Wives: The Familial Structure in the Leadership of the New Life Movement, 1934-1938

In February 1934 the Chinese Nationalist Party launched the New Life Movement with the goal of making strong and modern national citizens through social and cultural reforms with the emphases on cleanliness and discipline. It was initiated by the Generalissimo, led by officials, and first practiced in the state apparatus—central and local government agencies, schools, and military forces. I call it a male strategy of mobilizing the Chinese nation for a modern state. The presumption of the male political and social subject as the norm resulted in the tactic of turning state agents, overwhelmingly male, into social leaders. But this male strategy turned out to be unsuccessful when male state agents tried to “propagate, implement, guide and inspect” inside the home, even though they themselves were all family members and resided in households. So male New Life leaders transferred the task of modernizing the home to women and made their wives responsible for mobilizing ordinary women to fulfill the task.

This paper focuses on the first stage of women’s mobilization in the New Life Movement from 1934 to 1938 by showing how this approach to women’s organizing emerged. By examining the structure of New Life leadership and the power relations between women’s New Life organizations and male New Life committees, I argue that gendered leadership did successfully mobilized women of the family for, and into, the nation-state-society whole, but also paradoxically reinforced the gendered labor division in between the domesticity and the nation-state-society whole. Source: UCLA Center for the Study of Women. Thinking Gender Papers.

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Islam and Women’s Rights

The Islamic resurgence that has engulfed most Muslim countries today has thrown forth different levels of tension and competing ideologies within these societies: what Islam, whose Islam is the right Islam? Very often, it is the status and rights of women that have become the first casualty in this battleground. The struggle for equality and justice for Muslim women must therefore be placed within the context of women living in Muslim societies where Islam is increasingly shaping and redefining our lives. Very often, it is the Muslim women who are targeted to reflect society’s renewed commitment to the faith in ways that are often discriminatory and oppressive. Source: UCLA Center for Southeast Asian Studies. [via eScholarshp Repository]

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Polling the Polling Experts: How Accurate and Useful Are Polls These Days?

When it comes to polls, not all are created equal.

The most reliable? "Surveys conducted by professional polling organizations on a periodic basis which repeatedly ask the same question -- such as, 'Do you intend to buy a car in the next three months?' -- are fully scientific and useful," says J. Michael Steele, Wharton professor of statistics. "Even though we really don't know what a person means when he says 'yes,' we can make hay out of the fact that last year, 15% said 'yes' and this year only 5% said 'yes.'" An example of a polling company that fits this profile is the Gallup organization and the Gallup Poll, considered a leading barometer of public opinion. Source: Knowledge@Wharton

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FBI releases new report: Terrorism 2002-2005

"This edition of Terrorism highlights significant terrorism-related events in the United States and selected FBI investigative efforts overseas that occurred during the years 2002 through 2005. Additionally, this report provides a wide range of statistical data relating to terrorism in the United States during the past two decades. This material is presented to provide readers with an historical framework for the examination of contemporary terrorism issues." Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation

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To Read or Not To Read: A Question of National Consequence

"This report is a new and comprehensive analysis of reading patterns of children, teenagers, and adults in the United States. To Read or Not To Read assembled data on reading trends from more than 40 sources, including federal agencies, universities, foundations, and associations. The compendium expands the investigation of the NEA's landmark 2004 report, Reading at Risk, and reveals recent declines in voluntary reading and test scores alike, exposing trends that have severe consequences for American society." Source: National Endowment for the Arts

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| Link to NEA Reports

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Revisiting the Income Effect: Gasoline Prices and Grocery Purchases

This paper examines the importance of income effects in purchase decisions for every-day products by analyzing the effect of gasoline prices on grocery expenditures. Using detailed scanner data from a large grocery chain as well as data from the Consumer Expenditure Survey (CES), we show that consumers re-allocate their expenditures across and within food-consumption categories in order to offset necessary increases in gasoline expenditures when gasoline prices rise. We show that gasoline expenditures rise one-for-one with gasoline prices, consumers substitute away from food-away-from-home and towards groceries in order to partially offset their increased expenditures on gasoline, and that within grocery category, consumers substitute away from regular shelf-price products and towards promotional items in order to save money on overall grocery expenditures. On average, consumers are able to decrease the net price paid per grocery item by 5-11% in response to a 100% increase in gasoline prices. Our results show that consumers respond to permanent changes in income from gasoline prices by substituting towards lower-cost food at the grocery store and lower priced items within grocery category. The substitution away from full-priced items towards sale items has implications for microeconomic discrete-choice demand models as well as for macroeconomic inflation measures that typically do not incorporate frequently changing promotional prices. Source: Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, U.C. Berkeley

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Vital Mission: Ending Homelessness Among Veterans

"Far too many veterans are homeless in America. Homeless veterans can be found in every state across the country and live in rural, suburban, and urban communities. Many have lived on the streets for years, while others live on the edge of homelessness, struggling to pay their rent. We analyzed data from the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Census Bureau to examine homelessness and severe housing cost burden among veterans." Source: National Alliance to end Homlessness.

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| Link to online summary

Monday, November 12, 2007

U.S. Senate Committee Hearing: Localism, Diversity, and Media Ownership

"focus on issues related to media consolidation, pending proposals to change the Federal Communications Commission’s media ownership rules, and government efforts to promote localism and diversity the media marketplace."

Majority Statements
Daniel K. Inouye

Minority Statements
Ted Stevens

Opening Remarks

Panel 1

Mr. Alex Nogales
President and Chief Executive Officer
National Hispanic Media Coalition

Mr. Jim Goodmon
President and Chief Executive Officer
Capitol Broadcasting Company, Inc.

Mr. Tim Winter
Parents Television Council

Mr. Frank A. Blethen
Publisher and Chief Executive Officer
The Seattle Times

Mr. John Lavine
Dean, Medill School
Northwestern University

Get full panel testimony in pdf format

The end of advertising as we know it

"To examine the factors influencing advertising and explore future scenarios, IBM surveyed more than 2,400 consumers and 80 advertising executives globally. The IBM report shows increasingly empowered consumers, more self-reliant advertisers and ever-evolving technologies are redefining how advertising is sold, created, consumed and tracked.

Traditional advertising players risk major revenue declines as budgets shift rapidly to new, interactive formats, which are expected to grow at nearly five times that of traditional advertising. To survive in this new reality, broadcasters must change their mass audience mind-set to cater to niche consumer segments, and distributors need to deliver targeted, interactive advertising for a range of multimedia devices. Advertising agencies must experiment creatively, become brokers of consumer insights, and guide allocation of advertising dollars amid exploding choices. All players must adapt to a world where advertising inventory is increasingly bought and sold in open exchanges vs. traditional channels." Source: IBM Institute for Business

Download full pdf report | Download pdf executive summary | Link to site

2007 election: Lessons learned

"The 2007 elections prove once again that all politics is local as voters in three states soundly rejected governors’ pet projects and others put big-ticket spending items such as roads and cancer research on the state’s credit card.

The results yielded clues to the mood of voters as the country gears up for the kickoff of the 2008 presidential race, possibly as early as next month if New Hampshire decides to hold its primary then. “Voters are in a very change-oriented mood,” said Terry Madonna, a professor and director of the Keystone Poll at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa." Source: [via Pew Research]

Link to online report

Public Dissatisfied with Democratic Leaders, But Still Happy They Won

"A year after the Democratic Party won control of both houses of Congress, Americans are increasingly dissatisfied with the party's congressional leaders. Just 31% approve of their job performance, down 10 points since February.

Despite these tepid ratings, most Americans (54%) say that they are happy that the Democrats won control of Congress in last year's elections. That represents a modest decline since last November, but positive views of the Democratic congressional victory have remained stable since March. At least in part, this reflects the fact that Republican leaders are blamed about as often as Democratic leaders for Congress' lack of productivity." Source: Pew Research Center for People and the Press

Download full pdf report | Download topline questionnaire (pdf) | Link to online summary

The MS-13 and 18th Street Gangs: Emerging Transnational Gang Threats?

Two predominantly Latino gangs, Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and the 18th Street gang (M-18), have raised concern among policy makers for several reasons: (1) membership in these gangs has spread from the Los Angeles area to other communities across the United States; (2) these gangs are becoming "transnational," primarily because MS-13 and M-18 cliques are being established in Central America and Mexico; (3) evidence suggests that these gangs are engaged in criminal enterprises normally associated with better organized and more sophisticated crime syndicates; and (4) MS-13 and M-18 gang members may be involved in smuggling operations and, by extension, could potentially use their skills and criminal networks to smuggle terrorists into the United States. To date, however, no evidence exists establishing a link between MS-13 and M-18 members and terrorists. Nevertheless, some observers maintain that these two gangs may develop the capacity to become organized criminal enterprises capable of coordinating illegal activities across national borders. Yet, others find them to be no more criminally organized or sophisticated than other street gangs. Source: Congressional Research Service

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The report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

"This report provides an account of the work carried out by UNHCR between January 2006 and mid-2007, in response to the needs of 32.9 million people of concern. It describes major challenges and developments with respect to protection, assistance and finding durable solutions for refugees, IDPs, stateless persons and others of concern. The report reviews partnerships and coordination of action with other concerned entities both within and outside of the United Nations system, including the Office’s involvement in the inter-agency “cluster approach” to managing IDP situations, as well as ongoing contributions towards the debate on irregular, mixed population movements. An update is provided on progress with structural and management reform measures being pursued by the organization and on other current management and oversight issues." Source: United Nations

Report available from download site in multiple languages

Giving Girls Today and Tomorrow: Breaking the Cycle of Adolescent Pregnancy

"Pregnancy- and childbirth-related complications are the number-one killers of 15-19 year old girls worldwide. This report highlights the issue of adolescent pregnancy among married and unmarried adolescent girls (10-19 year olds), especially those living in poverty. It draws attention to current trends, as well as the social, economic, and health consequences of adolescent pregnancy not only for the girls themselves, but for their families and countries. The publication argues for strategic investments in the health, education, and livelihoods of adolescent girls to empower them to avoid the trap of becoming mothers while still children. It also examines how targeted investments will improve the prospects for pregnant girls and young mothers. These investments will pay twice: impacting today's girls and tomorrow's women. The report also outlines ways to better address adolescent pregnancy and the multi-faceted needs of adolescent girls worldwide." Source: United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

Download full pdf publication | Link to UNFPA site

Federal Student Aid to Undergraduates Shows Slow Growth, While Published Tuition Prices Continue to Increase

From the press release: "Increases in published prices for two-year and four-year public institutions in 2007-08 were slightly larger than in 2006 but lower than the average rates of growth over the past five years. Nearly half a million students received awards in 2006 under two new federal student grant programs. Though higher than the previous year, total federal grant funding to undergraduates was still lower in 2006-07 than it was three years earlier, after adjusting for inflation. The College Board released these and other higher education pricing and aid statistics today in its annual “Trends in College Pricing 2007” and “Trends in Student Aid 2007” reports. Source: College Board

Download full PDF report : "Trends in Student Aid 2007"

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

National Survey of Student Engagement 2007 Report

"The 2007 report from the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) is
based on information from about 313,000 randomly selected first­year and senior
students at 610 four ­year colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada. The NSSE
study, titled “Experiences That Matter: Enhancing Student Learning and Success,”gives
schools an idea of how well their students are learning and what they put into and get
out of their undergraduate experience." Source: NSSE

Download full pdf report | link to NSSE


Enter a U.S. Zipcode and get a glance at the area's demographics, social indicators, population density, etc. You can also compare up to twenty zipcodes.

The site was created as a Web development "hobby" project using Census 2000 data obtained from the Census website.

Link to ZipSkinny

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Invisible Tribes: Urban Indians and Their Health in a Changing World

"Nearly seven out of every 10 American Indians and Alaska Natives—2.8 million—live in or near cities, and that number is growing. This change in lifestyle has left many in dire circumstances and poor health. This report, produced by the Urban Indian Health Commission, reviews the prevalence of three diseases—depression, diabetes and cardiovascular disease—in the American Indian and Alaska Native population." Source: Urban Indian Health Commission, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

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| Download executive summary (pdf) | link to online summary

Journal of Computer-Mediated Communications: October issue

Special Theme: Social Network Sites

18 Articles around the Central theme of "Social Network Sites" includes "Whose Space? Differences Among Users and Non-Users of Social Network Sites" by former CASBS fellow Eszter Hargittai.

Other articles include:

The Rules of Beeping: Exchanging Messages Via Intentional "Missed Calls" on Mobile Phones

Email Flaming Behaviors and Organizational Conflict

Social Network Sites: Definition, History, and Scholarship

University Instructors' Acceptance of Electronic Courseware: An Application of the Technology Acceptance Model

Link to Online Journal Table of Contents vol. 13 issue 1

Software's Future: Melding the Web and the Desktop

"It's been a busy few weeks for the big technology companies. On October 1, Adobe Systems announced an agreement to buy Virtual Ubiquity, a company that has created a web-based word processor built on Adobe's next generation software development platform. One day earlier, Microsoft outlined its plans for Microsoft Office Live Workspace, a service that will combine Microsoft Office and web capabilitiesso that documents can be shared online. Recently,Google introduced a technology called "Gears" that allows developers to create web applications that can also work offline. The common thread between the recent moves of these technology titans: Each company is placing a bet on a new vision of software's future, one which combines the features of web-based applications with desktop software to create a hybrid model that may offer the best of both worlds." Source: Knowledge @ Wharton

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EduGuide Study Shows Teens Close Digital Divide for Parents

from press release: "A new study by EduGuide: Partnership for Learning has found that in their homes teens act like an eraser for the digital divide. Surprisingly, 80 percent of parents with less than a college degree, previously thought to be among the least connected, now use the Internet compared to 72 percent of all adults.

"Teens are digital super-connectors," said study author and EduGuide President Bryan Taylor. "Parents may feel slow compared to their teens. Yet trying to keep up with their kids puts these parents ahead of other adults."

But the results may be a surprise for educators. More than half estimated that 40 percent or less of parents, who didn't have a college degree, would use the Internet.

"Cell phone and broadband use is high too, even among so-called 'hard-to- reach' families," Taylor said. "While smaller gaps persist, educators now have far more opportunities to connect with families using digital strategies."

The report also found that 65 percent of college access professionals, such as counselors, and admissions staff, feel "not sure" about their ability to effectively use digital technologies in their programs. A smaller set of professionals is pioneering new digital services from podcasts to webinars." Source: EduGuide

Link to download site (email registration required for full pdf report)

How conspiracies rise, pread and fall: the case of voter fraud, the blogosphere and the 2004 election

"The idea that public opinion is fundamentally top-down and elite-driven is virtually
orthodoxy among contemporary political science researchers. Support for conspiracy theories, however, pose a fundamental challenge to this prevailing view because the dynamics of mass opinion here are, prima facie, likely not to be a top-down or elite-driven process. In order to test the hypothesis that conspiratorial thinking is the result of anti-elite, bottom-up opinion dynamics rather than the result of elite-driven, top-down opinion dynamics, this paper tracks blog discussion of election related conspiracy theories during the four week period from November 2 to November 30, 2004. Using a computer assisted, quantitative content analysis of 16 randomly selected A-list political blogs and 147 randomly selected, less popular political blogs, I find strong support for the idea that conspiracy theories are the result of bottom-up, anti-elite opinion dynamics." Source: Institute of Governmental Studies. U.C. Berkeley

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A Child’s Day - U.S. Census Bureau Report

"A Child’s Day: 2004 examines the well-being of children younger than 18 and provides an updated look into how they spend their days. This series of 30 tables published by the U.S. Census Bureau is based on the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) and addresses children’s living arrangements, family characteristics, time spent in child care, academic experience, extracurricular activities and more.

According to this latest look into the lives of children, about 68 percent of 3- to 5-year-olds had limits on their television viewing, an increase from 54 percent in 1994. More children 6 to 11 found they, too, were living with restrictions on television: 71 percent in 2004 compared with 60 percent 10 years earlier." Source: United States Census Bureau

Link to detailed tables

Provisional Constitution Order [Pakistan]

"Provisional Constitution Order No. 1 (PCO), Pakistan Chief of the Army Staff General Pervez Musharraf, November 3, 2007 [suspending certain fundamental rights under a declaration of emergency and providing that "the Supreme Court or a High Court and any other court shall not have the power to make any order against the President or the Prime Minister or any person exercising powers or jurisdiction under their authority"]." Source: Associated press of Pakistan [via the Jurist]

Link to full text of PCO

Autism and the Environment: Challenges and Opportunities for Research, Workshop Proceedings

"On April 18 and 19, 2007, the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM’s) Forum on Neuroscience and Nervous System Disorders (the Forum), in response to a request from the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, hosted a workshop called “Autism and the Environment: Challenges and Opportunities for Research.” The goal of the workshop was to provide a venue to bring together scientists, members of the autism community, and the major sponsors of autism-related research to discuss the most promising scientific opportunities (Box I-1). The focus was on improving the understanding of the ways in which environmental factors such as chemicals, infectious agents, or physiological or psychological stress can affect the development of the brain. In addition, discussions addressed the infrastructure needs for pursuing the identified research opportunities—tools, technologies, and partnerships." Source: National Academies Press

Download pdf executive summary
| Link to download site for full text access

Challenges in Adolescent Heath Care: Workshop Report

"For all adolescents, health and health care can be complicated by developmental changes, questions about confidentiality, relationships with families and peers, and other factors specific to this stage of life. For especially vulnerable populations, such as adolescents who are disabled,homeless, incarcerated, in foster care, or who live in poverty, health issues can be far more complicated. The needs of adolescents vary by gender, race and ethnicity, and other factors. Many of the challenges of adolescence are not medical but reflect larger social issues, such as poverty, crime, and the prevalence of violence. Nevertheless, lack of comprehensive health coverage, severely dysfunctional families, and the lack of many supports that other adolescents may take for granted can mean disconnection from the health care system and serious deficiencies in the care these young people receive. Insufficient health care affects not just the health of individual adolescents as they are growing up, but their lifelong health status as well." Source: National Academies Press

Download Executive Summary in pdf
| Link to download site for full report

A Year Ahead, Republicans Face Tough Political Terrain

Clinton Propelled by Support from Young Women in '08 Test
"The public continues to express more confidence in the Democratic Party than in the Republican Party as being able to bring about needed change, to govern in an honest and ethical way and to manage the federal government. The Democratic Party's advantages on these traits are much wider than during the last presidential campaign. Moreover, they remain about as large as they were just prior to the 2006 midterm election, in spite of rising public discontent with the Democrat-led Congress." Source: Pew Research Center for People and the Press

Download full pdf report | Download pdf topline questionnaire | link to online online summary