Thursday, September 30, 2010

The State of Recorded Sound Preservation in the United States: A National Legacy at Risk in the Digital Age

From the Online Overview
This is the first comprehensive, national-level study of the state of sound recording preservation ever conducted in the U.S. The authors, Rob Bamberger and Sam Brylawski, have produced a study outlining the web of interlocking issues that now threaten the long-term survival of our sound recording history. This study tells us that major areas of America's recorded sound heritage have already been destroyed or remain inaccessible to the public. It suggests that the lack of conformity between federal and state laws may adversely affect the long-term survival of pre-1972-era sound recordings in particular. And, it warns that the continued lack of national coordination among interested parties in the public and private sectors, in addressing the challenges in preservation, professional education and public access, may not yet be arresting permanent loss of irreplaceable sound recordings in all genres.

Source: Council on Library and Information Resources (Commissioned for and sponsored by the National Recording Preservation Board, Library of Congress)

Download full pdf publication | Link to online overview

2010 Kids and Family Reading Report : Turning the Page in the Digital Age

From the Press Release
The study, conducted by Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education and media company, and Harrison Group, a leading marketing and strategic research consulting firm, found that from age 6 - 17, the time kids spend reading books for fun declines while the time kids spend going online for fun and using a cell phone to text or talk increases. Parents express concern that the use of electronic and digital devices negatively affects the time kids spend reading books (41%), doing physical activities (40%), and engaging with family (33%).

The study also found indications that technology could be a positive motivator to get kids reading -- 57 percent of kids (age 9-17) say they are interested in reading an eBook, and a third of children age 9-17 say they would read more books for fun if they had access to eBooks on an electronic device. This includes kids who read 5-7 days per week (34%), 1 to 4 days per week (36%) and even those who read less than one day per week (27%).

The findings from the Kids and Family Reading Report indicate that the ebook market will continue to grow. While only 6% of parents surveyed currently own an electronic device used for reading eBooks and other digital publications, 16% plan to purchase one in the next year. And parents are not hesitant to share those devices with their children – approximately 8 in 10 (83%) of these parents say they do or will allow/encourage their child to use their eReading device.

Source: Scholastic

Download full pdf publication
| Link to Scholastic

Pew Report : Online Product Research

From the Online Overview
The commercial use of the internet by American adults has grown since the mid-2000s, with 58% of Americans now reporting that they perform online research concerning the products and services that they are considering purchasing. That is an increase from 49% who said they conducted product or service research online in 2004.

Morever, the number of those who do research about products on any given day has jumped from 15% of adults in September 2007 to 21% in September 2010. From February 2004, the number of adults conducting research on any given day has more than doubled, up from 9%.

Source: Pew Internet and American Life Project

Download full pdf report | Download pdf questionnaire | Link to online overview

Portrayal of Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual People on the BBC

September 2010: As part of the BBC's diversity strategy, we have carried out research and consultation on the portrayal of lesbian, gay and bisexual people across broadcast media including the BBC. During 2010 we have carried out qualitative and quantitative research, and conducted a public consultation in the most comprehensive study ever done into this area by a broadcaster.

The BBC's Working Group has made five recommendations which the BBC has agreed to take action on.

3 pdf publications are available for download:

Portrayal of Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual People on the BBC – Executive summaries and recommendations (235KB)

Portrayal of Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual People on the BBC – Consultation report (355KB)

Portrayal of Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual People on the BBC – Research report (2828KB)

Link to the BBC Report Site

Recruiting and Retaining America's Finest : Evidence-Based Lessons for Police Workforce Planning

Personnel management is a critical but oft neglected function of police organizations. While much attention is given to recruiting and retention, these are only tools for accomplishing a larger goal: achieving and maintaining the profile of officers by experience and rank that satisfies agency needs and officer career aspirations. Police agencies often have little ability to assess their organization and environment, and they receive little guidance on how best to build and maintain their workforces. In this monograph, the authors seek to fill the gap of information available to police agencies through a survey on their recruitment and retention practices. The survey, sent to every U.S. police agency with at least 300 sworn officers, sought to document such characteristics as authorized and actual strength by rank, officer work and qualifications, compensation, and recruiting efforts. The authors used these data to provide an overview of current recruitment and retention practices, to describe how they affected police recruitment and personnel profiles, and to identify future research needs. Findings include that police compensation, city size, and crime rates had statistically significant effects on police recruiting. Advertising and recruiting incentives had little effect on the number of recruits. Cohort sizes and structures highlighted current and future personnel management challenges. To facilitate comparative and longitudinal analyses of police staffing, the authors recommend ongoing national data collection.

Source: RAND Corporation

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| Link to online overview

Monday, September 27, 2010

Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers

This site allows you to search and view newspaper pages from 1860-1922 and find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress as part of the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP).

Coverage includes Cleavland, Garfield (and assassination), McKinley, and Roosevelt administrations. The 1906 San Francisco Earthquake, Annexation of Hawaii etc.

I had a bit of fun just searching for "Monet" limited to the year 1922 and found a NY Tribune article on August 13, 1922 announcing the the French Gallery to house his paintings. Great quote:

"Whether Monet's art is of permanent value may be debatable..."

Link to "Chronicling America" at the Library of Congress

Southwest Border Violence: Issues in Identifying and Measuring Spillover Violence

There has been a recent increase in the level of drug trafficking-related violence within and between the drug trafficking organizations in Mexico. This violence has generated concern among U.S. policy makers that the violence in Mexico might spill over into the United States. Currently, U.S. federal officials deny that the recent increase in drug trafficking-related violence in Mexico has resulted in a spillover into the United States, but they acknowledge that the prospect is a serious concern.

Source: Congressional Research Service [via Secrecy News]

Download full pdf report

Snapshot of U.S. Television Usage: What We Watch… and How

With the new TV season upon us, Nielsen has provided a look at what, and how, we watch TV in the U.S. Throughout 2009-2010, television viewing continued to fragment and adapt to new technologies such as digital video recorders and high-definition television.

Source: Nielsen

download Nielsen State of TV fact sheet

Black-White Gap in Self-Employment in the U.S.: Do Cohort and Within Race Differences Exist?

In this paper we ask three questions: First, is there evidence of a Black-White gap in self-employment between 1994-2002 and could the inclusion of the White immigrant population be driving this result? Second, do within race differences in self-employment exist among the U.S. born? Finally, do cohort differences in the Black-White self-employment gap exist among the U.S. born? These questions are based on some of the regression findings in our earlier paper focused on the role of information and institutions in understanding the Black-White gap in self-employment. We find that the Black-White self-employment gap is not driven by the existence of White immigrants in the data set. In addition, we find that within race and cohort differences exist in the Black-White self-employment gap. A subgroup of U.S. born African-Americans have a self-employment probability that is identical to that of U.S. born White-Americans. In addition, younger cohorts of African-Americans have a much smaller self-employment gap than do older African-Americans.

Source: Institute for the Study of Labor

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| Link to online abstract

High School Students’ Perceptions of Motivations for Cyberbullying: An Exploratory Study


Objectives: Internet usage has increased in recent years resulting in a growing number of documented reports of cyberbullying. Despite the rise in cyberbullying incidents, there is a dearth of research regarding high school students’ motivations for cyberbullying. The purpose of this study was to investigate high school students' perceptions of the motivations for cyberbullying.

Method: We undertook an exploratory qualitative study with 20 high school students, conducting individual interviews using a semi-structured interview protocol. Data were analyzed using Grounded Theory.

Results: The developed coding hierarchy provides a framework to conceptualize motivations, which can be used to facilitate future research about motivations and to develop preventive interventions designed to thwart the negative effects of cyberbullying. The findings revealed that high school students more often identified internally motivated reasons for cyberbullying (e.g., redirect feelings) than externally motivated (no consequences, non-confrontational, target was different).

Conclusion: Uncovering the motivations for cyberbullying should promote greater understanding of this phenomenon and potentially reduce the interpersonal violence that can result from it. By providing a framework that begins to clarify the internal and external factors motivating the behavior, there is enhanced potential to develop effective preventive interventions to prevent cyberbullying and its negative effects.

Source: eScholarship Repository [West J Emerg Med. 2010; 11(3): 270-274.]

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| Link to online abstract

Academia: How to Use Blogging as a Marketing Tool

A blog can be an effective way to bridge the space between product and consumer via entertaining and educational content. Colleges can use blogs to communicate the values and ideas that define their programs, so long as the end user is kept in mind—whether that means 17-year-olds beginning their senior year in high school, journalists looking for interesting stories, or aging donors who can no longer make the trip to the campus.

Source: Chronicle of Higher Education

Link to online article

The People’s Right: Reimagining the Right to Counsel

from Abstract:
This Article re-imagines the Sixth Amendment’s right to counsel, which has been treated exclusively as an individual right enforceable through the Due Process Clause, as a collective right of the People. Building on the writings of Anthony Amsterdam and Akhil Amar, this Article argues that there are vital structural protections inherent in the right to counsel that go well beyond an individual’s due process rights. In particular, the Founders of the Constitution, above all else, contemplated a robust system of checks and balances when executive power was exercised. Perhaps the paradigmatic example of the exercise of such power is the arrest and prosecution of an individual. In the world inhabited by the Founders, the primary means by which executive power was to be checked was through the jury system.

Source: New York University Public Law and Legal Theory Working Papers

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| Link to online abstract

2010 College-Bound Seniors: Total Group Profile Report

College-Bound Seniors reports present data for high school graduates who participated in the SAT Program from 1996 to 2009. The reports include SAT Reasoning Test™ data, SAT Subject Tests™ data, demographic and academic information, and college plans.

You can use College-Bound Seniors reports to:

* Interpret scores of individual students within the broader context of data aggregated across groups of college-bound seniors
* Study changes over time in the characteristics of students taking SAT tests
* Look at year-to-year educational and demographic changes in this population, along with changes in test performance

Source: College Board

Download full pdf publication | Link to College Board archive for previous year reports

Thursday, September 23, 2010

March on Milwaukee Civil Rights History Project

Milwaukee's Place in the Struggle for Civil Rights

This digital collection presents primary sources from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries and the Wisconsin Historical Society that provide a window onto Milwaukee’s civil rights history. During the 1960s, community members waged protests, boycotts, and legislative battles against segregation and discriminatory practices in schools, housing, and social clubs. The efforts of these activists and their opponents are vividly documented in the primary sources found here, including photographs, unedited news film footage, text documents, and oral history interviews. This website also includes educational materials, including a bibliography and timeline, to enhance understanding of the primary sources. The March on Milwaukee Civil Rights History Project seeks to make Milwaukee’s place in the national struggle for racial equality more accessible, engaging, and interactive.

Link to March on Milwaukee Civil Rights History Project

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Paris Review Open Archive: Interviews

The Paris Review has put up an archive of author interviews. Spanning almost 50 years, the collection includes conversations about writing and a writer's life with Arthur Miller, Truman Capote, Woody Allen, Dorothy Parker, and so many more.

Browse by Decade or Author Name

Link to Paris Review Interview Archive

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Regional and Racial Variation in Primary Care and the Quality of Care Among Medicare Beneficiaries

The report, which studies the fee-for-service Medicare population from 2003 to 2007, shows that improving access to primary care alone does not always keep people with chronic conditions out of the hospital, improve their chances of getting the optimal care recommended for their condition, or improve health outcomes. Researchers also found that patients’ access to and use of primary care, the quality of overall care, and their likelihood of hospitalization varied markedly in different locations.

Despite the central role that primary care can play, access is not always enough to ensure that patients receive high-quality care. Achieving the benefits of primary care is likely to require both improving the services provided by primary care clinicians and more effective integration and coordination with other providers.

Source: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Download full pdf publication | Link to online abstract

Times Higher Education World University Rankings

From Release:
The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2010-11 were developed in concert with our new rankings data provider, Thomson Reuters, with input from more than 50 leading figures in the sector from 15 countries across every continent, and through 10 months of extensive consultation. We believe we have created the gold standard in international university performance comparisons.

The overall top 200 ranking and the six tables showing the top 50 institutions by subject were based on criteria and weightings that were carefully selected after extensive consultation. All of them drew on our exceptionally rich data set. Of course, we recognise that different people have different interests and priorities. So to allow everyone to make the most of our data and gain a personalised view of global higher education, the tables on this site can be fully manipulated and sorted. With this feature, users may rank institutions by their performance in any one of the five broad headline categories to create bespoke tables or make regional comparisons via our area analyses.

Source: Times Higher Education Supplement

Link to list website and information on methodology

Direct link to top 200 World Universities List

UNESCO : 2010 Global Education Digest

From the Press Release:
The 2010 edition of the Global Education Digest focuses on gender and education to mark the 15th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women. Shortly after this landmark conference in 1995, the international community pledged to eliminate gender disparities at all levels of education by 2015 as part of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). As the official source of data to monitor advancement towards these goals, the UIS has released the Digest on the eve of the UN Millennium Summit (New York, 20-22 September) to present the latest available data to analyse national progress and pitfalls in offering every child and young person equal access to education regardless of their sex.

Source: UNESCO Institute for Statistics

Download full pdf publication: 2010 Global Education Digest
Link to online Press Release

Few Say Religion Shapes Immigration, Environment Views

From the Online Overview:
Many Americans continue to say their religious beliefs have been highly influential in shaping their views about social issues, including abortion and same-sex marriage. But far fewer cite religion as a top influence on their opinions about several other social and political issues, including how the government should deal with immigration, the environment and poverty.

Source: Pew Research Center for People and the Press

Download full pdf publication
| Link to online overview

From Separate Spheres to Gendered Spaces: The Historiography of Women and Gender in 19th Century and Early 20th Century America

How has the study of the built environment changed the historiography of gender? This paper analyzes the shifts in the historiography of women and gender in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century American history. It examines the evolution from a metaphorical concept of spheres to a more complex understanding of the interactions between space and gender. In the 1960s, feminist historians introduced the concept of ‘separate spheres’ as a way to understand the history of women in the nineteenth century. When historians, in the 1970s and 1980s, began to study actual spaces it became clear that the relationship of gender and space was more complex than the dichotomies of public and private, male and female, urban and suburban, which reinforced the idea of separate spheres. The study of actual spaces demonstrates that the boundaries of everyday life were more porous than those idealized by separate spheres and spaces. Further, scholars in the 1990s were able to show how the design, spatial arrangement, and décor of spaces contributed to the construction of masculinity and femininity in relation to each other.

Source: eScholarship Repository

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| Link to online abstract

Bureau of Labor Statistics Spotlight : Back to College

In 2009, there were over 10,000 establishments (places of employment, whether campuses, offices, research facilities, or other locations) operated by colleges and universities in the United States. (Source: QCEW) This Spotlight presents BLS data related to college and university students and graduates, as well as colleges and universities as an industry and place of employment.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Download full pdf publication
| Link to online overview including graphs

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Social Security's Financial Outlook: The 2010 Update in Perspective

After being held up for four months while estimates were modified to reflect the expected effects of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the 2010 Trustees Report for the Social Security system finally emerged in early August. The report contains no surprises, which may explain the relative lack of attention it has received in the press. But the fact that the future of Social Security has been relatively untouched by the market collapse and ensuing recession is itself newsworthy. Despite reduced revenues and increased benefit claims in the short run, the system continues to face a 75-year deficit equal to about 2 percent of taxable payroll.

This brief puts the current report in perspective and discusses a few interesting wrinkles, such as the outlook for a cost-of-living adjustment in 2011 and the implications of a decline in the Average Wage Index. Unfortunately, for the third year in a row, the Social Security Trustees Report has not been signed by any public trustees. The absence of these independent voices from the valuation process reflects a persistent failure of the political process, but not of the program itself.

Source: Center for Retirement Research at Boston College

Download pdf research brief | Link to online introduction

Transforming Scholarly Publishing through Open Access: A Bibliography

From Charles Bailey at Digital
Can scholarly journal articles and other scholarly works be made freely available on the Internet? The open access movement says "yes," and it is having a significant impact on scholarly publishing. There are two major open access strategies: (1) open access journals publish articles (typically peer-reviewed articles) that are free of charge and may be able to be reused under an open license (e.g., a Creative Commons license), and (2) self-archiving of digital eprints (typically prepublication versions of articles) by authors in digital repositories, where they can be accessed free of charge and sometimes reused. Transforming Scholarly Publishing through Open Access: A Bibliography, which has over 1,100 references, provides in-depth coverage of published journal articles, books, and other works about the open access movement. Many references have links to freely available copies of included works.

Download full pdf bibliography
| link to

The Rise of Apps Culture

Some 35% of U.S. adults have software applications or “apps” on their phones, yet only 24% of adults use those apps. Many adults who have apps on their phones, particularly older adults, do not use them, and 11% of cell owners are not sure if their phone is equipped with apps.

Among cell phone owners, 29% have downloaded apps to their phone and 13% have paid to download apps.

Source: Pew Internet and American Life Project and Nielsen

Download full pdf publication | Download pdf questionnaire | Link to online overview

An Evaluation of the Data from the Teacher Compensation Survey: School Year 2006–07

This report provides an overview of the Teacher Compensation Survey (TCS) data collection in 17 states for school year 2006-07. It also includes a comparison of state administrative records with other sources of data, data availability and quality. This report discusses the uses of the data, and the limitations and advantages of the TCS.

Source: National Center for Education Statistics

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| Link to online abstract

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Privatizing Public Interest Law

This Article examines the tradeoffs of private public interest practice through an empirical study of a cluster of firms in the Los Angeles area. Its main focus is on how the relationship between the firms’ private form and public agenda plays out across three key axes: professionalism (how lawyers understand their obligations to clients, causes, and communities); power (how lawyers make decisions within the firm); and profit (how lawyers select and staff cases).

Source: UCLA School of Law [via eScholarship Repository]

Download full pdf publication | Link to online abstract

An Inconvenient Sandwich : The throwaway economics of takeaway food

Being casual about what, when, and where we eat is both a cause and a symptom of the hectic, mobile lives we lead. It helps to shape our aspirations and our sense of identity.

Although casual food is everywhere, the ‘casual eating’ subdivision of the catering sector is overlooked. So diverse that it can seem to defy classification, it has no shared voice or body of knowledge. Nevertheless, it requires closer scrutiny.

Casual food tends to be cheap, is often highly processed, and generates a lot of food and packaging waste. Although it is hugely popular, it is criticised for being unhealthy, and information about where it comes from or what it contains is rarely available when you buy it. Work in the sector is poorly paid, precarious, and sometimes illegal.

The whole food system is under widespread pressure to become more sustainable. Broadly speaking, the challenge is to produce more and better quality food, more ethically, from less land, using fewer resources, and with fewer negative impacts, and to share it more equitably. Efforts to make the food system more sustainable will have to take the social, environmental, and economic impacts of our casual eating habit into account.

This report is based on a series of interviews with the owners of small independent takeaways and cafés.

Source:new economics foundation (U.K.)

Download full pdf publication | Link to online abstract

The Fading Glory of the Television and Telephone

After occupying center stage in the American household for much of the 20th century, two of the grand old luminaries of consumer technology -- the television set and the landline telephone -- are suffering from a sharp decline in public perception that they are necessities of life.

Just 42% of Americans say they consider the television set to be a necessity, according to a new nationwide survey from the Pew Research Center's Social & Demographic Trends project. Last year, this figure was 52%. In 2006, it was 64%.

Source: Pew Research Center Social and Demographic Trends

Download full pdf publication
| Download pdf topline questionnaire | Link to online summary

Putting Culture Back in Context: A Context Dependent Model of How Cultural Inputs, Toolkits, and Meanings Influence Action


In this article I outline a new framework for the sociological study of culture that relates three fundamental facets of human culture (inputs, toolkits, and meanings) to each other and suggests the contingencies under which each can influence action. Sociological theories of culture typically pitch these facets as opposing perspectives of “what culture is.” I argue that while each perspective answers a necessary part of the theoretical puzzle linking culture and action, existing models are not sufficient as standalone answers. Even the more theoretically nuanced attempts at integrating multiple elements of culture tend to argue that one particular aspect of culture provides the most powerful link to action a priori. The empirical inadequacies of each perspective as a stand-alone theory of “how culture affects action” are accounted for by the failure of theorists from each perspective to fully recognize and integrate the other elements of culture, as well as the concrete contingencies that give them analytic power, into their models. I argue that inputs, toolkits, and meanings are fundamental, complementary, and necessarily intertwined elements of culture. Further, which of these elements has the strongest influence on action is a function of social context. I use examples from both my own research on health behaviors and the empirical works of other scholars to propose a context dependent model of how and under what conditions each element of culture can affect both action and outcomes. Specifically, I show how varying levels of social stability, inequality, codification, and institutional involvement affect the relative influence of each aspect of culture.

Source: Institute for the Study of Social Change UC Berkeley [via eScholarship Repository]

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| Link to online overview

An opportunity not taken…yet: U.S. labor and the current economic crisis

The United States is undergoing what in many ways is its most profound economic crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s. The Great Recession, as it is popularly called, is having a devastating impact on U.S. workers. In this context, U.S. unions, workers’ most important advocates, have been vociferous in calling for financial reform, job creation, and other strong policy measures. However, whereas the Great Depression in the United States saw labor engaged in dramatic mass mobilizations, large-scale militant actions, and a powerful role in promoting policy changes, the current economic slump the U.S. labor movement has accomplished none of these things. At first glance, this absence may seem surprising. However, I will argue, expanding on an earlier analysis by Milkman (2010) that in fact, it is a relatively unsurprising outcome of both long-term historical trends and shorter-term conjunctural factors.

The paper makes this case in four sections. First, I briefly summarize the impact of the crisis on U.S. workers. Second, I describe the response of U.S. unions to the Great Recession, drawing extensively on online searches to document my findings. Third, I discuss the long-term and short-term reasons for the very limited nature of that response. In closing, I explore some alternative paths that may indeed lead U.S. labor to mount a more vigorous response in the months and years to come.

Source: Institute for Research on Labor and Employment UCLA [via eScholarship Repository]

Download full pdf publication | Link to online abstract

Increasing access to health workers in remote and rural areas through improved retention

Globally, approximately one half of the population lives in rural areas, but less than 38% of the nurses and less than 25% of the physicians work there. While getting and keeping health workers in rural and remote areas is a challenge for all countries, the situation is worse in the 57 countries that have an absolute shortage of health workers.

After a year-long consultative effort, this document proposes sixteen evidence-based recommendations on how to improve the recruitment and retention of health workers in underserved areas. It also offers a guide for policy makers to choose the most appropriate interventions, and to implement, monitor and evaluate their impact over time.

Source: World Health Organization

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| Link to online overview

U.S. Unauthorized Immigration Flows Are Down Sharply Since Mid-Decade

The annual inflow of unauthorized immigrants to the United States was nearly two-thirds smaller in the March 2007 to March 2009 period than it had been from March 2000 to March 2005, according to new estimates by the Pew Hispanic Center.

This sharp decline has contributed to an overall reduction of 8% in the number of unauthorized immigrants currently living in the U.S.-to 11.1 million in March 2009 from a peak of 12 million in March 2007, according to the estimates. The decrease represents the first significant reversal in the growth of this population over the past two decades.

Source: Pew Hispanic Center

Download full pdf report
| Link to interactive map | Link to online summary

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Mathematica Research Brief: Helping the Most Elderly Remain Independent

Since passage of the Older Americans Act (OAA) in 1965, the Administration on Aging (AoA) has strived to help elderly Americans maintain their independence and remain living in their communities. Through its Aging Services Network, AoA provides services to help address the effects of declining physical health and functioning that frail adults experience. Funded under Title III of the OAA, services such as homemaker support, home-delivered meals, transportation services, and case management are available to those age 60 and older, with delivery targeted to the most vulnerable elderly.

An issue brief from Mathematica Policy Research, the first in a series, presents findings from AoA’s National Survey of OAA Program Participants and assesses whether Title III services are reaching adults at higher risk of nursing home entry.

Source: Mathematica Policy Research

Download Policy Research Brief in pdf format
| Link to press release