Alcohol Advertising in Magazines and Adolescent Readership
Journal of the American Medical Association
Unlike those in the tobacco industry, manufacturers and distributors of alcohol are not subject to federal regulations on where they are allowed to advertise. Nevertheless, some youth-oriented magazines have policies against running such ads, and the three major alcohol trade associations have made a self-regulated pledge to avoid advertising to adolescents. But according to researchers from the Evanston Northwestern Healthcare Research Institute, the process of self-regulation may not be enough.
In a study of 35 major magazines, the number of magazine advertisements for liquor and beer showed a strong correlation to the number of adolescents who reported reading the magazine. Between 1997 and 2001, a total of 9,418 ads for alcohol were placed in the 35 magazines, whose youth readerships ranged from 1 million (Elle) to 7.1 million (TV Guide). Researchers recommend that policy-makers examine ways to regulate advertising in magazines that have large adolescent readership. 6 pages. Subscription required. Journal of the American Medical Association, 515 N. State St., Chicago, IL 60610. (312) 464-2402, www.jama.com.
Exposure of Hispanic Youth to Alcohol Advertising
The Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth
Researchers found Hispanic youth, especially those in major Hispanic urban markets, are exposed to more alcohol advertising than are their non-Hispanic peers. On top of the exposure of all youth to ads in many English-language magazines, Hispanic youth viewed 24 percent more beer and liquor print ads and 32 percent more ads for “low-alcohol refreshers” in Spanish-language magazines. On television, alcohol advertisers spent $23.6 million last year for ads on 12 of the 15 programs most popular with Hispanic youth. 16 pages. Free online. Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth, 2233 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Suite 525, Washington, DC 20007. (202) 687-1019, www.camy.org.
Making the Difference: Research and Practice in Community Schools
Coalition for Community Schools
The concept of community school models is a work in progress, advocates and researchers admit, but the news so far is good. This comprehensive study begins by positing a framework of conditions for community models to thrive, then highlights the accomplishments of community school models around the country. Detailed vignettes and profiles of existing programs are included in the report. The wealth of resources and contact information make this report a virtual bible for community school advocates and practitioners. 133 pages. $12. Coalition for Community Schools, 1001 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite 310, Washington, DC 20036. (202) 822-8405, www.communityschools.org.
Treatment, Services, and Intervention Programs for Child Delinquents
U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
The March issue of the child delinquency bulletin series focuses on findings by the Study Group on Very Young Offenders in programs for offenders under 13. The group considers the program costs an investment that saves money later, citing studies that estimate the average lifetime social cost of a youth who turns into an adult offender at $1.3 million. Finding that a number of government divisions tend to be involved in youth intervention, the group issues the familiar call for collaboration and profiles promising practices. 14 pages. Free. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, P.O. Box 6000, Rockville, MD 20849. (800) 638-8736, www.ojjdp.ncjrs.org.
Key Facts: TV Violence
Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation
This Kaiser brief crams together highlights of studies on the effects of TV violence on youth conducted since the 1960s. It emphasizes two recent reports: “The National Television Violence Study” and “The UCLA Television Violence Monitoring Report.” The former finds that nearly two out of every three programs contain “some violence,” and both find that violence is most prevalent and troublesome in children’s programming. Violence was found in 69 percent of children’s programming, compared with 57 percent in other types of programming. On premium cable networks, 92 percent of the programs contain violence. 4 pages. Free. Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 2400 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025, (650) 854-9400, http://www.kff.org/content/2003/3335/%20TV_Violence.pdf.
Providing Government Funding to Faith-Based Organizations
The Williamsburg, Va.-based nonprofit, which provides online financial information about registered U.S. nonprofits, asked nonprofit officials whether they supported making government funds more available to faith-based organizations, and why. Of those who responded and provided a reason for their position, 1,204 supported the initiative and 1,970 opposed it. Supporters said the money will expand “existing charitable-choice provision to more kinds of programs” and that “faith-based social-service programs are often more successful than secular social-service programs.” Opponents said the funding “will violate the constitutional separation of church and state” and “will enable faith-based organizations to force religious teachings on clients.” Guidestar included comments given by some nonprofit staff members. 93 pages. Free. Guidestar, 427 Scotland St., Williamsburg, VA 23185. (757) 229-4631, www.guidestar.org.
The Myth of a Child Care Crisis
Congress often laments a “child care crisis” and creates unnecessary reforms, according to study authors. The study dismisses as outdated or misleading much of the information that child care reformers cite and attempts to dispel certain reform “myths,” such as claims that only 12 percent of needy children receive child care assistance. Actually, Heritage says, when counting only those children who require such assistance, 80 to 90 percent receive the care they need. Another “myth” is that child care funding levels have flattened out. Heritage says funding has increased by $7.3 billion since 1996. 12 pages. Free online. Heritage Foundation, 214 Massachusetts Ave. NE, Washington, DC 20002. (202) 546-4400, www.heritage.org.
Are Children Left Behind? Children’s Environmental Health Under the Bush Administration
Children’s Environmental Health Network
The network concludes that the environmental health policies of the Bush administration have favored economic interests at the expense of children. After trotting out canned quotes on children from various executive branch leaders, researchers challenge the administration’s record on everything from food quality to mercury protection. 42 pages. Free online. Children’s Environmental Health Network, 110 Maryland Ave. NE, Suite 511, Washington, DC 20002. (202) 543-4033, www.cehn.org.
Science and Success
Advocates for Youth
Advocates for Youth presents profiles of evaluated programs that it says have helped to reduce the risks of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Nineteen programs are highlighted, with a chart describing the region, age range and types of youth that each program serves. The full report is to be released in June. Free online. Advocates for Youth, 1025 Vermont Ave. NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20005. (202) 347-5700, www.advocatesforyouth.org/programsthatwork/.
Looking to the Future: An Examination of the State of Child Welfare and Recommendations for Action
Center for the Study of Social Policy
The report, a product of a child welfare summit sponsored by the center in December 2002, yields no earth-shattering consensus: Youth development efforts must focus on outcomes, be supported at federal and local levels, involve families and promote community-based activities. The meat of the report is 21 recommendations for federal action in child welfare and expert observations about the financial practices and strategies of child welfare efforts. 59 pages. Free online. Center for the Study of Social Policy, 1575 Eye St. NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20005. (202) 371-1565, www.cssp.org.
Youth Victimization: Prevalence and Implications
National Institute of Justice
The brief puts into context the significance of findings on youth victimization from the National Survey of Adolescents conducted in 1995. Based on a survey of 4,023 adolescents, researchers estimate that 1.8 million youth were sexually assaulted and 3.9 million were severely physically assaulted in 1995. The report breaks down survey terminology and describes connections between victimization rates and external factors, such as substance abuse and mental health. 14 pages. Free. National Institute of Justice, 810 Seventh St. NW, Washington, DC 20531. (800) 851-3420, www.ojp.usdoj.gov/nij.
New Hope for Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect
Fight Crime: Invest in Kids
Piecing together research from recent studies, the authors say the lack of government intervention on behalf of abused kids yields more victims than the public realizes. More than 2,000 children die each year out of 2.7 million abuse and neglect cases, Fight Crime estimates. Society can also look forward to 35,000 violent criminals each year because of mental impairment brought on by abusive upbringing. The report calls for improved services to drug-addicted parents and pregnant women, outreach services for mentally ill parents, and pre-kindergarten programs that incorporate parent training. 34 pages. Free. Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, 2000 P St. NW, Suite 240, Washington, DC 20036. (202) 776-0027, www.fightcrime.org/reports/CANreport.pdf.
14 and Younger: The Sexual Behavior of Young Adolescents
National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy
Analyzing data from three federally financed surveys and four other studies (all done in the late 1990s), the authors conclude that about one in five U.S. teens under the age of 15 has had sexual intercourse. Although being sexually experienced at a young age does not necessarily mean having sex regularly, the report expresses concern about the risks to the babies of very young teenagers. Children born to girls between 12 and 14 are more likely to have health problems (low birth weight, for example) and are less likely to have capable parents, the report says. 111 pages. $15. (Summary available online.) National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, 1776 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20036. (202) 478-8500, www.teenpregnancy.org.