MCH Alert

National Center for Education in Maternal and Child Health

Search past issues of the MCH Alert, and other MCH Library Services resources, at


January 16, 2004

1. New Guide Helps African-American Families Cope with Crises

2. CDC Releases Updated Infection-Control Guidelines for Dental Health Care Settings

3. Authors Examine Factors Associated with Contraceptive Use Within Adolescents' First Sexual Relationships

4. Article Assesses Health Services Utilization Among Asian American Children



Activity Book for African American Families: Helping Children Cope with Crisis provides information and resources to help African-American parents support their children in times of stress or crisis. The book was developed by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the National Black Child Development Institute. The book's activities, which help parents communicate with their children to strengthen the family and help children feel safe, are designed for families with children ages 12 and under. The book contains specific advice for parents about how to encourage their children to feel hopeful about the future, listen to their children, comfort their children, help their children feel good about themselves, help their children feel safe, give their children age-appropriate information, make a plan with their children for emergencies, and share their faith with their children. The book is available at



Guidelines for Infection Control in Dental Health-Care Settings -- 2002 consolidates recommendations for preventing and controlling infectious diseases and managing health and safety concerns related to infection control in dental settings. The recommendations were developed in collaboration with authorities on infection control from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other public agencies, academia, and private and professional organizations. The report presents a review of science related to dental-infection control, special considerations, recommendations, and infection-control Internet resources. A continuing education activity is also included. The report is available at or



"Our analyses show that characteristics of teenagers' first sexual partners and relationships were associated with contraceptive use and consistency within that relationship," state the authors of an article published in the November/December 2003 issue of Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health. This article examines the link between partner and relationship characteristics and contraceptive use within adolescents' first sexual relationships. The analyses build upon previous research that highlights the importance of understanding sexual, contraceptive, and birth outcomes within the context of sexual relationships.

Data for the study described in this article were drawn from in-home interviews conducted in 1995 and 1996 for the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. The sample consisted of 1,027 adolescents who participated in both survey waves (1995 and 1996) and who initiated their first sexual relationship between interviews. The authors assessed associations between contraceptive use consistency (non-use, inconsistent use, consistent use) and characteristics of adolescents' relationships and sexual partners. They then examined whether adolescents who ever use contraceptives differ from those who do not, and whether adolescents who always use contraceptives differ from those who do so only sometimes.

The authors found that

"Our results suggest multiple policy approaches to improving contraceptive consistency and reducing the risk of unintended pregnancy and STDs among teenagers," state the authors. They conclude that "parents, educators and service providers should be particularly aware of relationships that teenagers are engaged in to help reduce early sexual activity, contraceptive inconsistency, unintended pregnancy and STDs."

Manlove J, Ryan S, Franzetta K. 2003. Patterns of contraceptive use within teenagers' first sexual relationships. Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health 35(6):246-255.



"This study shows important differences in health status, health care access, and utilization among Chinese, Filipino, Asian Indian, and other API [Asian/Pacific Islander] children, and non-Hispanic white children," state the authors of an article published in the January 2004 issue of Pediatrics. The authors point out that while it has been widely documented that U.S. minority children experience poorer access to health care than non-Hispanic white children, there is a lack of information on health status, health care access, and health services utilization among Asian American children. The study reported in this article (1) describes the prevalence of health status and health services indicators among Chinese, Filipino, Asian Indian, and other API children (referred to collectively as "Asian American children") and (2) examines the effects of socioeconomic and demographic factors on health status, health care access, and health services utilization.

For the study, the authors analyzed 4 years of aggregated data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) from 1997 through 2000. The children participating in the NHIS during this period included 334 Chinese, 287 Asian Indian, 292 Filipino, and 696 other API children. The comparison group consisted of 29,016 non-Hispanic white children.

The authors found that

The authors state that "although Asian ethnicity and immigrant status are associated with better health among children, these characteristics have been shown here to be negatively associated with health care access and utilization." They conclude that "our findings emphasize the need for outreach efforts to Asian immigrant populations to educate them on accessing and navigating the health care system, particularly as a usual source of care and preventive services."

Yu SM, Huang ZJ, Gopal KS. 2004. Health Status and Health Services Utilization Among US Chinese, Asian Indian, Filipino, and Other Asian/Pacific Islander Children. Pediatrics 113(1):101-107.


To subscribe to the MCH Alert, send an e-mail message to mchalert@list, with SUBSCRIBE in the subject line. You do not need to enter any text in the body of the message.

To unsubscribe from the MCH Alert, send an e-mail message to mchalert@list, with UNSUBSCRIBE in the subject line. You do not need to enter any text in the body of the message.


MCH Alert © 2004 by National Center for Education in Maternal and Child Health and Georgetown University. MCH Alert is produced by MCH Library Services at the National Center for Education in Maternal and Child Health under its cooperative agreement (6U02 MC 00001) with the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Health Resources and Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Maternal and Child Health Bureau reserves a royalty-free, nonexclusive, and irrevocable right to use the work for federal purposes and to authorize others to use the work for federal purposes.

Permission is given to forward MCH Alert to individual colleagues. For all other uses, requests for permission to duplicate and use all or part of the information contained in this publication should be sent to MCH Alert Editor, National Center for Education in Maternal and Child Health, at

The editors welcome your submissions, suggestions, and questions. Please contact us at the address below.

EDITORS: Jolene Bertness, Tracy Lopez


National Center for Education in Maternal and Child Health
Georgetown University
Mailing address: Box 571272, Washington, DC 20057-1272
Street address: 2115 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W., Suite 601, Washington, DC 20007-2292
Phone: (202) 784-9770
Fax: (202) 784-9777
Web site: