MCH Alert

National Center for Education in Maternal and Child Health

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August 13, 2004

1. MCH Library Releases New Knowledge Path on Mental Health In Children and Adolescents
2. Directory Presents Information on Funding Opportunities for Community-Based Participatory Research
3. Authors Investigate Risk Factors for Childhood Overweight
4. Analysis Assesses Insurance Coverage, Burden, and Adequacy for Children with Special Health Care Needs
5. Article Explores Prevalence of and Risk Factors for Depressive Symptoms Among Young Adolescents



Mental Health in Children and Adolescents is an electronic guide on recent, high-quality resources for staying abreast of new developments in child and adolescent mental health and for conducting further research. Produced by the MCH Library, the knowledge path addresses the goals outlined in Report of the Surgeon General's Conference on Children's Mental Health: A National Action Agenda , and taps into the health, education, social services, and juvenile justice literature. The knowledge path includes information on (and links to) Web sites and electronic publications, journal articles, databases, and electronic newsletters. It is intended for use by health professionals, program administrators, policymakers, educators, and families who are interested in tracking timely information on this topic. The knowledge path is available at

MCH Library knowledge paths on other maternal and child health topics are available at The MCH Library welcomes feedback on the usefulness and value of these knowledge paths. A feedback form is available at



Directory of Funding Sources for Community-Based Participatory Research includes information on grants, training programs, and fellowships for community-based participatory research (CBPR). Developed and published by Community-Campus Partnerships for Health and the Northwest Health Foundation, the directory provides information about public and private funding agencies that have recently funded CBPR and about agencies that have active "requests for proposals" and "program announcements" for grants that either explicitly fund CBPR or could fund CBPR. The directory includes descriptions, deadlines, contact information, examples of CBPR projects, and an annotated list of funding resource Web sites. The directory is intended for use by health professionals, program administrators, educators, policymakers, and others in promoting health through community-based research and other partnership strategies. It is available at



"Although the prevention of obesity may require alterations to an environment that fosters inactivity and the consumption of calorie-dense foods, the family is also a potential arena for prevention," write the authors of an article published in the July 2004 issue of The Journal of Pediatrics. The authors state that childhood overweight continues to increase, and that because a considerable proportion of cases of adult overweight begin in childhood, the development of effective prevention programs in childhood is important. They add that this depends on the identification of modifiable risk factors for childhood overweight. In the exploratory study described in this article, the authors assessed many established and hypothesized risk factors for the development of childhood overweight.

The study population consisted of 150 children (74 boys and 76 girls) recruited in infancy from the well newborn nurseries of a university hospital, a community hospital, and a health maintenance organization in the San Francisco Bay Area. The children were followed to 9.5 years.

The authors found that
The authors conclude that "the findings of this study suggest that at-risk children and parents may be identifiable in the first few years of a child's life, affording the opportunity for early preventive interventions."

Agrams WS, Hammer LD, McNicholas F. 2004. Risk factors for childhood overweight: A prospective study from birth to 9.5 years. The Journal of Pediatrics 145(1):20-25.

Readers: More information about child nutrition is available from the Bright Futures Web site at, as well as from the MCHLibrary's knowledge path at, bibliography at, and organizations list at



"Consistent with expectations, this analysis finds that CSHCN [children with special health care needs] had different patterns of insurance coverage than other children," states the author of an article published in the August 2004 issue of Pediatrics. This article updates national estimates of insurance coverage for CSHCN and provides information concerning the burden on families to provide insurance and the adequacy of existing coverage for CSHCN.

Data for the analysis were drawn from the 2000 and 2001 National Health Interview Survey for children from birth to age 17. The unweighted sample in the 2 years of pooled data included 2,879 CSHCN and 21,909 children without special health care needs. Measures included the type of health insurance coverage, the burden on the family to provide private insurance, and the adequacy of insurance. The analyses tested whether there were differences in characteristics and patterns of health insurance coverage between CSHCN and other children and between children from families with low incomes vs. those with higher income in both categories. For select measures, models were used to test the effects of having special health care needs while controlling for child and family characteristics (age, gender, race, ethnicity, citizenship status, parent education, income).

The author found that
"The estimates presented in this article, as with all other estimates that are sensitive to changing economic and policy environments, must be viewed as snapshots in time," notes the author. Research in progress will assess the effects of such changes (including SCHIP expansions) on insurance coverage and access to care for CSHCN.

Davidoff AJ. 2004. Insurance for children with special health care needs. Pediatrics 114(2, Part 1):394-403.

Readers: More information about insurance for children with special health care needs is available from the MCH Library's knowledge path at



"This study indicates that the prevalence of depression among young adolescents, particularly female adolescents, may be higher than previous estimates," state the authors of an article published in the August 2004 issue of Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. The article explores the prevalence of depressive symptoms in adolescents ages 11 to 15 and the extent to which involvement in bullying, substance use, and somatic symptoms (headache, stomachache, backache) are associated with depressive symptoms in this age group.

The study used data from a 1996 U.S. survey that was based on the Health Behavior in School Children Study, a multinational, cross-sectional, school-based survey. The weighted sample for the analysis included 9,863 students in grades 6, 8, and 10 who attended public and private schools in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The self-administered questionnaire included items on health-related behaviors in the context of students' families, schools, and peers. Variables of interest included depressive symptoms, involvement in bullying, substance use, and somatic symptoms.

The authors found that
"Because depressive symptoms are likely to coexist with other adolescent problem behaviors, such as bullying and substance use, young adolescents who are involved in such behaviors might be depressed as well," state the authors. They suggest that "practitioners who work with youths who have such symptoms/behaviors should consider screening them for depression."

Saluja G, Iachan R, Scheidt PC, et al. 2004. Prevalence of and risk factors for depressive symptoms among young adolescents. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine 158(8):760-765.

Readers: More information about adolescent mental health is available from the Bright Futures Web site at and from the MCH Library's bibliography at


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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.
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EDITORS: Jolene Bertness, Tracy Lopez

National Center for Education in Maternal and Child Health
Georgetown University
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