Special Notice: The 18th Annual Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology (MCH EPI) Conference, cohosted with the 2012 CityMatCH Urban MCH Leadership Conference, will be held on December 12-14, 2012, in San Antonio, Texas. The Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs, in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Division of Reproductive Health and the Health Resources and Services Administration's Maternal and Child Health Bureau, will offer four pre-conference data-training options on December 11, 2012. Topics will include spatial analysis, quality improvement, scientific writing, and leadership. Applications for the training may be submitted through Friday, October, 19, 2012, at http://www.regonline.com/Register/Checkin.aspx?EventID=1134982. More information about the training is available at http://www.amchp.org/programsandtopics/data-assessment/projects/Documents/Call%20for%20Applications_9-20-2012.pdf
1. Website Focuses on Quality Improvement in Pediatric Emergency Care
The National Pediatric Readiness Project website contains resources developed to help emergency departments in the United States provide effective emergency care to children. The website is part of a multi-phase quality-improvement initiative to assess and address EDs' readiness to care for children. The initiative is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration's Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB), the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Emergency Physicians, and the Emergency Nurses Association. The website is maintained by the EMS for Children (EMSC) National Resource Center with support from MCHB. Contents include information on the National Pediatric Readiness assessment, the Pediatric Readiness Toolkit, and state and territory results. The website is available at http://www.pediatricreadiness.org
2. Document Provides Guidance on Oral Health Care During Pregnancy
Oral Health Care During Pregnancy: A National Consensus Statement -- Summary of an Expert Workgroup Meeting provides guidance on oral health care for pregnant women for both prenatal care health professionals and oral health professionals. The document was published by the National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center with support from the Health Resources and Services Administration's (HRSA's) Maternal and Child Health Bureau. It summarizes a meeting held on October 18, 2011, in Washington, DC, convened by HRSA in collaboration with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Dental Association. Information on pharmacological considerations for pregnant women and guidance for health professionals to share with pregnant women are included. The document, outreach tools to support dissemination of the document and implementation of the guidance in the document, and related resources are available at http://www.mchoralhealth.org/materials/consensus_statement.html
3. AHRQ Releases Final Report on Progestogens for Preterm-Birth Prevention
Progestogens for Prevention of Preterm Birth reviews evidence addressing administration of progestogens to prevent preterm birth with a focus on maternal, fetal, and neonatal health outcomes; harms of progestogen treatments; modifiers of outcomes; and health-system and provider factors. The report is based on research conducted by Vanderbilt University’s Evidence-Based Practice Center under contract to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Contents include background on the burden of preterm birth, the use of progestogens, and treatment options; information about the literature review methods, literature synthesis, peer review, and public commentary; and a discussion of the state of the science and current and future research. Conclusions are also presented. The report is available at http://www.effectivehealthcare.ahrq.gov/ehc/products/104/1239/ProgestogensPretermBirth_
4. Authors Analyze Relationship Between Maternal Education and Immigrant-Native Differences in Child Health
"Taken as a whole, our findings suggest that the development of children in immigrant families is neither strictly favorable nor uniformly unfavorable," write the authors of an article published in the September-October 2012 issue of Child Development. Abundant research in the United States documents striking advantages in birth outcomes and infant health among children of foreign-born mothers (known as the "immigrant advantage"), sometimes despite a greater likelihood of socioeconomic disadvantage. In the study described in this article, the authors draw on birth cohort data (birth through age 5) from the United States and the United Kingdom (n = 4,139 and n = 13,381), considering whether children of immigrants have a physical and mental health advantage around the beginning of elementary school and whether the advantage is more pronounced among children of mothers with less education.
The authors analyzed two national birth cohort studies: the U.S. Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study (FFS) and the U.K. Millennium Cohort Study (MCS). The FFS followed approximately 5,000 children born in large U.S. cities between 1998 and 2000. The MCS is Britain’s fourth nationally representative birth cohort study. The first wave (2001-2002) included 18,818 children (18,552 families) born in the United Kingdom between 2000 and 2002. Measures for the present study included (1) children's health (physical health at age 5: whether a child has ever been diagnosed with asthma and whether the child is overweight or obese and two mental health indicators: frequency of internalizing [withdrawn, sad] and externalizing [aggressive, angry] behaviors); (2) nativity, race, and ethnicity; and (3) maternal education.
The authors found that immigrant advantage in child health is not equally strong across all educational groups and is not observed for all markers of physical and mental health:
Further examination revealed that families with less education drive nativity differences in child health:
"The fact that we observe largely similar patterns across the United States and United Kingdom for physical health is striking given differences in immigrants’ regional origins and reasons for migration, and differences in the policy structure of the host countries," conclude the authors. They suggest that future research examine "how parental resources condition the extent to which immigrant status is beneficial or detrimental to children's healthy development."
Jackson MI, Kiernan K, McLanahan S. 2012. Immigrant-native difference in child health: Does maternal education narrow or widen the gap? Child Development 83(5):1501-1509. Abstract available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8624.2012.01811.x
5. Article Examines Associations Between Early Sexual Initiation and Parental Support and Knowledge
"Our findings underscore the cross-national importance of understanding associations between early sexual initiation and multiple facets of parent-adolescent relationships, and the mechanisms underlying those associations," write the authors of an article published in the September 2012 issue of Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health. Early sexual initiation is recognized as a potential threat to adolescent females' sexual and reproductive health. Thus, delaying sexual initiation until late adolescence or early adulthood is an important goal for females' sexual and reproductive health. A review of predominantly U.S. studies supports the association between delayed sex and three aspects of parenting: monitoring behavior, communicating clearly and positively, and providing emotional bonding and support. The purpose of the study described in the article was to extend prior research by examining whether perceived parental support is related to adolescent females' early sexual initiation across nine European countries. Drawing on prior research, the study included adolescent females' reports of parental knowledge (what parents know about their adolescents' daily activities) as a possible link between parental support and timing of sexual initiation. Separate measures were derived for mothers and fathers.
The analyses used data from the 2005-2006 Health Behavior in School-Aged Children study, conducted in 41 countries primarily in Europe, in collaboration with the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe. The present analysis was limited to the nine European countries that had data on sexual behavior and from an optional module that explored parental support (Austria, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Lithuania, Romania, Spain, and Ukraine). The study sample included 7,466 female adolescents (ages 14-16) who were living with at least one biological parent and for whom complete covariate data were included.
The authors found that
"Further study is needed to examine the temporal ordering of parental support, parental knowledge and adolescents' sexual behaviors," conclude the authors. They add, "findings from such research could yield significant implications for public health practice by helping programs to emphasize aspects of parenting that may assist adolescents in protecting their sexual and reproductive health."
Madkour AS, Farhat T, Halpern CT, et al. 2012. Parents' support and knowledge of their daughters' lives and females' early sexual initiation in nine European countries. Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health 44(3):167-175. Abstract available at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1363/4416712/abstract
Readers: More information is available from the following MCH Library resources:
- Adolescent Health: Resource Brief at
- Social and Emotional Development in Kids and Teens: Resources for Families at
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