July/August 2013 Reports

Mobile devices in classrooms www.grunwald.com
If parents had their way, schools would welcome children’s mobile devices with open arms. Seventy-one percent of parents surveyed for a report from Grunwald Associates and the Learning First Alliance, “Living and Learning with Mobile Devices,” say that mobile devices open up learning opportunities. Sixty-two percent say mobile devices benefit students’ learning, while 59 percent say they increase students’ classroom engagement. Thirty-two percent of surveyed parents agree that schools should require them in classrooms.

Mom brings home the bacon www.pewsocialtrends.org
“Breadwinner Moms,” an analysis of census data from the Pew Research Center, finds that, in 40 percent of U.S. households with children under 18, mothers are either the sole or the primary source of family income, up from just 11 percent in 1960. Sixty-three percent of these are single mothers; 37 percent are married mothers whose incomes exceed those of their husbands. Seventy-four percent of respondents said the increasing number of women in the workplace makes it harder to raise children. Fifty percent said they make it harder for marriages to succeed. But 66 percent said they make it easier for families to experience a comfortable lifestyle.

Parents and young kids’ media usage http://web5.soc.northwestern.edu
In a survey from Northwestern University of parents with children 8 and under, “Parenting in the Age of Digital Technology,” only 37 percent of parents with mobile devices said they used them to keep the kids quiet. Parents are most likely to rely on toys and activities (88 percent), books (79 percent), or the TV (78 percent) to keep children 8 and younger occupied, just as parents in the 1960s did. More than 60 percent said that videos, TV, computers, and mobile devices lowered children’s activity levels.

Record Hispanic college enrollment www.pewhispanic.org
“High School Drop-out Rate at Record Low: Hispanic High School Graduates Pass Whites in Rate of College Enrollment,” a report from the Pew Research Hispanic Center, finds that 69 percent of 2012 Hispanic high school graduates enrolled in college --  a new record. Hispanic students are still less likely than whites to enroll in four-year colleges or selective colleges, attend college full-time, or complete a bachelor’s degree.

Sibling aggression http://pediatrics.aappublications.org
A study in the journal Pediatrics finds that sibling aggression can be as damaging as peer bullying to children’s mental health. The study, “Association of Sibling Aggression With Child and Adolescent Mental Health,” finds that negative mental health effects were greater for children than for adolescents who had experienced mild physical assault but effects were the same for both groups if severe physical assault, property aggression (theft or intentional property damage), or psychological aggression (name calling, exclusion, or verbal abuse) was inflicted.

Teachers and student assignment www.asanet.org
Teachers with greater seniority may be able to influence the student assignment process so that they are sure to teach the most able students, according to a study of Miami-Dade County Public School teachers by researchers from Stanford University and the World Bank, “Systematic Sorting: Teacher Characteristics and Class Assignments.” Experienced teachers had more control over student assignments than inexperienced teachers, especially in schools where a large number of senior teachers were employed. The authors say that this pattern can exacerbate within-school achievement gaps and increase rates of new teacher turnover.

Teens and sex http://pediatrics.aappublications.org
Sex among young teens is rare, according to a study appearing in Pediatrics, with only 2 percent of 12-year-olds and 3 percent of 13-year-olds reporting having had sexual intercourse. The study, “Sexual Initiation, Contraceptive Use, and Pregnancy Among Young Adolescents,” says that the median age for first-time sex in the U.S. has not fallen below age 17 in 50 years. Twenty-six percent of both men and women in the study were still virgins at age 20.

Teens, texting, and driving http://pediatrics.aappublications.org
An analysis of data from the 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Survey appearing in Pediatrics, “Texting While Driving and Other Risky Motor Vehicle Behaviors Among US High School Students,” finds that nearly half of all U.S. teens (44.5 percent) surveyed had sent a text while driving on one or more days in the 30 days preceding the survey. The students in the survey who engaged in this behavior also were more likely not to wear seatbelts, to ride with a driver who had been drinking, and to drink and drive.

Compiled by Margaret Suslick, ASBJ’s Editorial Assistant.