Education Vital Signs: Children at Risk

The term “Threat Level” is a sobering addition to the 21st century lexicon. It refers, of course, to the relative chance of a terrorist attack on the United States or another country. We don’t compute the threat level for students growing up in dangerous neighborhood. But if we did, we would see that the remote possibility of attack from afar pales in comparison to the very real threats within these communities; drugs, guns, gangs, teen pregnancies, AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. And these threats aren’t limited to children in the poorest urban neighborhoods. Indeed, many of them have touched children and families across the country.

Below are the most recent reports on the out-of-school dangers facing today’s public school students:

Repeat teen births
A Vitalsigns report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Preventing Repeat Teen Births,” says that one in five births to teen mothers is a repeat birth, with 183 repeat teen births occurring every day in the U.S. Most of these (86 percent) are second births. Latino, African-American, American Indian, and Alaska Native teens were 1.5 times as likely to have a repeat teen birth as were white teens. While more than 91 percent of sexually active teen mothers use birth control, only one in five uses one of the most effective types of birth control. The report says that communities and health care providers can help prevent repeat teen births by counseling teens that they can avoid pregnancy by abstaining from sex, by helping educate teen mothers about the use of the most effective birth control methods, and by connecting teen mothers with support services such as home visits.
April 2013

Autism diagnoses rise
One in 50 U.S. schoolchildren is now being diagnosed with some form of autism -- a new record. According to “Changes in Prevalence of Parent-reported Autism Spectrum Disorder in School-aged U.S. Children: 2007 to 2011-2012,” a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Center for Health Statistics, this rise does not result from an increasing environmental threat, but from better detection. The diagnosis rate for boys ages 6 to 17 is now 3.2 percent, up from 1.8 percent in 2007. The rate for girls is now 0.7 percent, but has not increased significantly from the previous rate of 0.5 percent. Autism diagnoses among youths from ages 14 to 17 have more than doubled, from 0.7 percent to 1.8 percent, with 14 percent of these diagnoses occurring after 2007, and 70 percent of these classified as mild by parents.
March 2013

Parent unemployment
A study from the State University of New York Upstate Medical University, “Macroeconomic Environment During Infancy as a Possible Risk Factor for Adolescent Behavioral Problems,” draws a link between a parent’s unemployment during infancy and a teen’s later bad behavior or even delinquency. The authors say the data show that a family’s 1 percent deviation from the mean regional unemployment rates at one year of age affects psychological development and can lead to behavior problems later on, such as substance abuse, arrest, gang affiliation, theft, and assault.
February 2013

Teen aggression
A study conducted by researchers from the University of Texas at Austin, Emory University, and Stanford University, “Implicit Theories of Personality and Attributions of Hostile Intent,” says that teenagers who believe people’s characters are fixed and cannot change also are those most likely to believe bad behavior is intentional and to react aggressively to it. Teens in the study who felt intentionally targeted wished to punish their aggressors -- whom they viewed as “bad people” -- and were most likely to react aggressively themselves. A subsequent eight-month intervention that taught the teens that people do have the potential to change was effective in making the teens less likely to view aggression as malicious or targeted towards them, and made the teens less likely to react aggressively themselves.
February 2013

Disconnected youth
Six and a half million American teens and young adults are “disconnected youth” -- youths ages 16 to 24 who neither work nor attend school. A report from The Annie E. Casey Foundation, "Youth and Work: Restoring Teen and Young Adult Connections to Opportunity," says that while in decades past teenagers leaving high school with or without a diploma still could find gainful employment in America’s economy, that is no longer the case. The report found that youth employment rates varied widely between states, from a low of 18 percent in California, to a high of 46 percent in North Dakota, and said schools could best help by creating job experience opportunities for youth via internships, summer and part-time work, and community service.
January 2013

Teen girls and binge drinking 
A Vitalsigns report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Binge Drinking: A Serious, Under-Recognized Problem Among Women and Girls,” found that one in five high school girls binge drink -- defined as consuming four or more alcoholic beverages within two or three hours -- about three times each month. Half of all teenage girls who reported drinking also reported binge drinking. While the report found that binge drinking is a problem for all women, it was most common in high school girls and other women under 35 years old, and in those with household incomes of $75,000 or more. Women who binge drink increase their chances of breast cancer, heart disease, unintended pregnancy, and sexually transmitted diseases.
January 2013

Kids and psychotropic drugs
Kids in the child welfare system take psychotropic drugs (those affecting the mind, emotions, and behavior) three times more frequently than other children, and usage among such children in rural areas is much higher (20 percent) than that of similar kids in urban settings (13 percent). Overall rates of psychotropic drug usage among all children increased between two and three times from the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s and rates continue to rise, according to an issue brief from the Carsey Institute, “Psychotropic Medication Use Among Children in the Child Welfare System.”
Fall 2012

Growing up to be middle class
"Pathways to the Middle Class," a report from the Brookings Institution, says that the U.S. seriously lags behind Canada, Scandinavia, and others in social mobility and equality of economic opportunity. The report’s data suggest that, in America, a top birth economic quintile will lead to a top adult economic quintile 82 percent of the time. However, the data also show that academic success is a cumulative process that builds upon itself. Keeping disadvantaged children on track at every stage provides them with the surest pathway to the middle class.
September 2012

Continuing ADHD treatment
A study of 300 New York City boys spanning 33 years finds that participants who stopped their ADHD therapy were seven times more likely to drop out of school, twice as likely to be divorced, and earned on average $40,000 less per year than their cohorts. The study, “Clinical and Functional Outcome of Childhood Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder 33 Years Later,” was published in the Archives of General Psychiatry.
December 2012

Gay and transgender youth
A report from the Center for American Progress, "The Unfair Criminalization of Gay and Transgender Youth," says that most gay and transgender youth end up in the juvenile justice system when family rejection and failed social safety nets leave them homeless -- the greatest predictor of involvement with that system. While gay and transgender youth comprise 5 percent to 7 percent of the youth population, they comprise 40 percent of the homeless youth population. Without someone to claim them, homeless youth, once arrested or detained, languish indefinitely in detention centers alongside youth convicted of crimes.
June 2012

Special education boost
A report from the Thomas Fordham Institute, "Boosting the Quality and Efficiency of Special Education," finds that when it comes to special education, more money does not necessarily mean improved achievement. According to the report, some districts that spend less than the average on special education are posting the greatest gains in achievement, and if all districts just spent the median amount on special education, $10 billion a year would be saved.
September 2012

Income and race gaps persist
The 2012 edition of The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s KIDS COUNT Data Book says that, while high school graduation rates and national reading and math scores for all American students are higher than ever, there are still wide gaps in educational achievement by race and especially by income. The report also says that, while mortality rates for all children have fallen and rates of health insurance coverage for children have also improved, the rate of childhood obesity has tripled since the 1980s.
July 2012

Poverty and anxiety
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) -- muscle tension, excessive worry, concentration difficulties, fatigue, and irritability -- is frequently diagnosed among those who live in poverty. Childhood experiences of low socioeconomic status and maltreatment have been shown to lead to the onset of GAD. A study appearing in the Child Adolescent Social Work Journal -- “Is It Generalized Anxiety Disorder or Poverty?” -- concludes that high-poverty mothers have physical needs that are not being met, and that this is what produces their anxiety, not GAD.
July 2012

Depression and teenage girls
The chances that a girl will experience a major depressive episode increase as she moves through adolescence, and triple between the ages of 12 and 15 -- from 5.1 percent to 15.2 percent. A new report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, "Depression Triples Between the Ages of 12 and 15 Among Adolescent Girls," also says that 1.4 million girls ages 12 to 17 (12 percent, on average) experience a major depressive episode each year. This rate is three times the rate for teenage boys (4.5 percent).
July 2012

LGBT youth in America
While 83 percent of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth surveyed for the Human Rights Campaign’s new report, "Growing up LGBT in America," said they were confident they would be happy eventually, 63 percent said they would have to move away from their hometown to feel accepted. Seventy-five percent of LGBT youth say they are more honest about themselves online than in the real world. The second most likely place for LGBT youth to be out was at school with classmates. LGBT youth are still twice as likely as their cohorts to be excluded and verbally and physically bullied.
June 2012

Restraint legislation
A recent survey of superintendents about seclusion and restraint practices in public schools across America shows that 97 percent of responding districts do not use mechanical restraints under any circumstances, 97 percent end the use of seclusion and restraint as soon as an emergency is over, 94 percent of districts continually monitor students who are in seclusion, and that 80 percent of district personnel trained in the use of seclusion and restraint also have been trained in the use of nonviolent intervention techniques. Survey results appear in the American Association of School Administrators’ study, "Keeping Schools Safe."
June 2012

Kinship care
"Stepping Up for Kids," a report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, says that kinship care --  placing children at risk with relatives or family friends --  is a common solution that works for kids. About 26 percent of the foster care population are in kinship care, and one in five black children will be in kinship care at some point during their childhood. The report points out that despite the fact that kinship care is so common, caregivers --  who are often single, underemployed, and living below the poverty line --  rarely access the financial assistance and social services available to assist them.
June 2012

Teen birth rate matters
A paper published in the Journal of Economic Perspectives, “Why Is the Teen Birth Rate in the United States so High and Why Does It Matter?” says the teen birth rate in the U.S. reflects a decision made by girls at the bottom of the economic ladder not to invest in their economic futures but rather to “drop-out” of the economic mainstream in response to a real or perceived lack of economic opportunity. The authors say there can be no improvement in teen birth rates until we address the opportunity gap facing these young women.
May 2012

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders -- Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, 14 Sites, United States, 2008," estimates that in 2008 one in every 88 American 8-year-olds suffered from Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) -- one in every 54 males, and one in every 252 females. Alabama had the lowest prevalence of ASD in the study (4.8 per 1,000), while Utah had the highest incidence (21.2 per 1,000). ASD was most prevalent among non-Hispanic white children.
June 2012

Abuse hastens aging
A new longitudinal study published in Molecular Psychiatry finds that childhood violence affects DNA sequences called telomeres, causing abused children to age more rapidly than their cohorts. Telomeres stop DNA from fraying, and each time cells divide, telomeres get shorter. The study, "Exposure to Violence during Childhood Is Associated with Telomere Erosion from 5 to 10 Years of Age," found greater telomere loss among children who had experienced at least two kinds of violence, and says that shorter telomeres are associated with a greater risk of chronic disease and poorer survival rates.
April 2012

Juvenile ‘lifers’
Juveniles sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole (“lifers”) and participating in a survey for The Sentencing Project, "The Lives of Juvenile Lifers," overwhelmingly experienced socioeconomic disadvantages, education failure, and abuse prior to incarceration. One third were raised in public housing. Seventy-nine percent witnessed violence in their homes, with 46.9 percent experiencing physical abuse. Female lifers experienced the most physical abuse (79.5 percent), and 77.3 percent of these reported sexual abuse. Two in five respondents received special education classes, and 84.4 percent were suspended or expelled from school. Only 46.6 percent were attending school at the time of their offense.
March 2012

College match intervention
Each year, academically capable minority and low-income graduates “undermatch” with nonselective four-year colleges with low graduation rates, or two-year colleges with graduation rates that are even lower. Sixty percent of students whose family incomes are in the lowest quartile enroll in colleges for which they are overqualified, and 64 percent of students whose parents did not attend college do the same. A policy brief, "Make Me a Match," describes how MDRC worked with Chicago Public Schools to help these students make good college choices.
March 2012

Arts and at-risk students
A report from the National Endowment for the Arts, "The Arts and Achievement in At-Risk Youth: Findings from Four Longitudinal Studies," finds that at-risk students in the lowest socioeconomic quartile who engage in the arts in some capacity have better academic outcomes, more civic engagement, and better workforce opportunities. The at-risk students studied were engaged in arts activities ranging from band and theater to out-of-school art lessons and coursework in visual art, music, dance, or theater. These students were more likely than their peers to finish a high school calculus course (33 percent versus 23 percent), three times more likely to earn a bachelor’s degree (17 percent versus five percent), and twice or as much as three times as likely to participate in sports.
March 2012

Binge drinking among youth
A recent issue of Vitalsigns from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Binge Drinking: Nationwide Problem, Local Solutions," says that most binge drinkers are 18- to 34-years-old, and that more than 90 percent of all the alcohol youth drink is consumed while binge drinking. Binge drinking is defined as five or more alcoholic drinks within a short period of time for men, and four or more drinks within a short period of time for women. The publication says that most binge drinkers are not alcoholics or alcohol-dependent, but most drunk drivers binge drink. Rates of binge drinking range from 10.9 percent in Utah to 25.6 percent in Wisconsin, and binge drinking is most common in the Midwest, New England, the District of Columbia, Alaska, and Hawaii.
January 2012

Costs of abuse
Victims of child abuse endure lifelong consequences, such as an increased risk of chronic disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, increased risk of adult criminality, and lower levels of adult economic well-being. (Documented child abuse survivors earn $5,000 less per year, on average, than their cohorts.) A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "The Economic Burden of Child Maltreatment in the United States and Implications for Prevention," pegs the estimated lifetime cost to society per child abuse survivor at $210,012, with most of this cost ($144,360) attributable to lost productivity.
January 2012 

Cash, cars, and condoms
In a recent study of 715 African-American adolescent women from urban Atlanta, participants were found to be 50 percent more likely not to use condoms during sexual encounters with their boyfriends if those boyfriends supplied most of their spending money. According to "Cash, Cars, and Condoms," appearing in the Journal of Adolescent Health, those young women whose boyfriends owned cars also were less likely to demand condom usage. If these young women found another spending money source later on, they were more likely to start using condoms.
February 2012

Children in high-poverty communities
KIDS COUNT Data Snapshot from the Annie E. Casey Foundation says that African-American, American Indian, and Latino children are six to nine times more likely to live in high-poverty communities -- communities where at least 30 percent of residents live below the federal poverty threshold of $22,314 per year for a family of four. Eight million American children now live in such communities, up 25 percent since 2000; among America’s largest cities, Atlanta (43 percent), Cleveland (57 percent), Detroit (67 percent), Fresno (43 percent), Miami (49 percent), and Milwaukee (48 percent) have the highest rates of children living in high-poverty communities.
February 2012

U.S. Teenage Pregnancies, Births and Abortions, 2008 
The U.S. teen pregnancy rate reached a 30-year low in 2008, down 42 percent overall from its peak in 1990, according to a report from the Guttmacher Institute. The pregnancy rate among very young teens (those younger than 15) fell even further, plummeting 62 percent from 1990-2008. U.S. Teenage Pregnancies, Births and Abortions, 2008, also reports that the abortion rate among U.S. teenagers declined 33 percent from 1986 to 2008, and is now at its lowest rate since abortion was legalized in 1973.
February 2012

Media Use, Face-to-Face Communication, Media Multitasking, and Social Well-Being Among 8- to 12-year-old Girls 
Eight- to 12-year-old (tween) participants in a study who multitasked for several hours with various digital devices reported experiencing difficulties with their social and emotional development. The analysis showed an association not only with media that are about interpersonal interaction (social media and phone), but also drew the association with video, music, and reading. The study found an especially strong link between video usage and a negative effect on social well-being. The study, Media Use, Face-to-Face Communication, Media Multitasking, and Social Well-Being Among 8- to 12-year-old Girls, was published by the American Psychological Association.
January 2012

Playgrounds and Prejudice 
A new report from the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network says that, in elementary schools, gender-nonconforming students are far more likely (56 percent) than gender-conforming students (33 percent) to report being bullied and called names. In fact, Playgrounds and Prejudice finds that the phrase “that’s so gay” is second only to the phrases “spaz” and “retard” as the most common form of biased language heard in elementary schools by both teachers (49 percent) and students (45 percent).
January 2012

The Lifelong Effects of Childhood Adversity and Toxic Stress;129/1/e232.pdf 
A report published in Pediatrics, “The Lifelong Effects of Childhood Adversity and Toxic Stress,” suggests that persistent, negative early experiences and excessive, prolonged stress produce biological memories that are built into the body and can actually disrupt the physical architecture of children’s developing brains. The report says that many adult diseases can actually be viewed as developmental disorders that begin early in life, and recommends investing in interventions that reduce childhood adversity as the key to strengthening the foundations of physical and mental health.
January 2012

America’s Youngest Outcasts 2010 
The number of homeless children in the U.S. reached 1.6 million in 2010, an increase of 38 percent from 2007. America’s Youngest Outcasts 2010, a report from The National Center on Family Homelessness, says that 4,400 more American children become homeless each day. Most of these children suffer from hunger, poor health, and missed educational opportunities, and most have limited math and reading proficiency. The report ranks Alabama as the worst state for child homelessness, and ranks California 46th out of 50. Vermont was ranked best.
December 2011

Heightened Neural Reactivity to Threat in Child Victims of Family Violence
Children exposed to family violence demonstrate the same changes in neurological activity as those experienced by combat veterans, according to a new study appearing in Current Biology, “Heightened Neural Reactivity to Threat in Child Victims of Family Violence.” Children who have been abused show increased activity in the areas of their brains associated with detecting threat and anticipating pain when shown pictures of angry faces. The study says this response is positive and adaptive in the short term, but the children’s enhanced reactivity could later lead to increased anxiety or other mental health problems.
December 2011

The Widening Academic Achievement Gap between the Rich and the Poor 

Family income is now as strong a predictor of student achievement as parental education. A new publication from the Center for Education Policy Analysis, The Widening Academic Achievement Gap between the Rich and the Poor, says that, as the income gap between high- and low-income families has widened, so has the academic achievement gap between children from high- and low-income families. The authors find that a given difference in parents’ income corresponds to a 30 percent to 60 percent greater difference in their children’s academic achievement.

December 2011

Young Adult Outcomes of Youth Exiting Dependent or Delinquent Care in Los Angeles County

Young Adult Outcomes of Youth Exiting Dependent or Delinquent Care in Los Angeles County, a study from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, found that 68 percent of foster care youth and 82 percent of “crossover” youth (youth who had been in both foster care and the juvenile justice system) received public welfare benefits in the first four years of their adulthood. Less than half of them had any earnings in early adulthood. Crossover youth served early adult jail terms three times more often than foster care youth.

November 2011

No Place for Kids


new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, No Place for Kids, finds that incarcerting youth is not cost-effective—or even effective. According to the report, seventy-two percent of America’s 60,500 incarcerated youth are rearrested within three years of their release.

October 2011

Reproducing Social Inequality through School Security: Effects of Race and Class on School Security Measures

The authors of Reproducing Social Inequality through School Security: Effects of Race and Class on School Security Measures find only a weak association between student behavior and crime and the level and kinds of security measures in force at their schools. Results say metal detectors are much more likely to be used in schools with large minority populations. In elementary and middle schools, a high rate of poverty was the most reliable indicator that metal detectors, surveillance cameras, fulltime law enforcement officers, monitored and locked gates, and drug-sniffing dogs would all be used.

October 2011

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Among Children Aged 5-7 Years in the United States, 1998-2009

New statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that the percentage of U.S. children diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has risen over the past decade, increasing from 7 percent to 9 percent nationally from 1998-2009. Rates of diagnosis vary across regions, and have reached 10 percent in the Midwest and South. Mexican children consistently showed the lowest incidence of ADHD, says the report, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Among Children Aged 5-7 Years in the United States, 1998-2009.

August 2011

The KIDS Count Data Book

The KIDS Count Data Book from The Annie E. Casey Foundation says that, in 2010, 11 percent of U.S. children had at least one parent seeking employment—double the number in 2007. The child poverty rate increased 18 percent between 2000 and 2009. Five key measures of child well-being have improved, however; the infant mortality rate, child death rate, teen death rate, teen birth rate, and the percentage of teens not in school and not high school graduates have all decreased.

August 2011

Breaking Schools’ Rules

A study of Texas public secondary school students reveals that almost 60 percent of them have been suspended or expelled. Of the 15 percent of those suspended or expelled 11 times or more, almost 50 percent ended up involved in the juvenile justice system. According to “Breaking Schools’ Rules,” a report from the Council of State Governments’ Justice Center, only 3 percent of these disciplinary actions were state mandated; 97 percent of the suspensions and expulsions occurred at the discretion of school officials.

July 2011

Late Talking and the Risk for Psychosocial Problems During Childhood and Adolescence


A study of late talkers—toddlers who scored at or below the 15th percentile on the Language Development Survey for their gender—participating in the Western Australian Cohort Study shows no link between late talking and later development of behavioral and emotional disturbances. The study, “Late Talking and the Risk for Psychosocial Problems During Childhood and Adolescence,” was published in Pediatrics.

July 2011

Find your stats here

The National Chamber Foundation and the Institute for a Competitive Workforce have launched an interactive map comparing states’ performance within nine K-12 education categories: standards, graduation rates, data systems, achievement gaps, charter school laws, student achievement, return on investment, teacher policies, and Race to the Top participation.

May 2011

How young men of color experience education

New data based on a study from the College Board revealed that almost 50 percent of the young men of color who graduate high school end up incarcerated or unemployed. Just 18 percent of Hispanic Americans, 24 percent of Native Americans and Pacific Islanders, and 26 percent of black Americans receive an associate degree or better. An interactive website based on the study, The Educational Experience of Young Men of Color, features 92 videos of in-depth student interviews, lists legal implications that should guide the development of policy, and makes recommendations to effect change.

June 2011

Talking to Kids and Teens about Social Media and Sexting

A new tip sheet for parents from the American Academy of Pediatrics about kids and social media, Talking to Kids and Teens about Social Media and Sexting, recommends keeping the family computer in a public part of the home, finding out what platforms friends are using, checking chat logs and social networking profiles, setting time limits for Internet usage, and creating a system to monitor children’s online usage—then following through.

March 2011

Double Jeopardy

Low-income students who do not read proficiently by third grade are at great risk of not graduating, or not graduating on time, according to Double Jeopardy, a new report from The Annie E. Casey Foundation. Twenty-six percent of low income, low-proficiency readers fail to graduate high school by age 19, compared to 22 percent of low-income children overall, and 6 percent of children who have never experienced poverty. The statistics are most grim for black and Latino students who are not proficient readers by third grade.

May 2011

Early Care and Education for Children in Immigrant Families
Immigrant children make up 24 percent of children under age six children nationally and 50 percent in California. However, they are more likely than native-born children to be in parental care only, and less likely than native-born children to participate in center-based care. Early Care and Education for Children in Immigrant Families recommends universal preschool and addressing language barriers and informational gaps in publicly subsidized programs’ marketing and structure as ways to reach disadvantaged immigrant children.
March 2011

State Trends from 2005-2010: Removing Youth from the Adult Criminal Justice System
toughened laws regulating juvenile offenders in the 1980s and 1990s, but recent research shows these tougher laws have neither deterred crime nor decreased recidivism among youthful offenders. A new report from The Campaign for Youth Justice, State Trends from 2005-2010: Removing Youth from the Adult Criminal Justice System, says that in recent years 15 states have reformed their juvenile court systems, and nine more are implementing progressive changes, indicating a trend toward a culture of active reform.
March 2011

Ensuring High Quality Kinship Care for Children
A new report from Children’s Rights takes a look at recent revisions in Wisconsin law that require relatives caring for their young kin to apply for a foster home license. Ensuring High Quality Kinship Care for Children offers 17 recommendations to ensure that foster youth placed with their relatives are as safe as children placed with foster parents, and that they receive the same services and level of care. Almost one-third of Wisconsin children in foster care live with their relatives, but only six percent of these homes are licensed for foster care.
March 2011

Racial Bias in Child Protection?
Child abuse cases involving black children are reported to child welfare agencies at twice the rate of cases involving white children. The usual explanation for this phenomenon is racial bias on the part of the child welfare system. But Racial Bias in Child Protection? finds that, while it is not possible to preclude the possibility of such a bias, racial differences in the victimization rate data are consistent with known differences for other child outcomes, and that a reduction in the disproportion between black and white victimization rates can best be achieved by reducing underlying risk factors that affect black families more than white families.
February 2011

Criminal-Justice and School Sanctions Against Nonheterosexual Youth  
A new study concludes that nonheterosexual youth suffer disproportionate punishments at the hands of schools and criminal justice systems. Criminal-Justice and School Sanctions Against Nonheterosexual Youth finds that self-identified gay, lesbian, and bisexual teenagers are 1.2 to 3 times more likely to receive punishment from their schools and the courts than “straight” teenagers, with nonheterosexual girls experiencing 50 percent more police stops for minor transgressions than their straight cohorts.
February 2011

Injustice at Every Turn
A survey of 6,000 transgender and gender non-conforming participants finds that 78 percent of those who expressed their identity while in K-12 schools reported being harassed, 35 percent were assaulted physically, and 12 percent experienced sexual violence. Injustice at Every Turn reports that fifteen percent of those responding said harassment led them to leave either a K-12 or post-secondary school. Fifty-one percent of those who reported being harassed at school attempted suicide. The suicide rate for the general population is 1.6 percent.
February 2011

Holding Steady, Looking Ahead 
An annual survey of state Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) eligibility rules, cost-sharing practices, and enrollment and renewal procedures found that 49 states, including the District of Columbia, did not lose ground in service improvements despite the recession. “Holding Steady, Looking Ahead” says that 14 states made additional improvements in enrollment and renewal procedures, and 13 states expanded eligibility for pregnant women and children -- but coverage for parents continues to lag behind.
January 2011

The 2010 Broad Prize 
The 2010 Broad Prize, a new analysis from the Broad Foundation based on data collected during the 2010 prize selection process, says that 30 large urban school districts do a better job, on average, than their states do of educating black, Latino, and low-income students. While fifteen of these urban districts are in Texas or California, the report found that cities in 11 states and the District of Columbia routinely outperform state averages in subgroup achievement.
December 2010

The Missouri Model
Three-year outcome recidivism rates for large juvenile corrections facilities—the model for treatment of juvenile offenders in most states for more than a century—are uniformly high. A new model spearheaded by the state of Missouri includes a multi-step treatment experience in small, regional facilities with a much lower rate of recidivism: 8.5 percent. The authors of The Missouri Model recommend limiting the use of isolation, adopting group-focused treatment, and implementing an individualized case management system as ways to reduce recidivism among youthful offenders.
December 2010

A Spatial Analysis of Risks and Resources for Reentry Youth in Los Angeles County
A new study of Los Angeles County youth finds that the kind of neighborhood a youth settles into upon returning from incarceration influences recidivism. Reentry was higher in communities that experienced higher rates of violence, vacant housing, lower rates of education, lower availability of mental health services, and higher densities of alcohol outlets. A Spatial Analysis of Risks and Resources for Reentry Youth in Los Angeles County recommends altering neighborhood structure as the best means to reduce recidivism.
October 2010

A Call for Change
Black boys on average fall behind from their very earliest years in school, according to A Call for Change, a new report from The Council of Great City Schools. Twelve percent of fourth-grade black boys read proficiently, while 38 percent of their white cohorts do, and only 12 percent of black eighth-grade boys are proficient in math, compared to 44 percent of white boys the same age. Poor white boys perform just as well in school as black boys who are not economically disadvantaged, and black boys drop out of school at nearly twice the rate of white boys. Black boys’ SAT scores average 104 points lower than those of white boys, and in college in 2008, black men made up just 5 percent of the students enrolled.
October 2010

Housing Policy Is School Policy
A study of 858 public-housing students enrolled in Maryland’s affluent Montgomery County public schools says that, seven years after enrolling, these students scored 8 percent higher on standardized math tests than their cohorts in higher-poverty schools -- who had received additional services. According to Housing Policy Is School Policy, by the time the public-housing students had left elementary school, they had reduced – by 50 percent in math, and 33 percent in reading -- the achievement gap with their more affluent classmates.
October 2010

Investing in Young Children: New Directions in Federal Preschool and Early Childhood Policy
A new report details enrollment in and Federal spending on three early childhood programs: Early Head Start, Head Start, and home visiting programs. Investing in Young Children: New Directions in Federal Preschool and Early Childhood Policy finds that with an enrollment of 900,000, Head Start serves less than half of the nation’s 3- and 4-year-olds in poverty, and that Head Start serves many children who are not poor; 18 percent of the children served are not in the bottom 40 percent of families by income. The report also says that Head Start and Early Head Start have not been found to have a lasting effect on child development or school readiness, and that while home visiting programs have shown consistent impact on child development in some trials, they have not yet been evaluated as a full-scale public program.
September 2010

Foster care
The nation’s foster care population has dropped 20 percent since 2002, and has dropped eight percent from 2008 to 2009 alone, according to a new report from the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System. The sharp decline is due to changing child welfare policies over the past decade, such as shortened stays in foster care and an emphasis on preventative support for families that helps avoid displacement of children from the family home.
October 2010

Cyber and Traditional Bullying: Differential Association with Depression
Rates of depression are higher among the victims of cyberbullying than among victims of more traditional forms, according to a new study, Cyber and Traditional Bullying: Differential Association with Depression. The study hypothesizes that it is the lack of a face-to-face confrontation, and perhaps not being able to identify their attacker, that lead victims of cyberbullying to feel more isolated, helpless, and dehumanized than if they had suffered a more conventional attack.
September 2010

Measuring Inappropriate Medical Diagnosis and Treatment in Survey Data: The Case of ADHD among School-Age Children
Being born just before a state’s kindergarten eligibility date significantly increases the chances of receiving a diagnosis of ADHD, according to a new study, Measuring Inappropriate Medical Diagnosis and Treatment in Survey Data: The Case of ADHD among School-Age Children. There can be as much as one year’s difference in children’s ages in any kindergarten class, and the study claims the younger children’s lower maturity and higher impulsiveness have lead to a misdiagnosis of ADHD in 1.1 million cases.
September 2010

Understanding Very High Rates of Young Child Poverty in the South
The national poverty rate for children under six was 21 percent in 2008, but the average poverty rate for young children in the South in 2008 was almost 24 percent, with some southern states experiencing far higher rates. Understanding Very High Rates of Young Child Poverty in the South says that divorce and out-of-wedlock childbearing in the South exacerbate levels of child poverty, as do low levels of educational attainment and a history of racial discrimination.
August 2010

Yes We Can
Twice as many white boys are “Gifted and Talented” as black boys, while black boys are twice as likely to be classified as “Mentally Retarded.” Black boys receive out-of-school suspensions twice as often, and expulsion three times as often, as white boys. The Schott Foundation’s 2010 report on public education and black males, Yes We Can, says that school discipline disparities like these may account for the large number of black males who don’t graduate.
August 2010

America’s Children in Brief: Key National Indicators of Well-Being 2010
The percentage of preterm births declined again from 2007 (12.7 percent) to 2008 (12.3 percent). Adolescent births also declined -- to 21.7 per 1,000, down from 22.2 per 1,000 in 2007. Reading and math scores for eighth graders also improved from 2007-2008. But food insecurity rose from 17 to 22 percent, and child poverty increased from 18 to 19 percent over the same period. For more information, read America’s Children in Brief: Key National Indicators of Well-Being 2010.
July 2010

A Critical Moment
The number of homeless children in public schools has increased by 41 percent over the past two years, according to a new First Focus report, A Critical Moment. A state-by-state breakdown of data shows the number of homeless students increasing between the 2006/07 and 2008/09 school years in 42 states and the District of Columbia, with Texas showing an increase of 139 percent, Iowa an increase of 136 percent, and New Mexico an increase of 91 percent.
July 2010

What Works for Home Visiting Programs
A new report from ChildTrends, What Works for Home Visiting Programs, finds that high-intensity programs averaging four or more visits a month for more than a year produced positive outcomes for children in early childhood (0-3); weekly home visits conducted by trained non-professionals produced mixed results for preschoolers (4-5); teaching parenting skills during home visits had a positive impact for middle childhood (6-11); and visits from trained non-professionals for one year or longer worked best for adolescents (12-17).
July 2010

The latest KIDS COUNT Data Book shows that 1 million more children lived in poverty in 2008 than in 2000. But five areas of child well-being improved: infant, child, and teen death rates; teen birth rate; and percent of teens not in school. The percent of children living with one parent, low-birthweight babies, and rate of child poverty have all increased. Across indicators, New Hampshire, Minnesota, and Vermont rank among the highest; Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi rank as the lowest.
July 2010

Teaching Discipline: A Toolkit for Educators on Positive Alternatives to Out-of-School Suspensions
A new report from Connecticut Voices for Children demonstrates that there are effective means other than out-of-school suspensions to improving school discipline, including support for positive behavior, mentoring, peer mediation, detention, restitutions, parent meetings, and fostering student engagement. The report, Teaching Discipline: A Toolkit for Educators on Positive Alternatives to Out-of-School Suspensions, showcases examples of alternatives to out-of-school suspensions used successfully in Connecticut schools, where out-of-school suspensions have dropped from 7.1 percent in 2006-07 to 5.4 percent in 2008-09.
June 2010

Youth Risk Behavior Survey
Only 30.9 percent of students sleep eight or more hours on school nights, and while 15.6 percent of them use tanning devices, only 9.3 percent usually wear sunscreen, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s latest Youth Risk Behavior survey. The biannual survey monitors six categories of health-risk behaviors among youth and young adults, including those that lead to unintentional injury and violence, tobacco use, alcohol and drug use, sexual behaviors, physical activity, and dietary behaviors.
June 2010

The Class of 2010: Economic Prospects for Young Adults in the Recession
This spring’s high school graduates face the worst job market in a quarter century, says a new report from the Economic Policy Institute. Unemployment among young high school graduates averaged 22.5 percent over the past year, up from 12 percent in 2007. The number of young people neither employed nor enrolled in school has likewise increased to 17.7 percent, up from 14.5 percent in 2007. Restrictive eligibility rules often make these young workers ineligible for unemployment insurance.
May 2010

Feeding Opportunity
A new paper from the Center for American Progress, Feeding Opportunity, says that child hunger costs the U.S. $28 billion per year because hungry children perform less well in school and have more long-term health problems. The report recommends expanding access to school breakfasts, improving and expanding access to other school meal programs, and reducing the paperwork necessary for students to participate in them, and rewarding states that reduce child hunger with cash grants.
May 2010

Births: Preliminary Data for 2008
While preliminary data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show the overall rate of childbearing by unmarried women increased to historic levels in 2008, the teen birth rate in the U.S. fell 2 percent -- to 41.5 per 1,000 -- between 2007 and 2008, reversing the trend of the last two years. The data also show that the birthrate for Hispanic teenagers has declined to 77.4 births per 1,000, an historic low.
April 2010

Race/Ethnic Differences in Effects of Family Instability on Adolescents' Risk Behavior
Adolescents who are exposed to repeated changes in a parent’s marital status and experience family instability are more likely to become sexually active early, become parents outside of marriage, or engage in delinquency, according to a new study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family. White and Mexican-American adolescents who experience family instability seem particularly at risk, and they are more prone than their black adolescent peers to early sexual activity and unwed parenthood.
April 2010

The Impact of Immigration Enforcement on Child Welfare
Seventy-three percent of the children of undocumented immigrant parents are U.S. citizens, and many of them attend public schools. A new report from First Focus examines the impact of immigration enforcement on these children’s lives and the child welfare agencies serving them. The report recommends avoiding placing children in the child welfare system whenever possible: Detained or deported parents cannot participate in child welfare proceedings, creating a risk for the permanent separation of the child and parent.
April 2010

State Estimates of Underage Alcohol Use and Self-Purchase of Alcohol
A state-by-state analysis of underage alcohol use finds that 27.6 percent of youths 12 to 20 surveyed drank alcohol in the last month. A new survey by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration finds that Utah has the lowest rate of underage drinking (13.7 percent), and Vermont and North Dakota have the highest (40 percent). Twenty percent of the youths in Louisiana and the District of Columbia bought alcohol themselves, compared to 9 percent nationally.
April 2010

Facing Our Future: Children in the Aftermath of Immigration Enforcement
U.S. citizen children of illegal immigrants experience deeply damaging consequences when their parents are arrested, detained, or deported. A new report from the Urban Institute, Facing Our Future: Children in the Aftermath of Immigration Enforcement, analyzes 190 children of arrested parents in 85 families across the country. Most of the families in the study were from Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Haiti. The study found that these children suffered family separation (two-parent families became single-parent families), economic hardship and insecurity, and widespread behavior changes, including changes in eating and sleeping habits, anger, and withdrawal. Behavioral changes were more common and most severe when parental arrests occurred in the home. During a very stressful time, school provided stability and a safe haven for many of the children.
February 2010

Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA) One Year Later: Connecting Kids to Coverage
Nearly 40 million children were enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP from 2008-09 -- including 2.6 million new children who were not enrolled in the previous year. A new report from, Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA) One Year Later: Connecting Kids to Coverage, says the greatest enrollment gains (2.2 million children) were among lower income children eligible for Medicaid. More than half of states have tried to improve coverage since CHIPRA’s inception, including efforts to simplify the enrollment and renewal processes. Despite these efforts, 5 million eligible children remain uninsured.
February 2010

Test, Punish, and Push Out: How Zero Tolerance and High-Stakes Testing Funnel Youth into the School to Prison Pipeline
Too many students -- and far too many students of color -- leave school without a diploma, despite efforts to raise student achievement. A new report from the Advancement Project, Test, Punish, and Push Out: How Zero Tolerance and High-Stakes Testing Funnel Youth into the School to Prison Pipeline, tells how the implementation of policies like zero-tolerance and high-stakes testing and laws like the No Child Left Behind Act -- intended to raise student achievement -- have backfired. The report states that policies such as these have eroded trust and turned schools into a hostile environment for millions of children, who are treated as if they are disposable and routinely forced out of school and into the criminal justice system. “After years of devastation caused by these policies,” the authors say, “we should have learned that the solution is not to be ‘tough’ on crime and schools, but to be smart.” Explored in the report are the common origins and ideological roots of zero tolerance and high-stakes testing; the current state of zero-tolerance school discipline across the country, including local, state, and national data; how high-stakes testing affects students, educators, and schools; how zero tolerance and high-stakes testing have become mutually reinforcing, combining to push huge numbers of students out of school; and successful grassroots efforts to eliminate harmful discipline and testing practices.
January 2010

The Child Who Stutters at School: Notes to the Teacher
A new downloadable brochure from The Stuttering Foundation, The Child Who Stutters at School: Notes to the Teacher, helps teachers correctly identify and support students who stutter. The brochure offers advice on how best to assist stuttering students with tasks such as reading aloud and answering in class and contacts for concerned parents, as well as advice on how to limit and assist with teasing in the classroom. The brochure includes the tip sheet, 8 Tips for Teachers.

Halting African-American Boys’ Progression from Pre-K to Prison: What Families, Schools, and Communities Can Do!
African-American boys enter school with less general knowledge of the world and less well-developed capacities for self-regulation and behavior, says a new study appearing in the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry. Schools and communities respond to these difficulties with an ever-escalating system of sanctions that becomes a school-to-prison pipeline. Increasing access to high-quality early childhood education for young African-American boys and hiring teachers who understand the context from which their students come are keys to reform.

Just the Facts: A Snapshot of Incarcerated Latino Youth
Latino youth face disproportionate incarceration rates when compared to those of whites and blacks, according to a new fact sheet from the National Council of La Raza. Latinos make up only 19 percent of America’s 10- to 17-year-olds, but comprise 25 percent of all incarcerated youth in the U.S. Moreover, the number of these youths in adult prisons rose from 12 to 20 percent from 2000 to 2008, while rates for black and white youth declined in the same period.

America’s Future: Latino Child Well-Being in Numbers and Trends
A new data book from the National Council of La Raza and the Population Reference Bureau offers an overview of state and national trends for Latino children relative to non-Hispanic white and black children since 2000. Fifty-nine percent of Latino children live in low-income families in high-poverty neighborhoods, despite the efforts of their hardworking parents. While 92 percent of these children are U.S. citizens, 58 percent of them live in immigrant families, which limits their access to education and health services.

Family Structure and the Economic Mobility of Children
Children of divorce may be at a disadvantage. A report from the Pew Charitable Trusts, Family Structure and the Economic Mobility of Children, suggests that divorce is a significant barrier to a child’s economic mobility. Among children who start in the bottom third of the income distribution, only 74 percent of children with divorced parents exceed their parents’ family income as adults, compared to 90 percent of children whose parents did not divorce.

Child and youth Well-Being Index
By 2010, the recession will have wiped out much of the progress made for children since 1975 in regards to the number of families living beneath the poverty line, median family income, health insurance coverage, and secure parental employment. The Foundation for Child Development’s Child Well-Being Index indicates that almost 22 percent of American youth will be living below the poverty line, the highest rate of poverty in 20 years; 500,000 children may be homeless.

Monitoring the Future’s annual survey of U.S. teenagers
Monitoring the Future’s annual survey of U.S. teenagers reveals that teen marijuana use is up, while tobacco use has declined. This year’s survey of 46,097 10th- and 12th-graders was conducted at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research.
December 2009

Children's Exposure to Violence: A Comprehensive National Survey
Most U.S. children are exposed to violence in their daily lives, either in the home, school, or community, according to a survey issued by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. More than 60 percent reported exposure within the past year.
October 2009

Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2008
The U.S Census Bureau has announced that the U.S. real median household income fell 3.6 percent between 2007 and 2008, and now stands at $50,303. The official poverty rate rose 1 percent in 2008, and is now at 13.2 percent. The good news is that the number of uninsured children declined to 9.9 percent in 2008, the lowest number of uninsured children since 1987. But children living in poverty remain more likely to be uninsured than other children. To learn more about these statistics, read the Bureau’s report, Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2008.
September 2009

Facts at a Glance: A Fact Sheet Reporting National, State, and City Trends in Teen Childbearing
Child Trends’ Facts at a Glance: A Fact Sheet Reporting National, State, and City Trends in Teen Childbearing, an analysis of data from the National Center for Health Statistics, shows that the U.S. teen birth rate increased in 2007, for the second year in a row. The rate for 2007 of 42.5 births per 1,000 females aged 15-19 was 1 percent higher than the rate reported in 2006, and 5 percent higher than the rate reported in 2005. The U.S. has the highest teen birth rate of any developed nation.
September 2009

Impairing Education: Corporal Punishment of Students with Disabilities in U.S. Public Schools
Although students with disabilities make up just 13.7 percent of the total student population nationwide, they comprised 18.8 percent of the students who received corporal punishment at school in the 2006-07 school year. A report from the Human Rights Watch (HRW), Impairing Education: Corporal Punishment of Students with Disabilities in U.S. Public Schools, says that 41,972 disabled students were physically disciplined that year, a number the HRW believes may be undercounted, since not all instances of physical discipline are reported.
August 2009

CHIP Tips  -- New Federal Funding Available to Cover Immigrant Children and Pregnant Women
The July issue of the Kaiser Family Foundation’s CHIP Tips brief examines the recently enacted Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA), including details for complying with CHIPRA’s new “ICHIA” provision. This provision allows states to receive federal funds for providing Medicaid and CHIP coverage to lawfully residing immigrant children and pregnant women, regardless of their length of residency.
July 2009

Health Status and Behavioral Outcomes for Youth Who Anticipate a High Likelihood of Early Death
A new study from the University of Minnesota says 15 percent of adolescents believe they will die before 35, and that youth who think they have a good chance of dying early frequently engage in behaviors that are likely to make their hunch a reality, such as illegal drug use, suicide attempts, and unprotected sex. The study, Health Status and Behavioral Outcomes for Youth Who Anticipate a High Likelihood of Early Death, says that expectations of premature death were prevalent among non-white and low-income youth.
July 2009

Acculturation and Adjustment in Latino Adolescents: How Cultural Risk Factors and Assets Influence Multiple Domains of Adolescent Mental Health
Latino adolescents are happier and healthier if both they and their parents embrace a bicultural lifestyle, according to a study by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Students whose families assimilate into U.S. culture while staying involved in their culture of heritage are less likely to engage in risky behaviors.
June 2009

Major Depressive Episode and Treatment among Adolescents
Two million American teenagers experienced a major depressive episode (MDE) last year, but only 38.9 percent of them ever received treatment. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration report also shows that health insurance is an important factor in whether or not MDE sufferers receive care. Only 17.2 percent of those who did not have coverage received treatment.
May 2009

Seclusions and Restraints: Selected Cases of Death and Abuse at Public and Private Schools and Treatment Centers
A new Government Accountability Office report, Seclusions and Restraints: Selected Cases of Death and Abuse at Public and Private Schools and Treatment Centers, has found that many teachers use restraint practices to control misbehaving students -- and disproportionately, children with disabilities -- even for minor infractions such as refusing to remain seated or speaking when it is not their turn. These instances have resulted in emotional trauma, physical injury, and even death. In half of the cases studied, the teachers or school staff involved continue to work.
May 2009

2009 Child Well-Being Index
Virtually all the progress made in children’s economic well-being since 1975 will be wiped out by the current recession, according to a report by the Foundation for Child Development. The impact will be especially severe for low-income children of color, according to the 2009 Child Well-Being Index.
May 2009

History of U.S. Children's Policy
First Focus has published a brief history of federal actions impacting America’s children, from Teddy Roosevelt to the Obama administration.
May 2009

Prevalence of Obesity Among US Preschool Children in Different Racial and Ethnic Group
Almost one in five American 4-year-olds is obese, and the rate is alarmingly higher among American Indian children. More than 500,000 children is obese at this age; among American Indian children, where one third is severely overweight, the rate is almost double that of whites
April 2009

Poverty and Potential: Out-of-School Factors and School Success
A Great Lakes Center policy brief, written by researchers from Arizona State University, details the poverty-induced physical, sociological, and psychological effects on students that limit what schools alone can accomplish. The brief lists six negative out-of-school factors that inhibit achievement: low birth-weight and nongenetic prenatal influences; inadequate medical, dental, and vision care; food insecurity; environmental pollutants; family relations and family stress; and neighborhood characteristics.
March 2009 

New data – same staffing inequities at high-poverty schools
Despite district efforts to correct the trend, data reported by The Notebook show that those Philadelphia schools with the highest concentrations of poverty still have the highest teacher turnover and the fewest highly qualified teachers. These differences are most striking in the district’s middle schools and high schools.

Child Food Insecurity in the United States: 2005 to 2007
Feeding America’s Child Food Insecurity in the United States: 2005 to 2007 states that 3.5 million children under the age of 6 in the U.S. are “food insecure.” Among young children, the rate is 33 percent higher than in adults. Data indicate a dramatic increase in food insecurity among children of all ages within the past five years in many states. The report includes a state-by-state analysis of early childhood hunger.

A Report on the Status of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender People in Education: Stepping Out of the Closet, into the Light
Gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) students are missing classes, underachieving academically, or dropping out due to bullying, harassment, or physical abuse they suffer at school, according to a new report issued by the National Education Association (NEA). The report, part of an NEA series on underserved groups in education, also shows that GLBT students experience a higher rate of homelessness because of their families’ hostility to their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Well-Being of Children in Poverty
Child Trends has released three reports on the well-being of children in poverty. One, Teen Births: Examining the Recent Increase, explores whether the data reflect a short-term blip or a true reversal in the decline of the U.S. teen birth rate. The second, Children in America’s Newcomer Families, says the poverty rate for immigrant children is much higher than official estimates suggest, and many of those children live in states where the gap between the poor and the middle class is especially wide. The third, Children in Poverty: Trends, Consequences, and Policy Options, notes that the rate of children living in poverty has risen steadily since 2000. The report also highlights research on the consequences of poverty for children and suggests program and policy approaches that hold promise for decreasing poverty among low-income children and their families.

Child Maltreatment 2008
2008 saw the lowest rate of child victimization in five years, says a new analysis of survey results from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families. 2008’s rate of 10.3 per 1,000 children is the lowest since the survey began in 1990, and is a sharp decline from 1993’s peak rate of 15.3. Eighty percent of the abusers were parents, and more were women (56.2 percent) than men (42.6 percent).

The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy
After declining for 14 consecutive years, the teen birth rate in the U.S. increased 5 percent between 2005 and 2007. Research indicates that children in single-parent families are more likely than children with two parents to be poor, drop out of high school, and have lower grade point averages, lower college aspirations, and poorer school attendance records.