June 2013 Reports

Autism diagnoses rise www.cdc.gov
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.

Ed tech success stories www.brookings.edu
A report from the Brookings Institution, “Education Technology Success Stories,” says that educational technologies have evolved beyond merely assisting in group work and the presentation of lectures. Modern educational technologies include games, simulations, and augmented reality, where students’ learning occurs with nearly invisible prompts from teachers. The report focuses on a discussion of five new and successful educational technologies: robot-assisted language learning, massive open online courses, the virtual-world game Minecraft, computerized adaptive testing, and stealth assessments.

Gender gap growing http://content.thirdway.org
“Wayward Sons,” a report from Third Way, finds that while, on average, men continue to earn more and more frequently reach the top echelons of achievement in American society than do women, over the past three decades the median male has begun moving in the opposite direction. Men are losing ground to women in skills acquisition, rates of employment, occupational stature, and real wages. While women have responded to changes in the workplace by arming themselves with more education and greater skills acquisition, men have not. Recent cohorts of men are likely to have diminished employment opportunities and earnings and to experience lower levels of life satisfaction, according to the report.

Kids and sharing www.plosone.org
Results of a study published in PLOS ONE, “I Should but I Won’t: Why Young Children Endorse Norms of Fair Sharing but Do Not Follow Them,” finds that children’s sharing becomes increasingly consistent with the norm of sharing as they develop. While 3-year-olds in the study acknowledged the norm of equal sharing, and even optimistically expected that other children in the cohort would give them more than an equal share of their scratch-and-sniff stickers, they focused on their own desires and were unwilling to equally share their own stickers, a fact that they would correctly predict when asked. Eight-year-olds, however, not only acknowledged the norm of equal sharing but demonstrated it, equally sharing their stickers with others, most frequently citing fairness as their motive.

Lasting effects of bullying http://archpsyc.jamanetwork.com
Results of a study published in JAMA Psychiatry, “Adult Psychiatric Outcomes of Bullying and Being Bullied by Peers in Childhood and Adolescence,” finds that the negative psychological consequences of bullying last into adulthood. Five percent of the cohort were bullies as children, 21 percent were victims, and 4.5 percent were sometimes bullies, sometimes the bullied. Victims were at greater risk for depressive and anxiety disorders, panic disorder, generalized anxiety, and agoraphobia as adults. Bullies were at increased risk for anti-social personality disorder. But most disordered were those who were both perpetrators and victims. They suffered most severely from suicidal thoughts (25 percent), depressive disorders, panic disorder (38 percent), and generalized anxiety.

Repeat teen births www.cdc.gov
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.

Compiled by Margaret Suslick, ASBJ’s Editorial Assistant.