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(1/292) Nutrition and health outcomes associated with food insecurity and hunger.

This paper explores how food insecurity and hunger relate to health and nutrition outcomes in food-rich countries such as the United States. It focuses on two subgroups of the population for whom data are available: women of childbearing age and school-age children. Special consideration is given to examining how food insecurity relates to these outcomes independently of socioeconomic status and poverty. In a population-based sample of women of childbearing age, the least severe level of food insecurity (household food insecurity) was correlated with higher body mass index (BMI), controlling for other available and known influences on obesity including income level. In low income school-age children from two large urban areas of the U.S., risk of hunger and hunger were associated with compromised psychosocial functioning, controlling for maternal education and estimated household income. The nutrition and health consequences of food insecurity comprise a potentially rich area for future, socially relevant research in the field of nutritional sciences.  (+info)

(2/292) Use of the Pediatric Symptom Checklist to screen for psychosocial problems in pediatric primary care: a national feasibility study.

BACKGROUND: Routine use of a brief psychosocial screening instrument has been proposed as a means of improving recognition, management, and referral of children's psychosocial morbidity in primary care. OBJECTIVE: To assess the feasibility of routine psychosocial screening using the Pediatric Symptom Checklist (PSC) in pediatrics by using a brief version of the checklist in a large sample representative of the full range of pediatric practice settings in the United States and Canada. We evaluated large-scale screening and the performance of the PSC in detecting psychosocial problems by (1) determining whether the prevalence of psychosocial dysfunction identified by the PSC was consistent with findings in previous, smaller samples; (2) assessing whether the prevalence of positive PSC screening scores varied by population subgroups; and (3) determining whether the PSC was completed by a significant proportion of parents from all subgroups and settings. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Twenty-one thousand sixty-five children between the ages of 4 and 15 years were seen in 2 large primary care networks: the Ambulatory Sentinel Practice Network and the Pediatric Research in Office Settings network, involving 395 pediatric and family practice clinicians in 44 states, Puerto Rico, and 4 Canadian provinces. Parents were asked to complete a brief questionnaire that included demographic information, history of mental health services, the 35-item PSC, and the number of pediatric visits within the past 6 months. RESULTS: The overall prevalence rates of psychosocial dysfunction as measured by the PSC in school-aged and preschool-aged pediatric outpatients (13% and 10%, respectively) were nearly identical to the rates that had been reported in several smaller samples (12%-14% among school-aged children and 7%-14% among preschoolers). Consistent with previous findings, children from low-income families were twice as likely to be scored as dysfunctional on the PSC than were children from higher-income families. Similarly, children from single-parent as opposed to those from 2-parent families and children with a past history of mental health services showed an elevated risk of psychosocial impairment. The current study was the first to demonstrate a 50% increase in risk of impairment for male children. The overall rate of completed forms was 97%, well within an acceptable range, and at least 94% of the parents in each sociodemographic subgroup completed the PSC form. CONCLUSIONS: Use of the PSC offers an approach to the recognition of psychosocial dysfunction that is sufficiently consistent across groups and locales to become part of comprehensive pediatric care in virtually all outpatient settings. In addition to its clinical utility, the consistency and widespread acceptability of the PSC make it well suited for the next generation of pediatric mental health services research, which can address whether earlier recognition of and intervention for psychosocial problems in pediatrics will lead to cost-effective outcomes.  (+info)

(3/292) An expansion of the peer-tutoring paradigm: cross-age peer tutoring of social skills among socially rejected boys.

We examined the effects of a cross-age peer-tutoring program on the social skills of 2 sixth-grade and 2 kindergarten socially rejected and isolated boys. Peer tutoring consisted of the older boys conducting social skills training with their younger tutees. The frequency of positive social interactions increased for all 4 boys, with maintenance of treatment gains following a 5-week interval.  (+info)

(4/292) Unemployment and foster home placements: estimating the net effect of provocation and inhibition.

OBJECTIVES: This study sought, first, to explain and reconcile the provocation and inhibition theories of the effect of rising unemployment on the incidence of antisocial behavior. Second, it tested the hypothesis, implied by the provocation and inhibition theories, that the relationship between unemployment and foster home placements forms an inverted "U." METHODS: The hypothesis was tested with data from California for 137 months beginning in February 1984. RESULTS: Findings showed that the hypothesis was supported. CONCLUSIONS: Rising joblessness increases the incidence of foster home placements among families that lose jobs or income. Levels of joblessness that threaten workers who remain employed, however, inhibit antisocial behavior and reduce the incidence of foster home placements. This means that accounting for the social costs of unemployment is more complicated than assumed under the provocation theory.  (+info)

(5/292) Behavioural phenotype of Cornelia de Lange syndrome.

A postal questionnaire was used to study 49 individuals with Cornelia de Lange syndrome (including both the classical and the mild forms) to ascertain behavioural phenotype. Ages ranged from early childhood to adulthood (mean age, 10.2 years; SD, 7.8) and the degree of mental retardation from borderline (10%), through mild (8%), moderate (18%), and severe (20%) to profound (43%). A wide variety of symptoms occurred frequently, notably hyperactivity (40%), self injury (44%), daily aggression (49%), and sleep disturbance (55%). These correlated closely with the presence of an autistic like syndrome and with the degree of mental retardation. The frequency and severity of disturbance, continuing beyond childhood, is important when planning the amount and duration of support required by parents.  (+info)

(6/292) The risks for late adolescence of early adolescent marijuana use.

OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to assess the relation of early adolescent marijuana use to late adolescent problem behaviors, drug-related attitudes, drug problems, and sibling and peer problem behavior. METHODS: African American (n = 627) and Puerto Rican (n = 555) youths completed questionnaires in their classrooms initially and were individually interviewed 5 years later. Logistic regression analysis estimated increases in the risk of behaviors or attitudes in late adolescence associated with more frequent marijuana use in early adolescence. RESULTS: Early adolescent marijuana use increased the risk in late adolescence of not graduating from high school; delinquency; having multiple sexual partners; not always using condoms; perceiving drugs as not harmful; having problems with cigarettes, alcohol, and marijuana; and having more friends who exhibit deviant behavior. These relations were maintained with controls for age, sex, ethnicity, and, when available, earlier psychosocial measures. CONCLUSIONS: Early adolescent marijuana use is related to later adolescent problems that limit the acquisition of skills necessary for employment and heighten the risks of contracting HIV and abusing legal and illegal substances. Hence, assessments of and treatments for adolescent marijuana use need to be incorporated in clinical practice.  (+info)

(7/292) Student-school bonding and adolescent problem behavior.

Adolescent problem behavior, including substance use, school misconduct and delinquency, is a national concern. Implicit in the concept of middle school is the recognition that students who develop positive social bonds with their school are more likely to perform well academically, and refrain from misconduct and other antisocial behavior. However, little scientific attention has been given to the complex interactions between middle school students and the school environment. Prior to implementing a middle school problem behavior prevention program we conducted a survey in the seven middle schools in one US school district. Out of 4668 grade 6-8 students enrolled, 4263 (91.3%) completed the survey. Student-school bonding was positively correlated with school adjustment (r = 0.49) and perceived school climate (r = 0.77), but inversely correlated with problem behavior (r = -0.39 to -0.43). Problem behavior was significantly higher (P < 0.001) among males than females and among students in higher grades. Conversely, school bonding, climate and adjustment were significantly higher (P < 0.001) among females than males, but declined significantly from one grade to the next. The data support the conclusion that school bonding is associated with problem behavior. We describe the development of a multiple-component intervention in middle schools designed to increase student-school bonding and prevent problem behavior.  (+info)

(8/292) Disentangling the impact of low cognitive ability and inattention on social behavior and peer relationships. Conduct Problems Prevention Re search Group.

Examined the shared and unique contributions of low cognitive ability and inattention to the development of social behavior problems and peer relationships of children at the time of school entry. Kindergarten and first-grade assessments of cognitive ability, inattention and prosocial and aggressive behavior were collected for a multisite, normative sample. Sociometric assessments of peer relationships were collected at the end of first grade. Cognitive ability and inattention both contributed to the prediction of social behavior and peer relationships. Low cognitive ability was particularly predictive of prosocial skill deficits, and social behavior mediated the relation between cognitive ability and social preference. Inattention predicted both prosocial skill deficits and elevated aggressive-disruptive behavior problems. Behavior problems partially mediated the relation between inattention and social preference. Identified subgroups of children with elevated levels of inattention or low cognitive ability showed different patterns of peer problems, with low acceptance characteristic of the low cognitive ability (only) group and high dislike ratings characteristic of the inattentive and inattentive/low-ability group. Implications are discussed for the design of early intervention and prevention programs.  (+info)