Index: Recession Could Undo State Progress in Child Health, Well-Being
Although the health and well-being of California children have improved over the past 10 years, the recession threatens to undo some of that progress, according to an index released Tuesday by the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports.
For the index, researchers tracked about 250 indicators between 1995 and 2006 and evaluated:
- Behavioral concerns;
- Educational achievement;
- Emotional well-being;
- Family economics; and
Overall, researchers found that child health and well-being jumped by about 16% in California.
The index identified gains for all factors except family economics, which declined significantly.
Researchers note that climbing poverty rates are likely to jeopardize California's recent gains in child health and well-being (Hines, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 12/15).
Kenneth Land, lead researcher and Duke University sociologist, estimated that poverty rates for California children could increase from 17% in 2007 to 27% in 2010. Land used patterns in projected unemployment trends to predict the child poverty rates.
The researchers recommend that policymakers should strive to address child health and poverty issues to prevent the recession from counteracting more of California's progress.
The index identified similar gains in child health and well-being among Asians, blacks, Hispanics and whites.However, researchers note that although all groups made progress, black and Hispanic children still lag behind their Asian and white counterparts for several indicators of health and well-being (Sundaram, New America Media, 12/16). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.