Children at Risk

Lecture Topics and Reading Assignments

Spring 2003

Because class periods will include discussion, we will assume that you have done the required readings prior to the class for which they are assigned. Most of the following are required readings, but if a citation is enclosed in brackets followed by the word "optional," then it is not required.

The Schorr and McWhirter books are available for purchase at Barnes & Noble. Many of the other readings will be included in a course packet; their placement in the pack will be indicated by the number in parentheses at the left. Readings marked "(web)" are available on the internet. Those marked "(L)" will be available in reserve books, reserve folders, or journals available at the Psychology Library. Please note: This is a preliminary reading list. Please see CourseWorks for final assignments.   

Section 1. (Downey & Putnam) General Background.

Jan. 21, 23

Bronfenbrenner, U. (1986). Ecology of the family as a context for human development research perspectives. Developmental Psychology, 22, 723-742.  [this article will be distributed on the first day of class].

(1) Bane, M.J., & Ellwood, D.T. (1989). One fifth of the nation's children: Why are they poor? Science, 245, 1047-1053. [also see related articles in The Future of Children: Children and Poverty. v. 7, 1997.]

(2) Strawn, J. (1992). The states and the poor: Child poverty rises as the safety net shrinks. Society for Research in Child Development. Social Policy Report,4.

McWhirter, J. et al. At-risk youth: A Comprehensive response. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole. Chap. 1. An introduction to at-risk issues. Chap. 2. Environmental/societal factors that contribute to risk. (L)

(web) from the National Center for Children in Poverty

We will view the documentary film Children at Risk on Jan. 21 and discuss it on Jan. 23.

Section 2. (Putnam, Downey) At risk for what?

Jan. 28, 30

Schorr, L.B. (1989). Within our reach: Breaking the cycle of disadvantage. NY: Doubleday. read Introduction, chaps.1 and 2. (L)

McWhirter, J. et al. At-risk youth: A Comprehensive response. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole. Chap. 5. Individual characteristics of high-risk and low-risk children and youth. Skim chapters 6 (school dropouts) and 8 (teen pregnancy). (L)

(web) Brooks-Gunn, J., Duncan, G.J. (1997) The effects of poverty on children. The Future of Children: Children and Poverty. v. 7, pp. 55-71.

(web) from the National Center for Children in Poverty , read Poverty and Brain Development in Early Childhood. (April 1997)

[ Gelfand, D. M., Jenson, W. R., & Drew, C. J. (1988) Understanding child behavior disorders. (2nd ed). New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc. Chap. 3 (Social conditions and children's problems), read 62- 72. Optional; in library]

The Newspaper Assignment is due in class on Thursday, Jan. 30.
 

Section 3. (Putnam) Growing a good brain: Prenatal risk factors and early infant development.

Feb. 4, 6, 11

Overview of prenatal development and development of the brain, effects of teratogens, malnutrition, anoxia, and prematurity. Effects of early experience and early intervention.

For background, read chapters on genetic influences and on prenatal development in any recent undergrad textbook on Child Development or Child Psychology. Several are available in the Psychology Library [e.g., Bee, H. The Developing Child., or Cole & Cole, The Development of Children.]

(5a) Fein, et al. Environmental toxins and behavioral development. Reading#2 In E.M. Hetherington & R.D. Parke, Eds. (1988). Contemporary readings in child psychology, 3rd. edition. New York: McGraw-Hill.

(web) Adverse effects of prenatal exposure to environmental pollutants, from the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health,

  • Read the overview and key findings from Perera's Research Project on Growth and Development
  • Read the Columbia News (Jan. 23, 2003) story, "Mailman School Study Finds Birth Outcomes Adversely Affected by Exposure to Environmental Pollutants Found in NYC."
  • View the streaming video about the project, midway down on this page.

(6) Coles, C. Critical periods for prenatal alcohol exposure. In Alcohol Health & Research World. Vol. 18, No 1., 1994 (Special Focus: Alcohol-Related Birth Defects), pages 22-29,

(web) Alcohol-Related Birth Defects: Past, Present, and Future special issue of Alcohol Research and Health. Vol. 25, No. 3, 2001, read the following:
p.151 In This Issue [PDF] Read summaries of all article.  
p.153 Alcohol-Related Birth Defects: The Past, Present, and Future [PDF]  
p.159 Estimating the Prevalence of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: A Summary [PDF]  
p.168 Drinking Patterns and Alcohol-Related Birth Defects [PDF  
p.175 Mechanisms of Alcohol-Induced Damage to the Developing Nervous System [PDF
(skim this article but read the boxes on p. 179, "Embryonic development of the nervous system" and on p. 182, "Retinoic acid's possible link to FAS's distinct facial features.")
 
p.219 Motivational Interventions in Prenatal Clinics  [PDF]  

(7) The New York Academy of Sciences (1988). The multiple deficits of prenatal drug abuse. Science Focus, 3, pp. 1, 10-11.

(web) Read the following 8 articles from The Future of Children: Drug Exposed Infants. 1991, v1, n1, The Center for the Future of Children, The David and Lucille Packard Foundation ( pp. 6-49, 72-84, 105-120):

[Vorhees, C. V. (1989) Concepts in teratology and developmental toxicology derived from animal research. In D. E. Hutchings (Ed.), Prenatal abuse of licit and illicit drugs. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 562, 31-41. Optional; in Library]

(5b) Riccuiti, H. Interaction of adverse environmental and nutritional influences on mental development. Reading #6 In E.M. Hetherington & R.D. Parke, Eds. (1988). Contemporary readings in child psychology, 3rd. edition. New York: McGraw-Hill.

(5c) Pollitt, E. (1994). Poverty and child development: Relevance of research in developing countries to the United States. Child Development, 65, 283-295.

(5d) Brown, J. & Pollitt, E. (1996). Malnutrition, poverty, and intellectual development. Scientific American, 274, 38-43.

(web) from The Future of Children: Low Birth Weight. v 5, n1, 1995. The Center for the Future of Children, The David and Lucille Packard Foundation:

Feb. 13-- Submit group project preferences

Section 4: (Downey) A. A Risk for What?

B. Quality of early parent - child interaction: Antecedents and consequences.

Feb. 13, 18, 25

(3) Cicchetti, D., & Toth, S. (June 1987) The application of a transactional risk model to intervention with multi-risk maltreating families. Zero to Three. v. 5, pp.1-8.

(4a) Rutter, M. Intergenerational continuities and discontinuities in serious parenting difficulties. Chap. 11 in Cicchetti book, pp 317-348.

(4b) Massing, M. (January 16, 1995).  Ghetto Blasting. The New Yorker. pp 32-37.

(9) Goldberg, S. (1988). Premature birth: Consequences for the parent-child relationship. Reading #3 In E.M. Hetherington & R.D. Parke, Eds. (1988). Contemporary readings in child psychology, 3rd. edition. New York: McGraw-Hill.

(10) Crockenberg, S. (1988). Infant irritability, mother responsiveness, and social influences on the security of mother-infant attachment. Reading #14 In E.M. Hetherington & R.D. Parke, Eds. (1988). Contemporary readings in child psychology, 3rd. edition. New York: McGraw-Hill.

(11) Vaughn, B., Egeland, B., & Sroufe, L.A. (1979). Individual differences in infant-mother attachment at twelve and eighteen months: Stability and change in families under stress. Child Development, 50, 971 -975.

(12) Sroufe, L.A., Egeland, B., & Kreutzer, T. (1990). The fate of early experience following developmental change: Longitudinal approaches to individual adaptation in childhood. Child Development, 61, 1363-1373.

(13) Sameroff, A.J., & Seifer, R. (1983). Familial risk and child competence. Child Development, 54, 1254-1268.

[Bretherton, I. (1992). The origins of attachment theory: John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth. Developmental Psychology, 28, 759-775. Optional; in Library]

Feb. 20-- Discussion of group projects: It is crucial to attend this class.

March 3-- Individual project due at 5 pm in 402D

Section 5: (Putnam) School problems: Prevention and Intervention

Feb. 27, Mar. 4

(web) Kaplan, S. & Morris, J. (2000) Kids at Risk: Chemicals in the environment come under scrutiny as the number of childhood learning problems soars. U.S. News Cover Story. June 19, 2000. [available on Courseworks]

(19) Jacobson, J.L., Jacobson, S.W., Padgett, R.J., Brumitt, G.A., & Billings, R.L. (1992). Effects of prenatal PCB exposure on cognitive processing efficiency and sustained attention. Developmental Psychology, 28, 296 - 306.

The Problems Kids Bring to School. Part I. Please complete this outline and bring to class on Feb. 27.

(web) Alcohol-Related Birth Defects: Past, Present, and Future special issue of Alcohol Research and Health. Vol. 25, No. 3, 2001, read the following:
192 The Effects of Prenatal Alcohol Exposure on Executive Functioning [PDF  
199 Fetal Alcohol Exposure and Attention: Moving Beyond ADHD [PDF  

(L) Gelfand, D. M., Jenson, W. R., & Drew, C. J. (1988) Understanding child behavior disorders. (2nd ed). New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc. Chap. 3. Social conditions and children's problems. 62-78. [optional]

McWhirter, J. et al. At-risk youth: A Comprehensive response. Read chap. 4, school issues, chap. 6 (school dropouts), chap. 8 (teen pregnancy), review chap. 5. (L)

Schorr, L.B. (1989). Within our reach: Breaking the cycle of disadvantage. NY: Doubleday. read Introduction, chap. 8, and chap. 9. (L)

Outline for Effective Schools Part II. and Summaries of articles on adolescence. Please read before Mar.4 lecture.

March 3-- Individual project due at 5 pm in 402D

Section 6: (Downey) Child abuse and Community Violence: Antecedents and consequences.

March 6, 11

(14) Sections from NYSPCC handbook on child abuse.

(15) Widom, C.S. (1989). The cycle of violence. Science, 244, 160-166.

(16) Lewis, D.O., Pincus, J., et al. (1988). Neuropsychiatric, psychoeducational, and family characteristics of 14 juveniles condemned to death in the United States. American Journal of Psychiatry, 145, 584-589.

(17) Garbarino, James (1997). Growing up in a socially toxic environment. In D. Cicchetti & S.L. Toth (Eds.), Rochester Symposium on Developmental Psychopathology- Developmental Perspectives on Trauma: Theory, Research, and Intervention. Vol. 8, p. 141-154.

(18) Terr, L. (1991). Childhood traumas: An outline and overview. American Journal of Psychiatry, 148, 10-20.

 

Section 7: (Downey) Resiliency, Intervention

Mar. 13

(21) Werner, E. E. Resilient children. Reading #5 In E.M. Hetherington & R.D. Parke, Eds. (1988). Contemporary readings in child psychology, 3rd. edition.

(22) Radke-Yarrow, M. & Sherman, T. (1990) Hard Growing -- Children who survive. In Rolf, et al. (Eds) Risk and protective factors in the development of psychopathology, New York: Cambridge.

(23) Bedell, Precious (1997). Breaking the cycles.

Schorr, L.B. (1989). Within our reach: Breaking the cycle of disadvantage. NY: Doubleday. read rest of book (Chaps. 3-7, 10-12.) (L)

(24) Roth, J. & Brooks-Gunn, J. (2000).  Society for Research in Child Development. Volume 14 (1).

Midterm Exam. (short-answer and essay questions) Tues. Mar. 25

Guest Speakers and Alumni Day Mar. 13 & 27, Apr. 1, 3, 8, 10

Group Project Presentations Apr. 15, 17, 22, 24, 29

Due date for write-up, groups 1 - 4 Apr. 29
Due date for write-up, group 5 May 1

Wrap-up May 1


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