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Emerging Research and Reports Crib Notes October 2021

Emerging Research and Reports Related to Expectant Parents and Families with Infants and Toddlers

Crib Notes is a monthly newsletter that offers members valuable information and insights to support you in your work with expectant parents and families with infants and toddlers. In this issue you’ll find recently published research, reports, and resources of interest to early childhood professionals. Be sure to join us on Member Connect, Facebook and Twitter to share your thoughts and stay up to date on the latest news and information from ZERO TO THREE.

These resources support ZERO TO THREE’s Competencies for Prenatal to Age 5 Professionals. The icon following the abstract identifies the relevant competency domain.

Research

9-Year Study Reveals the Lasting Effects Childhood Trauma Has on Adult Relationships

Carly Cassella, ScienceAlert

June 20, 2021

In this longitudinal study of more than 2,000 adults, the authors found respondents with a history of maltreatment also had more severe depression and anxiety. These individuals also reported lower quality relationships and higher levels of insecure attachment, including anxious attachment–exemplified by extreme levels of intimacy with low levels of autonomy–and avoidant attachment–exemplified by high levels of autonomy and discomfort with intimacy. Further analysis indicated the relationship between maltreatment in childhood and poor quality intimate relationships in adulthood was fully mediated by insecure attachment and depression severity.

Cited Source: : A Tangled Start: The Link Between Childhood Maltreatment, Psychopathology, and Relationships in Adulthood,(full text),M. K. Shahab, J. A. de Ridder, P. Spinhoven, B. W. J. H. Pennix, D. O. Mook-Kanamori, B. M. Elzinga.

Child Abuse & Neglect

Unusual Visual Examination of Objects May Indicate Later Autism Diagnosis in Infants

Nadine A. Yehya, UC Davis Health

September 26, 2021

Unusual visual inspection of objects by infants 9 months of age and older is predictive of a later diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), a new study has found. “The findings support major theories of autism which hypothesize that infants’ over-focus on objects might be at the expense of their interest in people. Ultimately, this study suggests that unusual visual inspection of objects may precede development of the social symptoms characteristic of ASD,” lead author Meghan Miller said.

Cited Source: Repetitive Behavior With Objects in Infants Developing Autism Predicts Diagnosis and Later Social Behavior as Early as 9 Months, A.M. Miller, S. Sun, A.-M. Iosif, G. S. Young, A. Belding, A. Tubbs, & S. Ozonoff

Journal of Abnormal Psychology

Child Abuse and Neglect Linked to Early Death in Adulthood

University College London, ScienceDaily

September 23, 2021

The study, based on longitudinal data from 9,310 people born in the United Kingdom in 1958, found that adults who reported experiencing sexual abuse by the age of 16 had a 2.6 times higher risk of dying in middle age—that is, between 45 and 58 years old—than those who did not report sexual abuse. Adults who reported experiencing physical abuse by 16, meanwhile, had a 1.7 times higher risk of premature death, while those who experienced neglect had a 1.4 times higher risk. The researchers also looked at the link between early-life socioeconomic disadvantage and found that those who were disadvantaged at birth had a 1.9 times higher risk of premature mortality than other socioeconomic groups.

Cited Source: Child Maltreatment, Early Life Socioeconomic Disadvantage and All-Cause Mortality in Mid-Adulthood: Findings From a Prospective British Birth Cohort (full text), N. T. Rogers, C. Power, & S. M. Pinto Pereira.

BMJ Open

No Serious COVID-19 Vaccine Side Effects in Breastfeeding Moms, Infants

Michelle Brubaker, UC San Diego Health

September 8, 2021

Researchers found that breastfeeding mothers who received either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccination reported the same local or systemic symptoms as what has been previously reported in non-breastfeeding women, with no serious side effects in the breastfed infants.

Cited Source: Maternal and Child Outcomes Reported by Breastfeeding Women Following Messenger RNA COVID-19 Vaccination (full text), K. Bertrand, G. Honerkamp-Smith, & C. D. Chambers.

Breastfeeding Medicine

More Than 1.5 Million Children Lost a Primary or Secondary Caregiver Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic

National Institutes of Health

July 20, 2021

More than 1.5 million children around the world are estimated to have lost at least one parent, custodial grandparent, or grandparent who lived with them due to death related to COVID-19 during the first 14 months of the pandemic, according to a recent study. The study highlights orphanhood as an urgent and overlooked consequence of the pandemic and emphasizes that providing evidence-based psychosocial and economic support to children who have lost a caregiver must be a key part of responding to the pandemic.

Cited Source: Global Minimum Estimates of Children Affected by COVID-19-Associated Ophanhood and Death of Caregivers (full text), S. D. Hills, H. J. T. Unwin, Y. Chen, L. Cluver, L. Sherr, P. S. Goldman, O. Ratmann, C. A. Donnelly, S. Bhatt, A. Villaveces, A. Butchart, G. Bachman, L. Rawlings, P. Green, C. A. Nelson, and S. Flaxman.

The Lancet

People Across the World Favor Paid Parental Leave

Jeff Grabmeier, Ohio State News

June 25, 2021

Although the United States is the only wealthy nation that doesn’t guarantee paid leave to mothers or fathers after the arrival of a new child, Americans endorse providing paid time off for parents nearly as much as people from other countries. About 82% of Americans support paid maternity leave, just slightly less than the 86% who support it in 26 wealthy nations, a new study shows. Where Americans differ from the rest of the world is that they are less supportive of government funding for paid leaves, prefer shorter leave times and are less supportive of paid leave for fathers.

Cited Source: Attitudes About Paid Parental Leave: Cross-National Comparisons and the Significance of Gendered Expectations, Family Strains, and Extant Leave Offerings, C. Knoester, Q. Li, and R. J. Petts

International Journal of Comparative Sociology

 

Reports

Reducing Poverty-Related Disparities in Child Development and School Readiness: The Smart Beginnings Tiered Prevention Strategy That Combines Pediatric Primary Care With Home Visiting

Daniel S. Shaw, Alan L. Mendelsohn, and Pamela A. Morris

September 2021

This paper describes the Smart Beginnings Integrated Model, an innovative, tiered approach for addressing school readiness disparities in low-income children from birth to 3 years old in the United States through universal engagement of low-income families and primary prevention in pediatric primary care integrated with secondary/tertiary prevention in the home. The Smart Beginnings model addresses three important barriers that have limited impacts at the individual and/or population level: (1) identification and engagement of vulnerable families, (2) the challenges of scalability at low cost within existing service systems, and (3) tailoring interventions to address the heterogeneity of risk among low-income families.

Tools for Supporting Emotional Wellbeing in Children and Youth

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering & Medicine

September 2021

Though typically resilient to everyday stressors, children and youth are dealing with new challenges due to COVID-19—such as social distancing, changes to their routines, and a lost sense of security and safety—making them especially vulnerable to feeling stressed, anxious, or depressed. In light of these challenges, the National Academies has developed a suite of tools, in both English and Spanish, to help children and youth manage feelings of stress, anxiety, and sadness.

Supporting High-Quality Early Care and Education (ECE) From Birth to 5:  State Strategies to Strengthen Infant-Toddler Care as Public Pre-k Expands

Amanda Szekely, ZERO TO THREE

Expanding public pre-k for 3- and 4-year-olds can unintentionally reduce access to infant-toddler child care. This brief dives into what can cause this reduction and provides state strategies to protect and support infant-toddler care in this context. As policymakers consider new investments in pre-k, states can act to ensure that families have affordable access to a full continuum of high-quality early care and education (ECE).

Reviewing the Research Base From 1985-2020: Infant and Toddler Child Care and At-Risk Children’s School Readiness

Debra J. Ackerman, NIEER

July 2021

Policymakers, early childhood educators, and parents face tradeoffs in determining how much to spend on child care, including how many hours to purchase, and the features of programs that might influence quality. Given these tradeoffs, it is useful to understand what constitutes quality, the cost of care features associated with quality, the effects of quality on child development, and the links between policies, program features, and quality. To address these issues this report reviews more than 60 studies of infant and toddler child care conducted since 1985. The report concludes with a summary of key policy relevant findings, limitations of the research for informing policy, and recommendations for filling in knowledge gaps.

Progress and Peril: Child Care at a Crossroads

NAEYC

The COVID pandemic has reinforced the essential role of child care and early learning for children, working families, and the economy. NAEYC’s newest survey, completed by more than 7,500 respondents between June 17 and July 5, 2021, working across all states and settings, shows that early childhood education’s struggle to survive continues.

Early Childhood Two-Generation State Policy Profiles

National Center for Children in Poverty

Fall 2021

Nationally and state-by-state, these profiles provide a two-generation view of current policies affecting children from birth to 8 years old in the areas of early childhood education, health, and parenting/family economic supports.

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