Measuring resilience among California children

Why is it that some of us are able to overcome childhood trauma while others are not? Resilience, the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, can curb the effects of trauma and adversity such as physical abuse, exposure to substance abuse, and unmet basic needs.

In California, an estimated one third of children are not resilient when facing a challenge, according to parent-reported data from the National Survey of Children’s Health, now available on Kidsdata. The data come from a suite of data related to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) that were recently released on Kidsdata.

At the county level, the data show that Marin County, in addition to several Gold Country counties, had the highest rates of resilience, at 72 percent. On the other end of the spectrum, Imperial County, along with several Central Valley counties, had the lowest rates of resilience, at less than 65 percent.

A number of policies and programs can help prevent child abuse and neglect, and curb the effects of childhood adversity, including strengthening parent education, improving the social safety net for families in need, and institutionalizing “trauma-informed” community services and health care.

Resilience comes from having adaptive abilities, positive experiences, and a stable, supportive relationship with at least one adult, according to a 2015 report from the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child at Harvard University. And resilience can be built over time, at any age, by engaging in various forms of stress reduction, including meditation and physical exercise, the report says.

Related Data

Childhood Adversity and Resilience (summary)

Children with Two or More Adverse Experiences (Parent Reported)

Children Who Are Usually/Always Resilient (Parent Reported)

Prevalence of Childhood Hardships (Maternal Retrospective)

Prevalence of Adverse Childhood Experiences (Adult Retrospective)

Helpful Links

Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative: Childhood Trauma and Positive Health

Prevention Institute

ACEs Connection

California Essentials for Childhood Initiative

Center for Youth Wellness

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Central Valley moms of infants show high rates of childhood trauma

For the first time, Kidsdata now has data that paint a unique picture of childhood trauma experienced by mothers of infants across California.

2011-2012 data from the California Department of Public Health’s Maternal and Infant Health Assessment show two counties (among counties with data), Kern and Stanislaus, where more than 10 percent of postpartum mothers say they experienced four or more childhood hardships, from not having their basic needs met, to parental legal trouble or incarceration, to foster care placement, among others. The higher number of traumatic events a child experiences, the more long-lasting impacts those events may have on the child’s physical, mental, and emotional health.

Fifteen percent of the state’s postpartum mothers say they lived with a parent or guardian with a serious substance abuse problem during their childhoods. When broken down by county however, the Central Valley again shows a disproportionate amount of trauma. In Kern and Stanislaus counties, roughly 20 percent of postpartum mothers were exposed to serious substance abuse during their childhoods. Similarly, Tulare, Stanislaus and Fresno counties were among the counties with the highest percentages of postpartum mothers who experienced family hunger during their childhoods.

Childhood adversity can lead to serious, long-term impacts on one’s health and well being. Resilience, an adaptive response to hardship, can mitigate the effects of adverse childhood experiences.

A number of policies and programs can help curb the effects of childhood adversity, including strengthening parent education, improving the social safety net for families in need, and institutionalizing “trauma-informed” community services and health care.

Related Data

Childhood Adversity and Resilience (summary)

Children with Two or More Adverse Experiences (Parent Reported)

Children Who Are Usually/Always Resilient (Parent Reported)

Prevalence of Childhood Hardships (Maternal Retrospective)

Prevalence of Adverse Childhood Experiences (Adult Retrospective)

Helpful Links

Maternal and Infant Health Assessment

ACEs Connection

California Essentials for Childhood Initiative

Center for Youth Wellness

Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative: Childhood Trauma and Positive Health

Adverse Community Experiences and Resilience: A Framework for Addressing and Preventing Community Trauma

Kidsdata Tip

Kidsdata launched a suite of data about Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) at the ACEs Conference in San Francisco last month. Read more.

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One in five CA adults reports being physically abused as a child

Twenty one percent of California’s adults with children living in their homes report that they were hit, beaten, kicked, or physically hurt by their own parents, or other adults in the home, when they were children. Ten percent say that they were sexually abused as a child. The survey data, now available on Kidsdata, are the first ever released on childhood trauma among the state’s adults with children living in their homes, versus all adults.

The data come from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), which is the largest continuously conducted health survey system in the world.

Childhood adversity, sometimes referred to as Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), has come to be seen as an urgent public health crisis. A wealth of research shows that parents who experienced abuse as children have a higher likelihood of abusing their own children. However, parents who were abused do not all repeat the cycle of violence with their own children. Kidsdata’s release also includes data on child resiliency, or the ability to mitigate the effects of childhood trauma.

The higher number of traumatic events a child experiences, the more long-lasting impacts those events may have on the child’s physical, mental and emotional health. These events often lead to serious complications in adulthood, such as chronic diseases, substance abuse and depression. Consequently, parents who were abused as children are more susceptible to these problems as adults, all of which can impair their ability to meet their children’s needs.

Kidsdata’s new data help policymakers, researchers, social workers and practitioners identify opportunities to prevent childhood trauma, allay its effects, and develop better community support systems that promote resiliency. While California has made strides in these areas, continued efforts are needed to ensure that all children thrive and reach their full potential.

Related Data

Childhood Adversity and Resilience (summary)

Children with Two or More Adverse Experiences (Parent Reported)

Children Who Are Usually/Always Resilient (Parent Reported)

Prevalence of Childhood Hardships (Maternal Retrospective)

Prevalence of Adverse Childhood Experiences (Adult Retrospective)

Helpful Links

ACEs Connection

California Essentials for Childhood Initiative

Center for Youth Wellness

Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative: Childhood Trauma and Positive Health

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: Adverse Childhood Experiences

Adverse Childhood Experiences: Assessing the Impact on Health and School Engagement and the Mitigating Role of Resilience

Adverse Community Experiences and Resilience: A Framework for Addressing and Preventing Community Trauma

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Childhood adversity data now available on Kidsdata

Big Family Kids Parents Grandparents Generation Illustration

Today, Kidsdata introduces a brand-new topic to our site, Childhood Adversity and Resilience. The release today coincides with the opening of the Conference on Adverse Childhood Experiences in San Francisco.

The new suite of data complements other Kidsdata topics such as Child Abuse and Neglect, Intimate Partner Violence, and Family Income and Poverty. It includes 56 indicators about the prevalence of adversity and resiliency among California’s children, among mothers of infants reflecting on their childhood, and, exclusive to Kidsdata, among California adults with children living in their homes reflecting on their childhood.

Specific childhood adversity indicators give us a picture of the prevalence of physical, sexual, and verbal abuse inflicted on California children, and exposure to violence, substance abuse, and mental illness. Kidsdata’s release today also includes data on child resiliency, or the ability to mitigate the effects of childhood trauma.

Childhood adversity, sometimes referred to as Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), has come to be seen as an urgent public health crisis. The higher number of traumatic events a child experiences, the more long-lasting impacts those events may have on the child’s physical, mental, and emotional health. These events often lead to serious complications in adulthood, such as chronic diseases, substance abuse, and depression.

California-specific data were compiled from the National Survey of Children’s Health, the Maternal and Infant Health Assessment, and the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.

This new topic was made possible by a partnership between Kidsdata and the California Essentials for Childhood Initiative and its Shared Data and Outcomes Workgroup, as well as numerous organizations that provided data: Public Health Institute’s Survey Research Group, the California Department of Public Health’s Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health Program, the University of California, San Francisco’s Center on Social Disparities in Health, and the Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative.

Today’s data release helps policymakers, researchers, social workers, and practitioners identify opportunities to prevent childhood trauma, allay its effects, and develop better community support systems that promote resiliency. While California has made strides in these areas, continued efforts are needed to ensure that all children thrive and reach their full potential.

Related Data

Childhood Adversity and Resilience (summary)

Children with Two or More Adverse Experiences (Parent Reported)

Children Who Are Usually/Always Resilient (Parent Reported)

Prevalence of Childhood Hardships (Maternal Retrospective)

Prevalence of Adverse Childhood Experiences (Adult Retrospective)

Helpful Links

ACEs Connection

California Essentials for Childhood Initiative

Center for Youth Wellness

Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative: Childhood Trauma and Positive Health

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: Adverse Childhood Experiences

Adverse Childhood Experiences: Assessing the Impact on Health and School Engagement and the Mitigating Role of Resilience

Adverse Community Experiences and Resilience: A Framework for Addressing and Preventing Community Trauma

Kidsdata Tip

Like all data on Kidsdata, the new Childhood Adversity and Resilience indicators can be easily customized, visualized, shared, and in many cases, drilled down to county level data.

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Infant care in CA now costs as much as UC tuition

California parents are hit hard in the wallet not only when their kids head out to college, but also in the first two years of their children’s lives. According to the latest data on Kidsdata, the state’s parents spent an average of $13,327 per year to send their infants to a child care center in 2014, the same year that UC tuition and fees hit $13,222 (PDF). Nationally, childcare for children below age five has also exceeded that of in-state college tuition.

When broken down by county, Bay Area counties had the highest costs of infant care, with Marin County leading the pack at more than $18,000 per year, while more rural counties in far northern California and the central valley had the lowest costs for infant child care, at less than $12,000 per year.

Center-based infant care costs in California made up an estimated 14 percent of the median annual income for married couples and 45 percent for single parents in 2014. In 2014, California was ranked the 8th least affordable state for center-based infant care in the nation.

Despite the high costs of child care relative to income, nationally, the median hourly wage for child care workers is $9.77, and nearly half of this work force receives government assistance in the form of food stamps, welfare benefits, or Medicaid.

Early childhood is a critical period for cognitive, biological, and social development. The quality of children’s environments and experiences during these years can have lasting effects. From infancy, children are learning to relate to others and their environment while developing the skills to successfully navigate social, emotional, and educational challenges. Children who attend high-quality preschools tend to have better test scores, fewer behavioral problems, and higher rates of high school graduation, among other long-term benefits.

Policies that could improve child care include improving the state’s professional development infrastructure to prepare and support an effective early care workforce, making the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit fully refundable at the state level, and encouraging other federal solutions to address the high cost of child care.

Related Data

Annual Cost of Child Care

Availability of Child Care for Potential Demand

Number of Child Care Slots in Licensed Facilities

Number of Licensed Child Care Facilities

Children Ages 3-5 Not Enrolled in Preschool or Kindergarten

Helpful Links

California Child Care Resource & Referral Network

Community Care Licensing Division (CCLD) Facility Search

California Preschool Study

Center for the Study of Child Care Employment

A Matter of Equity: Preschool in America

High Quality Child Care Is Out of Reach for Working Families

Preschool and School Readiness: Experiences of Children with Non-English-Speaking Parents

Kidsdata Tip

Come meet us this month! On October 10, Kidsdata will be conducting a free workshop in San Rafael, hosted by First 5 Marin. On October 21, Kidsdata will be introducing a new topic at the Adverse Childhood Experiences Conference in San Francisco.

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Have an idea to improve health in your community?

Our data about the social determinants of health for children help many of our users come up with innovative ideas to improve health in our communities.  Be sure to check out the Innovation Challenge 2.0, which encourages community and health advocates across the state to share ideas and projects they are working on to address the factors that shape our health. Social determinants of health, such as such as air quality, family income and poverty, housing affordability, early care and education, are available for you to customize and visualize on kidsdata.org.

The deadline to submit your innovative idea is October 19, 2016.

For more information, visit the Let’s Get Healthy California website.

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Bay Area family housing sees highest rent hikes in the state

Shattered candy bar in shape of house

Since the end of the Great Recession, California’s Bay Area counties have seen the highest rent increases in the state. For example, in Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties, the fair market rent for studios, one-, two-, three-, and four-bedroom housing units increased by more than 30 percent between 2009 and 2016, according to the latest data on Kidsdata.

Larger, family-sized housing units saw the greatest increases. In Alameda and Contra Costa counties, for example, three-bedroom housing units saw higher rent hikes than any other size unit. In Marin, San Francisco and San Mateo counties, four-bedroom housing units saw the highest rent hikes. In those counties, the fair market rent for a four-bedroom housing unit rose by 52 percent, from $2,339 in 2009 to $3,556 in 2016.

Stable, affordable, quality housing is linked to positive health outcomes for children. Families that spend more than half of their income on housing tend to spend much less than other families on essential items, such as food and health care. In some cases, a lack of affordable housing can result in families living in crowded households. Residential crowding may be linked to the prevalence of certain infectious diseases, poor educational attainment, and psychological distress, among other potential adverse effects.

Policy options that could improve housing affordability and promote the well being of children include preserving and increasing the availability of affordable housing, expanding housing trust funds, housing bonds, and California’s Low Income Housing Tax Credit, and reducing administrative barriers to receiving rental assistance.

Related Data

Housing Affordability Summary

Family Income and Poverty Summary

Homelessness Summary

Unemployment Summary

Helpful Links

California Dept. of Housing and Community Development

Housing California

Compounding Stress: The Timing and Duration Effects of Homelessness on Children’s Health

Housing and Child Well-Being

Housing, Neighborhoods, and Children’s Health

Reviewing State Housing Policy with a Child-Centered Lens: Opportunities for Engagement and Intervention

Kidsdata Tip

Are you a policy maker? Don’t forget that Kidsdata has a wealth of data broken down by legislative districts.

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CA Soda Taxes: Where could their impact be greatest?

California map outline with can of soda in center

Taxing soda is associated with decreased soda consumption, according to the first analysis of the impact of Berkeley, California’s 2014 soda tax. Published earlier this summer in the American Journal of Public Health, the study shows that after the tax was implemented, sugary beverage consumption fell by 21 percent in Berkeley, while water consumption rose by 63 percent.

Berkeley was the first city in the nation to levy a tax on soda. This fall, three more California cities—San Francisco, Oakland, and Albany—will consider such a tax on their November ballots. An effort to pass a statewide soda tax in California failed to gain steam earlier this year.

The latest data on children drinking sugary beverages in California are now available on Kidsdata. San Francisco and Alameda counties, home to the four cities that have passed or are considering passing soda taxes, had the lowest percentages (about one in five) of children drinking sugary beverages, among counties with data. In Yuba, Kern and Tulare counties, all in the central valley, three in five children drank at least one sugary beverage per day.

Statewide, in 2013-2014, two out of five children drank one or more sugary beverages per day. Among the youngest children, those between 2 and 11 years old, the gap between ethnic groups is large. More than half of young black children drank sugary beverages per day, compared with one-third of young Latino and Asian children and one-fifth of young white children.

Children should minimize consumption of sugary beverages, which are linked to poor health outcomes, including unhealthy weight gain and obesity. Experts suggest promoting cross-sector, comprehensive strategies to reduce consumption of sugary beverages and increasing the availability of healthy, affordable food and beverage options for children and families, particularly in low-income communities.

Related Data (by State, County & School District)

 

Helpful Links

BreakfastFirst, California Food Policy Advocates

CDC Healthy Schools, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Let’s Move! America’s Move to Raise a Healthier Generation of Kids

Breakfast and the Achievement Gap Among Urban Minority Youth, Journal of School Health

Majority of Young Children in California Eat Fast Food Regularly but Drink Less Soda, UCLA Center for Health Policy Research

Still Bubbling Over: California Adolescents Drinking More Soda and Other Sugar-Sweetened Beverages, UCLA Center for Health Policy Research & California Center for Public Health Advocacy

Snacks, Sweetened Beverages, Added Sugars, and Schools. American Academy of Pediatrics

Kidsdata Tip

Did you know that Kidsdata breaks down data by a number of demographic groups? The categories include age, gender, immigrant/non-immigrant, income level, race/ethnicity, and children with special health care needs.

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CA schools face acute shortage of nurses and counselors

Child getting throat exam in school

California public schools are falling woefully short when it comes to student support personnel. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a ratio of one school nurse to 750 students. According to the most recent data available on Kidsdata, however, the state’s public schools employed one full-time nurse for 2,784 students in 2015, or nearly four times the recommended ratio. For the 52 counties with available data, none met the recommended ratio. Yuba County had the most impacted ratio by far, at one nurse for nearly 14,000 students.

The state falls behind in other support categories, too. The American School Counselor Association recommends a ratio of one school counselor to 250 students, yet California’s ratio was one to 792 students in 2015, or more than three times the recommended ratio. Rural counties such as Lassen, Calaveras, and Plumas had the most pronounced ratios, at one counselor for more than 1,400 students. In 2014, California ranked 49th in the US (PDF), after Arizona, in its counselor-to-student ratio.

Student support personnel address students’ social, emotional, behavioral, physical, and cognitive needs to help them reach their maximum academic and health potential. Schools that provide students with greater access to nurses and counselors are associated with more positive school climates, which generally lead to better student performance.

Policy options that could improve student access to quality support services include maximizing partnerships and existing funding streams (PDF) to ensure that students have access to school counseling and other mental health services, promoting the delivery of health care services at school by funding school nurses and school-based health centers, and integrating student mental health and health care services into a coordinated and comprehensive system of supports.

Related Data (by State, County & School District)

 

Helpful Links

National Association of School Nurses

American School Counselor Association

National Association of School Psychologists

California School-Based Health Alliance

The ‘Hidden Health Care System’ in California Schools and Children with Special Health Care Needs, Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health

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CA’s new vaccine law: which counties have yet to achieve herd immunity?

Cartoon Crowd, Shield Ring

Last month, California’s new mandatory child vaccination law, SB 277, took effect. The law helps enforce the Department of Education’s requirement that all California children attending public and private schools receive a series of vaccines, unless they have a medical exemption. Inspired by the 2014 measles outbreak at Disneyland and the state’s 2010 and 2014 whooping cough outbreaks, SB 277 prohibits parents from citing personal beliefs or religion as reasons to not vaccinate their children.

To better understand how SB 277 will affect the health of children in California, Kidsdata has released the newest data available on student immunizations for the 2015-2016 school year. Depending on the effectiveness of the vaccine, and how long immunization will last, California public health officials recommend vaccination rates of between 80-94 percent in order to achieve community immunity (PDF), also known as “herd immunity.” Diseases such as polio, which is less contagious, have a lower threshold, while diseases such as measles, which is highly contagious, require a 94 percent threshold in order to protect those most at risk.

Between 2011 and 2016, the state showed a modest 2 percent rise in the percent of kindergartners who had all required immunizations, reaching 93 percent in 2016. When broken down by county, however, geographic differences become clear. At 100 percent, Sierra County led the 26 counties with immunization rates of 94 percent or higher. Three counties had rates lower than 80 percent: Tuolomne, Nevada, and Trinity.

The Gold Country counties of Sierra, Calaveras, and Mariposa each saw a rise of at least 8 percentage points since 2011, bringing them closer to recommended thresholds. On the other end of the spectrum, Amador, Modoc, and Trinity Counties (one in Gold Country, and two in California’s far north) all saw drops of at least six percentage points, moving their populations further from community immunity.

Immunizations are among the most successful and cost-effective preventive health care interventions, helping millions of children in the U.S. and internationally avoid contracting numerous serious and potentially fatal infectious diseases.

 

Related Data (by State, County & School District):

Immunization summary

Helpful Links

California Dept. of Public Health, Immunization Branch

California Immunization Coalition

Legislative Challenges to School Immunization Mandates: 2009-2012, JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association

Solutions to Reducing Vaccine-Preventable Childhood Diseases, Population Reference Bureau

Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Immunization Rates in Child Care and Schools, California Dept. of Public Health, Immunization Branch

Kidsdata Tip

Ever wondered who runs Kidsdata? Kidsdata is a program of the Palo Alto, CA-based Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health, which promotes the health and well being of children in California.

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