California Agriculture, December 1994
Volume 48, Number 7
Special Issue: Year of the Family
Peer-reviewed Research and Review Articles
Hunger in the midst of affluence: Task force combats hunger in Contra Costa County
by Mary Lavender Fuji
In Contra Costa County, one of the most affluent counties in California, an increasing number of men, women and children line up for free food every day. Research conducted over the past 7 years has shown that these people, many of them families, are turning to emergency food pantries and soup kitchens to avoid hunger. This research has led to actions to alleviate the problem.
Sidebar: More than one way to describe a problem
Sidebar: Who are the hungry?
Sidebar: Hunger and public policy
Farmworker housing in crisis: How rural communities can learn from the Arvin experience
by Patricia Harrison
A greater percentage of seasonal agricultural workers and their families live in California on a year-round basis than ever before. Rural communities are facing serious housing shortages; they must address farmworker needs ranging from short-term migrant facilities to permanent family residences. Arvin, California, pioneered an effort to reduce the farmworker housing shortage by supporting the development of an innovative housing environment for 300 men. This experience, while not totally satisfactory, suggests guidelines for other rural communities to utilize as they look for ways to address their own local housing needs.
Does mothering school-age children mix with paid employment?
by Brenda K. Bryant
For too long, the question has been, “Should mothers work for pay or not?” But the debate over maternal employment, and whether it's “good” or “bad,” should be broadened to encompass many issues, including the role of economics in a mother's decision to work, the availability of “child-friendly” policies in the workplace and at home, the quality and nature of child care or after-school programs, and the involvement of both parents in parenting tasks. This paper explores factors that can help full-time employed mothers and non employed mothers address issues of availability to, or potential over-investment with, their children.
Notes for further reading
Helping youth at risk: 4-H and Cooperative Extension venture into child care
by Sharon Junge, Dave Riley, Jill Steinberg, Chris Todd, Ina McClain
An increasing number of children in America are considered at risk because of poverty, homelessness, hunger, family violence or other social ills. As part of its “Youth at Risk” initiative, the national Cooperative Extension System started school-age child care (SACC) programs to promote positive youth development by providing high quality, after-school care. UC Cooperative Extension and 4-H participated in this effort, supporting SACC sites in targeted communities throughout California. This report summarizes the California portion of a national evaluation to determine if the SACC programs are having their desired effects.
For children facing adversity: How youth programs can promote resilience
by Marc T. Braverman, James M. Meyers, Lynn Bloomberg
Some children appear to be able to withstand significant environmental stress and develop into healthy adults. Psychologists call this quality “resilience.” Research has shown that children can develop psychological resilience through the fostering of certain protective factors in their lives. This paper provides a brief overview of concepts and findings from recent resilience research, and addresses issues of particular importance to youth program developers. Analysis suggests that youth programs have an important role to play in fostering children's positive development, especially through strengthening individual protective factors.
Sidebar: Students learn by doing in science program
In-home treatment of child abuse: Healing at home can be effective and cost-effective
by Keith Barton
Child abuse is an enormous and complex problem, affecting almost 3 million children in the United States. Research has shown that abused children often become abusive parents. It is therefore imperative that we treat both the abused and the abuser, to stop the cycle before it repeats itself. It is ideal to keep the child in the family, if his or her safety can be assured. But this is not always possible. This research focuses on efforts to use intensive in-home therapy in an effort to treat both the child and the abusing family, and so prevent placement in foster care, usually the next step in abusive situations.
Project 4-Health develops program to curb youth tobacco use
by Marc T. Braverman, Joel M. Moskowitz, Carol N. D'Onofrio, Valodi Foster
This article chronicles the research and curriculum development activities of Project 4-Health, the California 4-H program s tobacco prevention project. Studies of the social context of tobacco use, a survey of 4-H members, a randomized field trial of the prevention curriculum, and subsequent dissemination activities are described. Major findings from each phase are presented and discussed.
Gang identity or self-expression? Researchers look beyond the surface of “gang clothing” and appearance
by Janet Hethorn
Baggy pants, a red bandana, a long belt hanging from the waist: Signs of gang identity or merely expressions of emerging identity? As problems of gang behavior escalate and spread, the need to understand gang identity through clothing and appearance becomes critical. Do dress codes alleviate gang-related problems? Or do they create other problems? The way we present ourselves is a silent form of communication that is as often creatively benign as it is potentially dangerous.
Editorial, News, Letters and Science Briefs
UC addresses challenges to the California family
by Barbara Schneeman
Research update: Lead poisoning continues to pose threat