Below are releases on studies appearing in the January issue of Pediatrics, the peer-reviewed, scientific journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
SUBSTANTIAL FRACTION OF AMERICAN YOUTH ARRESTED BY AGE 23
Excluding minor traffic violations, America’s youth are arrested or taken into custody for criminal activities, resulting in a destructive and unhealthy start in life. In the study, “Cumulative Prevalence of Arrest From Ages 8 to 23 in a National Sample,” in the January 2012 Pediatrics (published online Dec. 19, 2011), researchers estimated the cumulative arrest data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth from ages 8 to 23 years from 1997-2008. By age 23, a significant percentage of the population (25.3 percent to 41.4 percent) has been arrested at least once for a non-traffic offense and the greatest increase in the risk of arrest happening during late adolescence. By 18 years of age, the arrest rate is between 15.9 percent and 26.8 percent. Early risk factors that can lead to such delinquency include poor academic performance, discord or abuse in the home, hyperactive behavior and poor concentration or language development. Because all of these factors can be identified by pediatricians, study authors agree that early intervention by family members and pediatricians can direct at-risk children to treatment programs or help them steer away from violent and unsafe behavior.
MEDICAL HOME OFFERS BENEFITS FOR CHILDREN WITHOUT SPECIAL NEEDS
The medical home concept was originally developed to help support children with special health care needs. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) defines the medical home as a model of care that is accessible, family-centered, continuous, comprehensive, coordinated, compassionate and culturally effective and is the source of primary care. But does the medical home benefit children without special needs? The study, “The Value of the Medical Home for Children Without Special Health Care Needs,” in the January 2012 Pediatrics (published online Dec. 19, 2011) found that the medical home setting does provide benefits to children without special health care needs. Overall, 58 percent of children without special health care needs have a medical home. Benefits of this setting include improved health care use, including decreased emergency department visits, and increased health-promoting behaviors such as family reading, sleep hygiene, helmet use and decreased screen time. The authors conclude that their findings strengthen the evidence base supporting the AAP recommendation that all children have a medical home.
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit www.aap.org.