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Reducing Harms to Boys and Young Men of Color from Criminal Justice System Involvement

April 20, 2015 Comments off

Reducing Harms to Boys and Young Men of Color from Criminal Justice System Involvement
Source: Urban Institute

Boys and young men of color are overrepresented in all aspects of the juvenile justice and criminal justice systems, at considerable cost to those involved, their families, and their communities. This overrepresentation is most acute for African Americans, although other communities of color are also affected. This paper reviews systemic, institutional, and community policies and practices that greatly impact the life chances of boys and young men of color. Policy and practice changes that would reduce criminal justice engagement and that would reduce the harms caused to communities of color from criminal justice engagement are identified and suggestions are made for developing more evidence of effectiveness for initiatives in this area.

New Report: Disparities in Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Mental Health Services in the U.S.

April 20, 2015 Comments off

New Report: Disparities in Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Mental Health Services in the U.S.
Source: William T. Grant Foundation

Mental health is recognized as a central determinant of individual well-being, family relationships, and engagement in society, yet there are considerable variations in mental health and mental health care according to race and ethnicity among youth in the U.S.

In their new report, Margarita Alegría and colleagues investigate disparities in mental health and mental health services for minority youth. Taking a developmental perspective, the authors explore four areas that may give rise to inequalities in mental health outcomes, highlight specific protective factors and barriers to care, and, finally, outline an agenda for future research.

The authors write, “Over the past decade, the study of inequality in health and mental health has grown rapidly, with researchers seeking to quantify the extent of the problem, identify causal mechanisms, and develop interventions to eliminate specific disparities. Even so, inequity persists, and in most areas of health care progress has been limited and incremental in nature. There is good reason to believe that a renewed focus on prevention of youth mental health problems among minorities could not only yield more rapid results, but could also drastically reduce overall inequality in the long-term.”

Trends in Long-acting Reversible Contraception Use Among U.S. Women Aged 15–44

April 17, 2015 Comments off

Trends in Long-acting Reversible Contraception Use Among U.S. Women Aged 15–44
Source: National Center for Health Statistics

Key findings

Data from the National Survey of Family Growth

  • Use of long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) declined between 1982 and 1988, remained stable through 2002, and then increased nearly five-fold in the last decade among women aged 15–44, from 1.5% in 2002 to 7.2% in 2011–2013.
  • The percentage of women using LARCs has remained highest among women aged 25–34, with more than twice as many women aged 25–34 (11.1%) using LARCs in 2011–2013 compared with women aged 15–24 (5.0%) and aged 35–44 (5.3%).
  • After decreasing between 1982 and 1988 and remaining stable from 1988 through 1995, LARC-use patterns diverged among Hispanic, non-Hispanic white, and non-Hispanic black women.
  • Women who have had at least one birth use LARCs at a higher rate compared with women who have had no previous births, and this difference has increased over time.

Single black female BA seeks educated husband: Race, assortative mating and inequality

April 17, 2015 Comments off

Single black female BA seeks educated husband: Race, assortative mating and inequality
Source: Brookings Institution

There is a growing trend in the United States towards assortative mating — a clunky phrase that refers to people’s tendency to choose spouses with similar educational attainment. Rising numbers of college-educated women play a key role in this change. It is much easier for college graduates to find and marry each other when there are more equal numbers of each gender within an educational bracket.

Race is a factor in patterns of assortative mating. Black women face more difficult “marriage markets” than white women, given current rates of intermarriage according to work from University of Maryland sociologist Philip N. Cohen. Black women have the lowest rates of “marrying out” across race lines, in part because of racist attitudes to inter-marriage. Just 49 percent of college-educated black women marry a well-educated man (i.e., with at least some post-secondary education), compared to 84 percent of college-educated white women, according to an analysis of PSID data by Yale sociologist Vida Maralani.

Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Breastfeeding

April 17, 2015 Comments off

Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Breastfeeding
Source: Breastfeeding Medicine

This article’s aim is to review the literature on racial and ethnic disparities in breastfeeding rates and practices, address barriers to breastfeeding among minority women, conduct a systematic review of breastfeeding interventions, and provide obstetrician-gynecologists with recommendations on how they can help increase rates among minority women. In order to do so, the literature of racial and ethnic disparities in breastfeeding rates and barriers among minority women was reviewed, and a systematic review of breastfeeding interventions among minority women on PubMed and MEDLINE was conducted. Racial and ethnic minority women continue to have lower breastfeeding rates than white women and are not close to meeting the Healthy People 2020 goals. Minority women report many barriers to breastfeeding. Major efforts are still needed to improve breastfeeding initiation and duration rates among minority women in the United States. Obstetrician-gynecologists have a unique opportunity to promote and support breastfeeding through their clinical practices and public policy, and their efforts can have a meaningful impact on the future health of the mother and child.

Quality & Disparities Report — Access to Health Care Improving Among all Racial and Ethnic Groups Following Affordable Care Act; Additional Work Remain

April 14, 2015 Comments off

Quality & Disparities Report — Access to Health Care Improving Among all Racial and Ethnic Groups Following Affordable Care Act; Additional Work Remain
Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

Insurance rates improved substantially after individuals were able to obtain coverage through provisions of the Affordable Care Act, and the gains in access to care were greater among black and Hispanic adults than whites, according to the 2014 National Quality and Disparities Report released today by HHS’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

This annual report on the nation’s health care includes a section on measures of access to care that for the first time cover a period after implementation of the Affordable Care Act’s Health Insurance Marketplaces. Data covering January to June 2014 show that the overall rate of “uninsurance”—a measure of access to care—decreased substantially to 15.6 percent in the second quarter of 2014 among those age 18 to 64 (from a high of 22.3 percent in 2010). Because the data run through June 2014, they capture enrollment gains only from the first open enrollment period in the Health Insurance Marketplaces. The second open enrollment period began on November 15, 2014, and is not captured in the report.

The decline in uninsurance was greater among blacks and Hispanics, who historically have had higher uninsurance rates compared with whites. For blacks, the uninsurance rate decreased from 24.6 percent in the last quarter of 2013 to 15.9 percent in the first half of 2014. During the same period, the uninsurance rate dropped from 40.3 percent to 33.2 percent for Hispanics, and the rate declined from 14.0 percent to 11.1 percent for whites.

Reducing Poverty in the United States: Results of a Microsimulation Analysis of the Community Advocates Public Policy Institute Policy Package

March 30, 2015 Comments off

Reducing Poverty in the United States: Results of a Microsimulation Analysis of the Community Advocates Public Policy Institute Policy Package
Source: Urban Institute

A package of five policies—a transitional jobs (TJ) program, a $10.10 minimum wage, expanded earned income tax credits, a tax credit for senior citizens and people with disabilities, and expanded child care subsidies—could cut the national poverty rate by at least half. Using the TRIM3 microsimulation model and the Supplemental Poverty measure, the analysis shows the national poverty rate falling fall from 14.8 percent to either 7.4 percent or 6.3 percent, depending on the take-up rate assumed for the TJ program. Poverty is greatly reduced for all age groups and race/ethnicity groups.

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