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Preserving and Enhancing the Responsible Conduct of Research Involving Children and Youth: A Response to Proposed Changes in Federal Regulations

March 18, 2013 Comments off

Preserving and Enhancing the Responsible Conduct of Research Involving Children and Youth: A Response to Proposed Changes in Federal Regulations (PDF)

Source: Society for Research in Child Development

For the first time in twenty years the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS, 2009) is considering changes to federal regulations governing research. The Common Rule provides the basis for government regulations and Institutional Review Boards (IRB). Proposed changes will have a significant impact on Institutional Review Board evaluation of research involving infants, children and adolescents. For example, such a revision can serve to rectify or exacerbate often observed IRB inconsistencies and over-estimation of probable harms when applying “minimal risk” or “exempt” criteria to research involving minors. Proposed revisions may also affect the feasibility of research on adolescent risk that requires waiver of parental or guardian permission to be successfully implemented. Further, recommendations for a new category of “informational risk” based on current and emerging advances in analysis and storage of bio-specimens and information technologies for archival research will have significant influence on ethical procedures required for collection and storage of longitudinal and cross-sectional data. Given the importance of any rule change to the con – duct of science related to children, the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) convened the SRCD Task Force on Proposed Changes to the Common Rule. The purpose of this report is to alert policymakers, scientists, and participant groups to proposed changes most relevant to research involving children and to provide recommendations for ensuring the responsible conduct of child and adolescent research in the final regulatory changes.

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Social Policy Report — Children, Families and Poverty Definitions:Trends, Emerging Science and Implications for Policy

December 8, 2012 Comments off

Social Policy Report — Children, Families and Poverty Definitions:Trends, Emerging Science and Implications for Policy (PDF)

Source: Society for Research in Child Development

Now, more than ever, it is crucial to address the topic of children and poverty in the U.S., given current scientific knowledge about poverty’s influence on children and effective strategies to mitigate its negative impact. In this report, we summarize the best available information on definitions and trends in child poverty, policy responses to child poverty and the impact of poverty on children’s health and development. Research suggests that various factors exert upward and downward pressure on child poverty rates. Upward pressure is exerted by declining work rates for men, stagnant wages for low-wage workers, increasing rates of children raised in female-headed households, and growing gaps in educational attainment. Downward pressure is exerted by the U.S. system of antipoverty policies and programs, which appears to be cutting “pre-transfer” poverty rates by more than 50%. Nonetheless, child poverty rates in the United States are high by both historical and international comparison. We then review the emerging science on biological and ecological processes by which poverty affects child development and key findings regarding the efficacy of comprehensive strategies to reduce poverty and to promote the human capital development of poor children. In the final section, we reflect on implications for moving forward in science and policy.

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