our standard of living, growing up safe in today's America is not an easy
task. Environmental hazards exist, to be sure, as lead, pesticides, and
second-hand smoke, for example, continue to threaten our children's physical
health. Accidents and injuries at home or on playgrounds will invariably
account for their share of tragedies, but the social environment can also
present a danger, as instances of abuse or neglect, and abandonment or
abduction, are regularly reported in local newspapers.
purpose of this colloquium is to examine children at-risk in the context
of their environment. Childhood refers to the period of human development
from infancy through adolescence. Environment is broadly defined to include
prenatal determinants, family factors, school, neighborhood and cultural
influences, and the traditional elements of environmental risk, such as
toxins and pollutants. Prevention, assessment, and remediation strategies
for reducing childhood risks will be explored.
this course serves as a Junior/Senior Colloquium, regular attendance and
participation will be expected and appreciated. Weekly meetings will include
some presentation of material and other remarks from your instructor, but
as the semester progresses your contribution to the class should markedly
increase. Assigned readings should be read prior to the class meeting,
so that discussion and commentary by all will be possible.
for individual and group assignments will be covered in future sessions,
as will the criteria for evaluation and grading.
D. (1995). American childhood: Risks and realities. New Brunswick, NJ:
Rutgers University Press. (available at the Student Co-Op)
articles from refereed journals, as outlined below. (available on reserve
at sites to be announced)
1 - Introduction: Perception of risk
Preface and Introduction
8 - Children at risk: Why do they warrant special concern?
(1996). Environmental health threats to children. Washington, DC:
United States Environmental Protection Agency.
Research Council (1993). Special characteristics of children. In Pesticides
in the diets of children. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.
15 - Children's contributions to their own well-being: Perceived stress
B.A., & Rennie, H. (1998). Why do boys engage in more risk taking than
girls? The role of attributions, beliefs, and risk appraisals. Journal
of Pediatric Psychology, 23(1), 33-43.
C.A., Friedman, A.G., & Burright, R.G. (1998). The relationship of
daily stress and health-related behaviors to adolescents' cholesterol levels.
Adolescence, 33(130), 447-460.
22 - Health risks: An overview
chapters 1, 2, and 3
29 - Accidents and injuries
Y.D., Binns, H.J., Christoffel, K.K., & Tanz, R.R. (1993). In-office
survey of childrens' hazard exposure in the Chicago area: Age specific
exposure information and methodological lessons. Journal of Developmental
and Behavioral Pediatrics, 14(3), 169-175.
M.V. (1998). Golf clubs: Hidden home hazard for children. Perceptual
and Motor Skills, 86, 747-753.
6 - Pesticides
B.C., & Rogan, W.J. (1995). DDE and shortened duration of lactation
in a northern Mexican town. American Journal of Public Health, 85(4),
S., Robson, M., Freeman, N., Buckley, B., Roy, A, Meyer, R., Bukowski,
J., & Lioy, P.J.(1998). Accumulation of chlorpyrifos on residential
surfaces and toys accessible to children. Environmental Health Perspectives,
13 - Heavy metals and other pollutants
M., Worobey, J., Ramsay, D.S., & McCormack, M.K. (1992). Prenatal exposure
to heavy metals: Effect on childhood cognitive skills and health status.
Pediatrics, 89(6), 1010-1015.
G.W., Bullinger, M., & Hygge, S. (1998). Chronic noise exposure and
physiological response: A prospective study of children living under environmental
stress. Psychological Science, 9(1), 75-77.
20 - Undernutrition and obesity
J.E., & Korenman, S. (1994). Poverty and children's nutritional status
in the United States. American Journal of Epidemiology, 140(3),
S.L., Must, A., Sobol, A.M., Peterson, K., Colditz, G.A., & Dietz,
W.H. (1996). Television viewing as a cause of increasing obesity among
children in the United States, 1986-1990. Archives of Pediatric and
Adolescent Medicine, 150, 356-362.
27 - Educational risks: An overview
chapters 4 and 5
3 - The school environment: Learning under adverse circumstances
N., Pawliuk, N. (1994). Risk and protective factors for disruptive behavior
disorders in children. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 64(4),
J.L., & Cairns, R.B. (1997). Do extracurricular activities protect
against early school dropout? Developmental Psychology, 33(2), 241-253.
10 - Economic risks: An overview
chapters 6, 8, and 9
17 - The urban environment: Problems of the urban poor
J.S., Molnar, J., Klein,T.P., Lowe, C.B., & Hartmann, A.H. (1995).
Homelessness and child functioning in the context of risk and protective
factors moderating child outcomes. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology,
D.L., Eggleston, P., Kattan, M., Baker, D., Slavin, R.G., Gergen, P., Mitchell,
H., McNiff-Mortimer, K., Lynn, H., Ownby, D., & Malveaux, F. (1997).
The role of cockroach allergy and exposure to cockroach allergen in causing
morbidity among inner-city children with asthma. New England Journal
of Medicine, 336(19), 1356-1363.
1 - Social Risks: An overview
chapters 7 and 10
8 - The parental environment: Quality-day care and caregiving gone awry
B., & Hiester, M. (1995). The long-term consequences of infant day-care
and mother-infant attachment. Child Development, 66(2), 474-485.
J.B., Browne, D.C., Ringwalt, C.L., Stewart , P.W., Ruina, E., Holt, K.,
Lowman, B., & Jung, J-W. (1995). Risk of child abuse or neglect in
a cohort of low-income children. Child Abuse and Neglect, 19(9),