Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Children living in areas where homicides committed have lower reading, verbal test scores

The findings of this study is not the issue that we should be debating. Surely they are plausible.

Instead I fear that many people will read this study which says that a violent community is not a place that is conducive toward academic attainment and will make use of this point to argue for a handicap and special consideration to those who suffer such a fate.

Instead they need to focus upon the primary need for "Human Resource Management" and "Directed Outcomes For A Community". This report should be a reference to the COST of failing to put forth such a management regime.

The words said by my preacher earlier this week ring true. The problems in life are going to come. How one interprets these problems and chooses to deal with them makes all of the difference in the world. (He called it "Attitude")

It is clear that the harm of the bullets that fly too often in our communities injure more than those who receive the direct bullet wound.

"These findings make clear the impact violence can have on children living in the area, regardless of whether they witness violence directly or are personally victimized," said Sharkey, an assistant professor in NYU's Department of Sociology. "The results suggest that children may carry the burden of violence with them as they take part in daily life within the neighborhood or school settings."

To conduct the study, Sharkey combined data on reported homicides occurring in Chicago from 1994 through 2002 with a survey of children and families interviewed through the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods (PHDCN) that was conducted over the same time period. He then replicated his analysis using another independent survey of youth in Chicago—the "Three City Study of Welfare, Children and Families," a longitudinal survey of low-income families living in Chicago and two other cities.

To measure the impact of a local homicide, Sharkey compared the test scores of children who were assessed directly after a homicide in their neighborhood with other children in the same neighborhood who were assessed at different times. He took into account three geographic areas of increasing size: "block groups," which are small sets of city blocks that have about 1,500 residents; "census tracts," which are slightly larger and have about 4,000 residents; and "neighborhood clusters," which have about 8,000 residents. Because all comparisons were made among children living within the same neighborhoods, the analysis can be thought of like an experiment in which some children are randomly picked to be assessed in the days following a local homicide while other children are picked to be assessed at a different point, further removed from the date of the homicide.

Sharkey examined separately the potential impact of a local homicide on African Americans and Hispanics. Whites and other ethnic groups were excluded because they were almost never exposed to local homicides in the samples Sharkey used for his study.

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