County Variation in Children's and Adolescent's Health Status and School District Performance in California

School of Social Welfare, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.
American Journal of Public Health (Impact Factor: 4.55). 03/2008; 98(12):2223-8. DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2007.110239
Source: PubMed


We examined the association between county-level estimates of children's health status and school district performance in California.
We used 3 data sources: the California Health Interview Survey, district archives from the California Department of Education, and census-based estimates of county demographic characteristics. We used logistic regression to estimate whether a school district's failure to meet adequate yearly progress goals in 2004 to 2005 was a function of child and adolescent's health status. Models included district- and county-level fixed effects and were adjusted for the clustering of districts within counties.
County-level changes in children's and adolescent's health status decreased the likelihood that a school district would fail to meet adequate yearly progress goals during the investigation period. Health status did not moderate the relatively poor performance of predominantly minority districts.
We found empirical support that area variation in children's and adolescent's health status exerts a contextual effect on school district performance. Future research should explore the specific mechanisms through which area-level child health influences school and district achievement.

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