IBS Newsletter

April 1977


Institute of Behavioral Science
University of Colorado



Program Activities

Political and Economic Change

James Scarritt presented a paper at the International Studies Association in Toronto on March 19-22. The paper, co-authored with Susan McMillan of Penn State and Shaheen Mozaffar of Bridgewater State, is entitled "Democratization and the Institutional Accommodation of Ethnic Protest and Rebellion: Africa in Comparative Perspective." In a previous analysis based on the Minorities at Risk (MAR) Phase I and Polity II data sets, nonviolent protest and rebellion by ethnic minorities in Africa in the 1980s were found to be best explained by a combination of previous political action of the same type and specific polity characteristics: democracy or political competitiveness in the immediate post-independence period. This paper first attempts to replicate that analysis using updated versions of the data sets on which it was based--MAR Phase III and Polity III. The authors explain why only a limited replication is possible for the 1980s, and only a much more limited replication is possible for the 1990s, because of extensive changes in the MAR data. The authors are able to replicate the central hypothesis of their previous analysis (stated above) for the 1980s, however, they go on to explore the effects of past patterns of nonviolent protest and rebellion on recent democratic transitions and the choice of electoral formulas in democratic elections held at the time of or subsequent to these transitions.

Environment and Behavior Program

Robert Davis gave a guest lecture at the Economics Institute on the topic of "Sustainable Economic Development." He stressed the importance of trade in wildlife, including ecotourism, the fact that many people in the developing world depend importantly on wild plants and animals for subsistence and cash income. The most important point was that sustainable economic development of wildlife depends upon government's ability to create secure property rights in wildlife.

Gilbert F. White joined in a meeting in Washington, DC on February 27 called by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to review the problems faced by an inter-agency task force in recommending action to enhance the natural and beneficial uses of floodplains.

Anthony Bebbington spent ten days during March in Ecuador for a research project entitled "Social Capital Formation in the Andes."

Chuck Howe spent a week advising the Government of the State of Mendoza, Argentina, on strategies for dealing with major water problems. The region, just east of the Andes, is extremely dry with very limited surface water and groundwater supplies. Severe financial constraints require consideration of water pricing and water markets to increase water use efficiency.

Natural Hazards Center News

 Mary Fran Myers was part of the U.S. delegation attending the North American Hazards Map Working Group meeting in Guadalajara, Jalisco February 24 and 25. The meeting was sponsored by CENAPRED: the Centro Nacional de Prevencion de Desastres. The working group consists of hazards experts from Canada, the U.S., and Mexico who are preparing an educational map of North America depicting hazards and hazard mitigation programs. Myers is the sub-group leader on the wildfire portion of the map. The working group hopes that the map will ultimately be published by National Geographic. While in Mexico, Myers also met with colleagues at the University of Colima's Volcano Observatory to share information and ideas on the Observatory's "International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction Volcano Project"--one of ten such projects around the world.

On March 19, Myers participated in a one-day invitational workshop on Land Use Planning and Natural Hazard Mitigation sponsored by the Insurance Institute for Property Loss Reduction in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The meeting marked the first steps of the property casualty insurance industry to take a meaningful role in land use planning on a national basis.

Natural Hazards in Print

Mileti, Dennis S. and JoAnne DeRouen Darlington. 1997. "The Role of Searching in Shaping Reactions to Earthquake Risk Information." Social Problems, 44(1) pp. 89-103. This article assesses public response to an earthquake prediction for the San Francisco Bay Area on a sample of households from eight Bay Area counties. Descriptive findings suggest that an earthquake culture exists in the study population. The authors tested criticisms of interactionist theory--its failure to take motives for behavior and social position into account--using multiple regression analysis. The authors conclude that motives and social position matter little in determining social action and that more work is needed to determine how variations in new information create ambiguity which differentially fosters searching, the formation of alternative definitions, and subsequent action.

Population Program

The Population Program sponsored a workshop entitled "Demographic Change in the Former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe" on March 30-April 1. This workshop inaugurated the Project for the Study of Post-Soviet Demographic Change. The project is envisioned as a response to the extraordinary changes which have emerged with the gradual collapse of the socialist world. These changes border on the catastrophic, and it is difficult to imagine economic recovery of the region without its coming to grips with the implied social problems underlying plummeting birth rates and soaring mortality and divorce rates. This is also a time of unprecedented information on the former Soviet Union. Indeed, the high quality of much of the data provides a virtually unique glimpse at social and economic change at the household level during a period of great upheaval. The workshop participants addressed these topics in the course of presenting papers, some of which will be submitted for possible publication in a special issue of World Development. For further details, contact the Symposium Coordinator: Andrei Rogers (Director, Population Program, IBS).

Population Program in Print

Joan O'Connell, "The Relationship Between Health Expenditures and the Age Structure of the Population in OECD Countries," Health Economics, 1996. Vol. 5, pp. 573-578. The purpose of this study is to analyze national health expenditures of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries relative to their age structures. Using econometric techniques designed to analyze cross-sectional time series data, the ageing of the population was found to affect health spending in several countries while having no effect in others. In addition, the effect of income on health spending was lower than that generally reported in the literature. These findings suggest that unobserved country-specific factors play a major role in determining the amount of resources allocated to health services in a country. Such factors also determine if the ageing of the population is associated with increased health spending.

Problem Behavior

Richard Jessor delivered the Seventh Annual Anathan Foundation Lecture at the Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine on Friday, March 14. The title of the lecture was "Adolescent Problem Behavior in Developmental Perspective." In addition to the lecture, Jessor had meetings throughout the day with clinical and research faculty and with psychiatry residents to discuss a variety of research issues bearing on normal adolescent development.

Problem Behavior in Print

Jessor, Richard, Mark S. Turbin, and Frances M. Costa. "Predicting Developmental Change in Risky Driving: The Transition to Young Adulthood," Applied Developmental Science, 1997, Vol. 1(1), pp. 4-16. Data from a three-wave, statewide mail survey of young adult drivers (1,025 men, 634 women) in Colorado were used to examine correlates and antecedents of risky driving, controlling for both drink driving and drug-related driving. The strongest predictor of risky driving, cross-sectionally, was behavioral conventionality, followed by psychosocial conventionality and social role status. Developmental decline in risky driving, from age 18 to 25, was related to entry into conventional adult social roles and to increases in psychosocial and behavioral conventionality. The strongest predictor of change in risky driving over time was change in behavioral conventionality. Risky driving by young adults appears to be part of a larger syndrome of problem behavior involvement.

Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence

The Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence (CSPV) conducted a telephone survey from March 13-31 which was based on a random sample of 800 adults aged 18 and older in Boulder County. The survey asks questions about personal experiences with violence, what people do to protect themselves from being victims, their opinions about how society should deal with violent offenders, and their awareness of services available in the county for victims of violence. Summary information from the survey will be shared with Boulder County officials and service agencies to help them improve their violence prevention programs and services to victims.

 Delbert Elliott made a presentation on juvenile sexual offenders at the annual conference for the Western Society of Criminology in Honolulu, February 27. On Monday, March 10, Elliott conducted a conference at the CSPV for the Blueprints grant. Sharon Mihalic and Landa Heys assisted with the conference that focused on the development of a blueprint for the Multisystemic Family Therapy program. Graduate Research Assistants, Gregory Ungar and Jennifer Grotpeter provided support for the conference. The attendees included Scott Henggler, Ph.D., program designer, and program replicators from around the country.

 Jane Grady attended a meeting of the Violence Prevention Advisory Committee at the Colorado Department of Public Health in Denver. The multi-disciplinary group meets monthly to provide opportunities for education and debate regarding violence and to promote strategies for prevention. Grady was also invited to participate as an advisor to the Data Resource Office for Metro Denver Project: Pulling America's Communities Together (PACT). The advisory committee meets monthly to address policy development, data access issues, and the effectiveness of the neighborhood maps which have been developed to depict risk/resource data.

Sharon Mihalic presented a paper on "A Social Learning Theory Model of Marital Violence" at the annual conference for the Western Society of Criminology in Honolulu, February 28. The paper discusses a social learning theory model of minor and severe marital violence offending and victimization among males and females was tested. Results support social learning as an important perspective in marital violence. However, males and females are impacted differently by their experiences with violence in childhood and adolescence. Prior experiences with violence have a more dramatic impact in the lives of females than males, both during adolescence and adulthood. Mihalic, Sharon and Delbert Elliott. "A Social Learning Theory Model of Marital Violence." Journal of Family Violence, 1997. 12(1).


Profile: Vladimir Kolossov

Border Studies for a Changing World

Professor Vladimir Kolossov came to Boulder on a Fulbright scholarship to work with John O'Loughlin on the project "The Transition to Democracy in Ukraine (Identities, Borders, and State-Building)"--on the theory of border studies, the Russian-Ukrainian borderland and relations. He is the head of the Center of Geopolitical Studies at the Institute of Geography of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow and currently the chair of the International Geographical Union Commission on the World Political Map.

When we started the work on our project, we discovered that, though borders traditionally were an object of geographical studies, there is, surprisingly, no modern theory satisfactorily explaining their nature. However, such a theory is extremely necessary for solving acute political problems, particularly in post-Soviet space.

I believe that the CIS, Commonwealth of Independent States, still can avoid an increase in the barrier functions of their new borders and instead can profit from the historical opportunity to keep them transparent and develop transboundary cooperation, taking into account the European and the North-American experience. Russia's new 13,000 kilometer long land borders do not assume the full set of functions of a "normal" state. The outer borders of the former USSR continue to discharge a range of functions common to several CIS countries. Minimal expenses needed to establish a system of continuous protection of Russia's new borders are estimated to be $7 billion. Since no new Russian boundary is registered according to international law, huge investments are also necessary to carry on the work on their delimitation, mapping, and demarcation in sito. Russia now simply can't afford such expenses. The only solution is cooperation with the CIS countries in attempting to establish a system of common protection of external Community frontiers and in trying to create a custom and an economic union.

Boundary is the outwardly oriented zone of contact and, at the same time, the inwardly oriented line of separation (a manifestation of social and national integration, a necessary component of sovereignty, and a palpable mark of jurisdiction). Therefore, we have to consider boundary as a product of state-building, statecraft, and construction of national identities. Boundary is also a controversial result of political, cultural, and economic interactions at different levels. The upper level consists of macroregions (West - East, NATO, and the EU countries and/or the countries eligible for membership in these organizations, and other countries, etc.), or "civilisational" regions, in the terms of S. Huntington. The lowest level is the level of the everyday experience, in the terms of P. Taylor (the level of localities). Last September we went with John O'Loughlin to a field study of the Russian-Ukrainian borderland and interviewed, in particular, the administration heads of two small townships separated only by a railway but now belonging to different states. They have a common railway station, communications, public services, and even a common cemetery. But now local parts of both Russian and Ukrainian industrial plants came to be separated by customs and border guards. The people, who have for a long time worked on the other side of the border, have to be officially treated as "foreigners," receive salaries in a foreign currency, and are subject to two different legislations at home and at work. We saw how difficult it is for the locals to perceive this situation; they blame central authorities for worrying only about the so-called "national interests" and ignoring their needs.

I believe that the ideal of a nation-state with strictly defined, symbolized, and sacred borders went out of date. We have to get rid of the demons of nationalism. Borderlands have to be zones of contact and cooperation. And understanding the complicated nature of boundaries--a good theory--can really contribute to it.


Funding Opportunities

The National Institutes of Health/Fogarty International Center administer fellowship programs for U.S. scientists to conduct research in the following foreign countries: Finland, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Norway, Sweden, and Taiwan. The applicant must identify a sponsor in the host country either through direct correspondence, or through correspondence on the applicant's behalf between a senior scientist in the United States and a colleague in the host country. Applicants must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States; hold a doctorate in one of the clinical, behavioral, or biomedical sciences; and have recent professional experience appropriate to the proposed study. Requirements for each fellowship depend on particular program policies. Awards generally cover the payment of a stipend and round-trip airfare for fellows. Support for health and accident insurance, living allowances, family travel expenses, and language training varies and depends on the specific fellowship that is sought. Duration of support ranges from three to twenty-four months. The next deadline for receipt of applications is April 5, 1997. Other annual deadlines are August 5 and December 5. For further information write: Division of International Training and Research, Fogarty International Center, National Institutes of Health, Building 31, Room B2C39, 31 Center Drive, MSC 2220, Bethesda, MD 20892-2220. PHONE: 301-496-1653. FAX: 301-402-0779. EMAIL: M3p@cu.nih.gov


Research Proposals Funded

Problem Behavior Program

Kirland R. Williams and Delbert S. Elliott
Lethal and non-lethal adolescent violence
Columbia School of PH, NIH 09/01/96 - 08/31/97 $59,294 new

Delbert S. Elliott
"Blueprints" for violence prevention and reduction programs
State of Colorado 10/01/96 - 06/30/97 $50,000 new

Delbert S. Elliott
"Blueprints" for violence prevention and reduction programs
State of Colorado 10/01/96 - 09/30/97 $25,000 new

Political and Economic Change Program

John V. O'Loughlin
REU supplement to the transition to democracy in Ukraine: state building, ethnic mobilization and adjustments to a market economy
NSF 02/01/97 - 07/31/97 $5,000 new

Environment and Behavior Program

Dennis S. Mileti
A clearinghouse of natural hazards research and applications
 NSF 02/01/97 - 08/31/97 $5,000 supp


Research Proposals Submitted

Problem Behavior Program

Delbert S. Elliott
Comprehensive evaluation plan
 State of Colorado 12/15/97 - 05/14/97 $411,027 supp

Kirk R. Williams
Colorado domestic violence risk reduction
 State of Colorado 05/15/97 - 08/14/98 $190,192 new
 


Upcoming Colloquia

There is an online listing of upcoming and recent colloquia.

April 1977 IBS Newsletter

Sugandha Brooks and Christine Weeber, Newsletter Editors


Institute of Behavioral Science

Richard Jessor, Director

Institute of Behavioral Science
University of Colorado at Boulder
Boulder, CO 80309-0483

(303) 492-8147

IBS@Colorado.EDU