IBS Newsletter

November 1997


Institute of Behavioral Science
University of Colorado


Program Activities

Population Processes Program

Jane Menken attended the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population (IUSSP) on October 10-18, 1997 in Beijing, China. As a member of the IUSSP Council, she participated in a meeting with Prime Minister Premier Li Peng and in the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. On October 31, Menken gave a lecture at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois entitled "Differential Investment in Children and Adults in Relation to Gender and the Family Composition."

Population Processes Program in Print

Rogers, Richard G., Jacqueline A. Carrigan, and Mary Grace Kovar. 1997. "Comparing Mortality Estimates Based on Different Administrative Records." Population Research and Policy Review, Vol. 16, pp. 213-224. This study investigates how age and race are reported in interviews and on death certificates and how these demographic assignments affect life expectancy estimates for the total population, for males and females, and for blacks and whites. Differential reporting of demographic characteristics can produce different estimated life expectancies and thus differential assessments of the sex and race gaps in life expectancy. This difference underscores the need to define demographic characteristics carefully and to examine multivariate modes and projections cautiously.

Political and Economic Change Program

Keith E. Maskus attended the International Economics Study Group meeting at the Economic and Social Research Council in Nottingham, United Kingdom on September 12-15. He presented an invited paper entitled "The International Regulation of Intellectual Property Rights," which discusses the implications of stronger global International Property Rights (IPRs) on international investment, technology diffusion, growth, and welfare in the world economy. A particular concern is that such rights could result in greater abuse of market power by international firms. Thus, the paper considers means by which developing countries could implement competition rules to their advantage. He also was invited to a research seminar at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia on October 16, where he presented a talk entitled "Intellectual Property Rights, Licensing, and Growth."

Environment and Behavior Program

Robert Davis was an invited participant in a Political Economy Research Center forum on "The Politics and Economics of Park Management" held at the Mountain Sky Guest Ranch near Emigrant, Montana on the northern border of Yellowstone National Park on October 2-5. Participants were from the United States, Canada, Zimbabwe, Kenya, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.

Robert Davis collaborated with Charles Howe in presenting a seminar October 23 at York University in the United Kingdom on "The Pros and Cons of Privatizing Public Lands." While many of the problems in public land management may be ascribed to public ownership, outright private ownership is probably not politically feasible. Instead there are models for devaluing responsibility for management of public areas to trust or communal forms of tenure which may represent a reasonable compromise in the public-private debate.

Anthony Bebbington has been invited by the Colombian Ministry of Agriculture to participate in a seminar November 9-15 on State-Civil Society Relationships in Rural Development. Then he will travel to Peru to work with counterpart research groups for the recently financed study on "Induced Social Capital Formation in the Andes" (World Bank, $75,000). From there he will go to Bolivia for research on another recently funded study on Policies for Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Regeneration.

Mark B. Cronshaw attended the Canadian Resource and Environmental Economics Study Group at McMaster University on October 4-5 in Hamilton, Ontario. He presented the paper entitled "Population Size and Environmental Quality." The paper, co-authored with Till Requate, considers whether environmental standards should be stricter when the population is larger. The answer is not clear, since stricter standards restrict the productive capability of the economy. Optimal environmental policy is very sensitive to people's preferences and to the available production technology. However, under a wide range of circumstances it is optimal for individuals to reduce consumption in the face of a larger population.

Jeffrey Bury, PhD candidate in Geography (from January '98), has come to E&B to work with Denise and Anthony Bebbington on the Project on Business, Environment, and Social Responsibility.

Hazard Center News

At the request of the Engineering Directorate of the National Science Foundation (NSF), Mary Fran Myers served as a member of the reverse-site visit review panel to judge the three top proposals vying for a $5 million award (over the course of five years) to establish a national Institute for Civil Infrastructure Systems (ICIS). The panel deliberations took place on October 16 and 17 at NSF headquarters in Arlington, Virginia. On October 23, Myers was an invited plenary speaker at the annual conference of the American Association of Housing Educators in New Orleans, Louisiana. The conference theme was "Breaking the Housing Disaster Cycle" and Myers' paper was entitled "The National Mitigation Strategy: Public Policy Issues and Implications of Research." It described the recommendations emerging from the Natural Hazards Center's current "Second Assessment of Research and Applications for Natural Hazards" project.

David L. Butler presented the paper "The Internet and Disaster Management" at the Asia-Pacific Disaster Conference of the Center for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance on September 15-19 in Kauai, Hawaii. He also participated on the panel for the future of disaster communications. He attended the 1997 International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction Internet Conference: Floods, Drought: Issues for the 21st Century of the United Nations International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction Secretariat on September 22 - October 24. At the meeting he was an internet member of the conference's organizing committee and moderator for the session on drought.

Natural Hazards Center in Print

White, Gilbert F. 1997. "Foreword," in Elliot Mittler, An Assessment of Floodplain Management in Georgia's Flint River Basin. Boulder: Institute of Behavioral Science, pp. ix. Points out that the Mittler study is the first thorough effort to assess fully the effects of all public policies on the use of floodplains in the U.S., using the Flint River Basin as an example.

Butler, David L. March 1997. "Selected Internet Sites on Natural Hazards and Disasters." International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters,15(1), pp. 197-215. An extensive annotated list of Internet resources pertaining to hazards and disasters.

Problem Behavior Program

The Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence held an orientation meeting with the Youth Crime Prevention and Intervention Program grantees from the Governor's Community Partnership Office on October 1. Delbert S. Elliott, Jennifer K. Grotpeter, and Gregory W. Ungar conducted the orientation in Denver for 193 grantees from around the state.

During two meeting in Washington, DC, in July and again in September, Delbert Elliott addressed several members of Congress and the Senate, including members of the House Crime Committee, Senator Kennedy and Senator Cole. Laura R. Griener participated in the meeting in July. The focus of the meetings was to discuss the Center's work in the field of violence prevention.

Delbert Elliott attended a planning meeting on safety and security of adolescents at the National Academy of Sciences on September 17-18 in Washington, DC. On September 5, Elliott was invited by the Coalition for Juvenile Justice to present "What Do Data Reveal about Juvenile Crime?" in Reno, Nevada.

Problem Behavior Program in Print

Mihalic, Sharon W. and Delbert S. Elliott. 1997. "If Violence Is Domestic, Does It Really Count?" Journal of Family Violence, 12(3), pp. 293-311. Estimates of the prevalence of marital violence have been found to vary dramatically from survey to survey. This paper addresses one potential explanation for this difference, which involves the focus and format of different surveys. The authors examine the extent to which survey respondents are willing to report marital violence in a context that focuses on criminal behaviors as opposed to focusing on a family violence context. In a very basic way, this answers the question of whether individuals are willing to define acts of marital violence as criminal. Methodologically, it is a measurement issue that seriously affects the ability to compare findings across samples. National Youth Survey data are used to compare rates of generalized spousal assault and victimization reported in a crime context with rates of marital assault and victimization reported in a family violence context. Results indicate that 40-83% of all marital assaults and victimizations reported in the marital violence section are not reported in a format that focuses on criminal assault and victimization.

Mihalic, Sharon W. and Delbert S. Elliott. June 1997. "Short- and Long-Term Consequences of Adolescent Work." Youth and Society, 28(4), pp. 464-498. This paper examines the short- and long-term consequences of working during adolescence. Negative short-term effects are found in the domains of school, family and friend bonding, beliefs, and substance use. A few of these effects persist into adulthood. Those who work more years during adolescence report higher rates of alcohol and marijuana use and less conventional beliefs at ages 27 and 28. A long-term beneficial effect is that the duration of early work is positively related to employability in adulthood.


Profile: The Denver Youth Survey

The Denver Youth Survey (DYS), a longitudinal study of child, adolescent, and adult development, has completed its eleventh year this October. Dedication and hard work are required to maintain a project of this scope Photo of Project Staff [JPEG] and size over such a long period of time. These are the characteristics of the project staff members (from left to right in photo): Front row: Judy Armstrong-Laurie (Field Coordinator), Linda Cunningham (Assistant Field Coordinator), Linda Zittleman (Survey Field Manager), Anne Weiher (Research Associate). Middle row: Amanda Elliott (Research Analyst), Deborah Hopkins (Systems Programmer), Rachele Espiritu (Graduate Research Assistant), Bertha Thomas (Data Librarian), Beate Ehret (Visiting Scholar from Bremen). Back row: David Huizinga (Project Director), Scott Menard (Research Associate). Not pictured: Delbert Elliott (Senior Advisor), Jane Rodriguez (Graduate Research Assistant), and recent graduate Quyen Tiet currently at Columbia University working on DYS reports.

This long-term research project focuses on developmental processes leading to delinquency and violence, drug use/abuse, psychopathology, precocious sexual behavior and pregnancy, as well as developmental sequences that lead to successful outcomes that avoid these problem behaviors. The sample of the study includes 1,527 high risk boys and girls who were 7 to 15 years old in 1987 and are now 17 to 25 years old. The study also involved their families. Based on an accelerated longitudinal design, at the end of funding in 1999 the study will cover a major portion of the life span from age 7 to 27. Initially funded for five years by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), with supplemental funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the MacArthur Foundation, the project is continuing with funding for the main survey from NIDA and with funds for analysis and other work provided by OJJDP.

The scope of the DYS is enhanced by two collaborative efforts:

The original aim of the DYS was to provide information about the nature and timing of prevention and intervention strategies, especially in childhood and adolescence. Over the years the project has been quite successful in this regard. Study findings have been presented to researchers, practitioners, and policy makers in the following areas: National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council, Briefings of Congressional staff, Meetings with the Attorney General, Conferences of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, National Governor's Conference on Crime and Violence, National Conferences on Gang Prevention and Reduction, National Conferences on Criminal Justice Research and Evaluation; and National Meetings of Scientific Societies including the American Psychological Association, Society for Research on Adolescence, Society for Research on Child Development, American Society of Criminology, Western Society of Criminology, American Society of Sociology,Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, and Law and Society.

The DYS was also recently cited in an independent evaluative report to Congress: "It is important to note that both OJJDP and NIJ have made significant contributions to the basic science of delinquency causation over the last decade. The OJJDP Program of Research on the Causes and Correlates of Delinquency birth cohort studies in Denver, Rochester and Pittsburgh and the NIJ-MacArthur Foundation partnership Program on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods are both likely to inform the design of delinquency prevention strategies for years to come." (Sherman, L.W., et al. "Preventing Crime: What Works, What Doesn't, What's Promising." Report to the United States Congress. July, 1997).


Funding Opportunities

The Ford Foundation is offering a special postgraduate opportunity in the philanthropic sector. The Program Assistantship is a two-year professional opportunity for recent master's graduates. Program Assistants will work in programs focusing on human development and reproductive health; community and resource development; economic development; human rights and international cooperation; education, knowledge, and religion; and media, arts and culture. Applications from men and women interested in pursuing careers in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors are invited. The location is New York City, salary is $35,000 plus benefits, starting date is September 8, 1998, and eligibility is Master's or law degree conferred no earlier than September 1996 and no later than August 1998. Application deadline is December 13, 1997. Please apply through the foundation's Web site at http://www.fordfound.org.


Research Proposals Submitted

Environment and Behavior Program

Dennis S. Mileti
A clearinghouse on natural hazards research and applications
NSF 10/01/97 - 09/30/98 $38,080 supplement

Population Processes Program

Andrei Rogers
The indirect estimation of migration
NICHD 07/01/98 - 06/30/00 $139,515 new

Fred C. Pampel
Policy regimes, gender and age differences in violent mortality
NSF 05/01/98 - 04/30/99 $40,281 new


Corrections to entries in October's newsletter (in italics):

Problem Behavior Program

Delbert S. Elliott, David Huizinga, Scott Menard, J. DeFries, and J.K. Hewitt
NYS family study: problem alcohol use and problem behavior
NIAAA 07/01/98 - 06/30/03 $6,424,669 new

Richard Jessor
International workshop to plan a collaborative cross-national study of adolescent health behavior and development in China, Italy, Poland, and the US (not Puerto Rico)
Johann Jacobs Foundation 01/01/98 - 06/30/98 $27,825 new


Upcoming Colloquia

There is an online listing of upcoming and recent colloquia.


1997 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