IBS Newsletter

January-February 1998


Institute of Behavioral Science
University of Colorado


KUDOS

Lori M. Weber has won a National Science Foundation dissertation grant award for her project, "The Effect of Democratic Deliberation on Political Tolerance." She is a graduate intern in the Political and Economic Change Program, working with Walter Stone on a study of the American political party system. Weber's research will explore the effects of deliberation on tolerance using an experimental design to compare the effects of competitive and cooperative discussion about policy options toward an unpopular group. The hypothesis is that engaging in cooperative discussion can lead to attitude change, even though the policy options, rather than tolerance per se, are the topics of discussion. She has authored and coauthored several papers for conventions and publications related to her interests in political parties, political participation, and political tolerance.


Program Activities

Social Science Data Analysis Center

The SSDAC (Social Science Data Analysis Center) maintains a Web page with notes about computing that should be of particular interest to IBS users at http://www.colorado.edu/IBS/DAC/news.html. Selected items shown below were included in the printed version of the IBS Newsletter. The Information Technology System's (ITS) home page at http://www.colorado.edu/ITS/ provides general information about computing and networking at CU-Boulder.

New Modem Pool: ITS's new modem pool has twenty-four 56k modems that use the x2 technology. The number is 443-3204 and, at least initially, calls will be limited to 20-minute sessions.

Statistical Software: Because of an increase in the number of users, the pro-rated yearly site license fees for SPSS and SAS have been reduced to $35 and $28, respectively. The minimum recommended hardware configuration is a 486/66 with 16 MB of memory and 100 MB of disk space. SAS is only available on CD. Both require Windows 3.x or 95.

New CU license for STATA: It can be purchased for $92. Call 1-800-STATAPC with billing information (e.g., credit card details). They will send a fax to the Ketchum computing lab where the software can be picked up along with any manuals ordered. In addition to Windows versions, there is a DOS version of STATA as an option for users with less powerful machines.

PC ArcView: A new version of PC ArcView, a user-friendly geographic information system tool for visualizing and analyzing spatial data, is available (V3.0a) for $50. The minimum recommended configuration is a Pentium 133 with 32 MB of memory and lots of disk space. It will run on slower machines--if you have the time. If you are interested in this type of application and want to find out more send an email to Zeke.Little@Colorado.EDU for a demo. There is also an online example of an ArcView map at http://www.coloradoedu/IBS/DAC/images/lach.jpg.

Email Attachments: Sending and receiving word processing documents, graphics images, zipped files, etc. as email attachments is now a common task. The SSDAC has an overview of how to do this at http://www.colorado.edu/IBS/DAC/tips/docs.html.

IBS Web Pages: Several programs at IBS now have Web pages and any program or group can create home pages. For information on how to create one see http://www.colorado.edu/IBS/DAC/tips/ibsweb.html.

If you have computing problems, questions, or comments send email to SSDAC@Colorado.EDU.

Environment and Behavior Program

Anthony Bebbington attended a meeting on "Pluralism in Sustainable Forestry and Rural Development" at the Food and Agricultural Organization on December 9-12 in Rome, Italy. He presented an invited paper, "From Chaos to Strength? Social Capital, Rural Peoples' Organizations, and Sustainable Rural Development." The paper builds on discussions linked to social capital, sustainability, and rural peoples' organizations (RPOs). It first discusses the linkages between social capital, institutional pluralism, and frameworks for sustainable development; it then asks more specifically what role RPOs in particular might play in fostering sustainable resource use and poverty alleviation within such pluralistic environments. The paper then presents cases of RPOs activities in rural development and forest management, and considers strategies through which the role of such organizations might be strengthened within an institutionally plural environment. The context and cases upon which this discussion is based are those of rural development and forestry in Latin America.

Gilbert F. White took part during December 17-20 in a consultation arranged by the United Nations Education, Science, and Culture Organization (UNESCO) and a Spanish Millennium group on major problems likely to be encountered in world water management in the century ahead. It was held in Valencia, Spain where a water court, established in the year 900 ad, is still meeting regularly. Plans were discussed for a world water center which Valencia has offered to establish and fund substantially. A report is being drafted in UNESCO.

On January 13, White met in Washington, DC with other members of the Committee on Flood Losses Managed by the National Institute of Building Sciences with funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The Committee is responsible for a two-year effort that will lead to a national GIS data system that is expected to make estimates of potential flood losses available to the Web by census tracts for all parts of the United States in mapped floodplains.

Environment and Behavior Program In Print

White, Gilbert F. 1998. "Quaker Volunteer Service for the Future." Friends Journal, 44(1), pp. 14-15. A brief review of changes in opportunities for voluntary service during the past half century and decisions that are likely to affect its future. It notes that since the Harvard studies in the 50's, there have been no searching appraisals of the influence of such service on the lives of the participants.

Bogue, Allan G. and Gilbert White. 1997. "William O. Aydelotte, 1910-1996, A Biographical Memoir." Biographical Memoirs, Vol. 73, National Academy Press, pp. 1-24. A review and appreciation of the scientific contributions of Aydelotte who pioneered in the use of statistical analysis in historical studies. Aydelotte was the first historian to be elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

Bebbington, Anthony B. 1997. "New States, New NGOs? Crisis and Transition Among Andean Rural Development NGOs." World Development, 25(11), pp. 1755-1765. This paper discusses the challenges faced by rural development NGOs in the Andes and Chile within current contexts of public sector reform and economic liberalization. These changes, and the recognition that previous NGO initiatives have had limited impacts on rural poverty, have helped trigger crises of institutional identity, legitimacy, and sustainability among NGOs. Among some NGOs, these crises have begun to elicit institutional responses that might address the underlying weaknesses of the NGO sector and identify more their appropriate future roles and identities. The paper discusses several responses, and argues that these changes begin to remove long-standing distortions in the relationships between NGOs and their societies and economies, and thus offer the possibility of longer term institutional sustainability.

Natural Hazards Center News

On November 18-20 in Santa Fe de Bogota, Colombia, David L. Butler attended the meeting "Health Crisis and the Internet: An International Meeting on Harnessing the Internet for Disasters and Epidemics" sponsored by Pan American Health Organization, World Health Organization, Organization of American States, and the Colombia Ministry of Health. He contributed to two sessions: "User Issues in Latin America and the Caribbean" and "Experience in Using the Internet: Navigating the Net to Prepare for Disasters." He also conducted half-day workshops on using the Internet to find disaster information.

Mary Fran Myers was the guest lecturer at the monthly meeting of the Boulder Creek Watershed Forum on December 17 at the Boulder Public Library. The title of her presentation was: "Floodplain Management: Yesterday's Decisions and Tomorrow's Opportunities." The speech focused on the evolution of floodplain management policy in the United States and used examples of Boulder Creek to illustrate the points made.

Population Processes Program

Charles M. Becker co-chaired a conference at Harvard Institute for International Development/Kennedy School of Government on January 15-17 on the mortality crisis in the former USSR. Becker also presented papers on: a) models of fertility, mortality, divorce, and marriage in Russia (with David Hemley); b) determinants of labor force participation and the pension population in Kazakstan (with Dina Urzhumova); c) the determinants of neonatal health in Kyrgyzstan and Kansas City, using sister hospital data on live births and maternal characteristics (with Grace Holmes of the University of Kansas Medical Center, Damira Bibosunova of Kyrgyz Institute of Obstetrics and Pediatrics, and Margarita Ibragimova of the University of Colorado Economics Department).


Profile: Megan Lewis

Social Relationships and Their Influence on Health Behavior Changes

Megan Lewis is a faculty member in the Problem Behavior Program of IBS and the Social Psychology Program in the Department of Psychology. She works with graduate students Rita Butterfield, Lynae Darbes, and Catherine Johnston-Brooks on the studies described below. Other research assistants working on these studies include Shannon Levitt, Jason Estrada, Aaron Ketchum, Amy Van Dusen, Satoko Tanaka, and Christine Caldwell.

My program of research has focused on how the presence of social relationships in our lives contributes to physical health outcomes. More specifically, my research has examined how social interactions arising from relationships contribute to better health by regulating and controlling health behavior change. A large body of evidence has linked the presence of social relationships to better health outcomes, including better health practices, fewer acute and chronic conditions, and a longer life, but the specific mechanisms that link social relationships with better health still need to be determined. My program of research has focused on the role of social control--interactions involving influence, regulation, and constraint--exerted by family and friends as an additional mechanism that helps explain the health advantage conferred by social relationships. In addition, this research has examined the natural history of social control interactions by studying the antecedents of social control, the factors that impede or facilitate effective social control, and the intended and unintended consequences of social control attempts. This research indicates that social control is associated with health behavior change, including decreasing health-compromising behaviors and increasing health-enhancing behaviors. Evidence from these studies indicates that health-related social control is another mechanism that links the presence of social relationships with better physical health outcomes. The motivation for this research is not only to increase our theoretical understanding of the functions social relationships serve in adaptation and health, but also to inform intervention research as well. Studies that have attempted to increase the participation of close others in health behavior change programs have met with mixed success. Greater attention to social control, in addition to social support, may ultimately lead to more effective health behavior change interventions.

My program of research has utilized a variety of research designs, and several of these studies have been supported by three grants from the National Institutes of Health. These studies have included surveys of community samples, cross-sectional studies of married couples, panel studies of married and gay couples, a diary study of married couples, a panel study of young adult diabetics, experimental studies of young adults in dating relationships, and qualitative assessments via focus groups with husbands and wives. This multi-method approach helps alleviate the concern that the results are an artifact of mono-method bias, and the panel studies of couples have helped address several biases that have surrounded the study of social processes and health. Specifically, spousal and partner reports can provide a partial validation of self-reports of social control attempts and health behavior change.

One focus of my future studies will be on how social control attempts are internalized. Not surprisingly, in my previous studies one of the strongest predictors of behavior change was an individual's own motivation to change the behavior. How health-related social regulation becomes internalized and transformed into health-related self-regulation is a topic that has received little, if any, attention in previous research. I am planning a proposal that will help to fill this gap in the literature by examining how social control and regulation becomes self-regulation of health behavior by focusing on both the individual and relationship factors that contribute to internalization and behavior change.


Human Research Deadline

By federal law, all faculty, staff, and student research that involves any contact with human beings requires some level of review and approval by the Human Research Committee or the Executive Secretary prior to the research being initiated. All new protocols requiring regular review are due in the Graduate School office by 5:00 pm on the following dates:

Application Deadline; Revised Application Deadline

February 2, Monday; February 9, Monday

March 2, Monday; March 9, Monday

March 30, Monday; April 6, Monday

April 20, Monday; April 27, Monday

Contact Ann Carrington (2-7099) or Marcy Aldacushion (2-7401) at the Graduate School for more information on regular, expedited, and exempt review and to obtain appropriate forms. Forms are also available in department offices. Be sure to use the most current version of the form. You can also check their Web site at http://www.colorado.edu/GraduateSchool/HRC.

Funding Opportunities

IBS will have three Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF) available to support summer research experience for selected undergraduates. The summer stipend is $2,400. The student should be actively involved in ongoing research and will be expected to prepare a paper about his/her summer's work. SURF students may work with a regular faculty member or with a non-teaching Research Associate. This is an excellent opportunity for IBS to continue its contribution to undergraduate education, and it is also a way of enhancing the IBS research effort. Application deadline is March 30. Applications may be obtained from Debbie Ash (phone: 2-8148, email: ashd@colorado.edu).

National Research Council: Senior and Postdoctoral Research Associateships. The NRC's Research Associateship Programs offer awards that support scholarly research in federal research laboratories. The NRC Research Associateship Programs have two objectives: 1) to provide doctoral scientists and engineers of unusual promise and ability opportunity for research on problems, largely of their own choice, that are compatible with the research interests of the sponsoring laboratories; and 2) to contribute to the overall research efforts of these laboratories and to the national scientific and technological welfare of the United States. The Postdoctoral Research Associateship awards are offered to scientists and engineers who have held an earned research doctorate for less than five years at the time of application and carry stipends ranging from $27,750 to $45,500, depending on the Program and the field of research. Senior Research Associateship awards are offered to established scientists and engineers who have held a research doctorate five years or longer at the time of application, and carry stipends that are individually determined, ranging from $35,000 to $83,000 exclusive of any sabbatical leave pay. Applications must be received by April 15, August 15. For information contact: Associateship Programs - TJ2114, National Research Council, 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20418. Phone: 202-334-2760. Email: rap@nas.edu. Web page: http://rap.nas.edu/.


Research Proposals Funded

Problem Behavior Program

Jessor, R.
To support an international planning workshop for a collaborative, cross-national study of adolescent health behavior and development in the People's Republic of China, Italy, Poland, and the U.S.
Johann Jacobs Foundation 01/01/98 - 06/30/98 new $17,020


Research Proposals Submitted

Problem Behavior Program

K. Williams
Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence: Youth and Guns Project
Colorado Trust, 11/01/97 - 08/31/98, $100,000, new,

F.M. Costa and R. Jessor
The development of cigarette smoking in adolescence
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 03/01/98 - 02/28/99, $147,879, new

D.S. Elliott
Comprehensive Evaluation Plan: Longitudinal Evaluation Proposal
State of Colorado, 07/01/98 - 12/31/98, $78,710, supp

D.S. Elliott
Blueprints designed to assist in the implementation of violence prevention and reduction programs
State of Colorado, 07/01/97 - 06/30/98, $49,097, new,

Political and Economic Change Program

L.A. Staeheli
Collaborative research: geographical knowledge in practice: understanding the sociology of public space research
NSF, 07/01/98 - 06/30/00, $66,453, new

Population Program

J. Menken
Social networks and adult survival in rural Bangladesh
Harvard Univ, 12/01/98 - 11/30/01, $145,786, new

Environment and Behavior Program

J.A. McCabe
Planning grant: continuity and change in cultural models of reproduction in northern Tanzania
NSF, 07/01/98 - 03/31/99, $49,569, new

D.S. Mileti
A clearinghouse on natural hazards research and applications
NSF, 12/01/97 - 11/30/98, $33,320, supp,

D.S. Mileti and M.F. Myers
A clearinghouse on natural hazards research and applications
NSF, 10/01/98 - 09/30/00, $1,420,700, renew


Upcoming Colloquia

There is an online listing of upcoming and recent colloquia.


1998 IBS Newsletter

Sugandha Brooks and Christine Weeber, Newsletter Editors


Institute of Behavioral Science

Richard Jessor, Institute Director

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

(303) 492-8147

IBS@Colorado.EDU