IBS Newsletter

November 1999


Institute of Behavioral Science
University of Colorado


Program Activities

Problem Behavior Program

Richard Jessor addressed a National Workshop on Advances in Research, Theory, and Practice in Adolescent Health in Beijing, China on October 11. His presentations in both the morning and afternoon sessions were translated for the audience by Sun Yan Qing, a psychology graduate student at Beijing Normal University. During his visit, Jessor met with his collaborators at the university for further planning of a joint longitudinal study of adolescent risk behavior in two sites in China and one in the United States. He also had the opportunity to visit middle schools in Beijing and to arrange for future data collection.

Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence

The Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence, along with the CU Outreach Committee, sponsored the second of a three-part teleconference on "Breaking the Cycle of Violence." The broadcast, "Comprehensive Prevention Planning," was presented on October 19. Following the presentation, Delbert S. Elliott facilitated a discussion with a panel of education and community professionals. The next part of the series, "Containing Crisis: Managing School and Community Emergencies," will be held on November 30, at the Coors Events Center.

Elliott was honored by the policy makers of the New Futures at the University of New Hampshire during a dinner and reception on October 25. The New Futures also hosted Elliott to give a series of presentations, "Violence and Substance Abuse Prevention: What Do We Know, What Can We Do?" on October 25 and 26. Elliott spoke at a meeting for the National Institute of Mental Health on October 28 and 29. The meeting focused on "Research Strategy on Youth/Violence" in Bethesda, Maryland.

At the trustees luncheon for The Alliance for Violence Prevention on October 5, Elliott presented on CSPV's Safe Communities-Safe Schools Initiative during a panel discussion. The meeting, which Jane M. Grady and Tiffany Shaw also attended, focused on "Reducing Youth-Involved Gun Violence" and was held at the Radisson Hotel, Denver.

Jane Grady presented on "Effective Strategies in Violence Prevention" at a Build a Generation meeting in Buena Vista on October 2. The meeting's objective was to inform Buena Vista community leaders of local Build a Generation practices and strategies. Landa Heys also attended.

Landa Heys and Sabrina Arredondo attended an organization and planning meeting for a multidisciplinary group to address the prevention of violence against women in Boulder County at the Boulder Safehouse Outreach Center on October 7.

Population Processes Program

In Print

Charles M. Becker and Andrew R. Morrison. 1999. "Urbanization in Transforming Economies." Pages 1673-1790 in Paul Cheshire and Edwin Mills, (Eds.) Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, Vol. 3. Amsterdam: North-Holland. Fifty years ago, only a small proportion of the less developed world lived in cities, and world poverty was overwhelmingly rural. In 1950, less than one-fifth of the population of the "third world" was urban; in the next five years or so, a majority of developing countries' populations will be urban. This chapter examines what has been learned in a variety of areas. Section 1 discusses the stylized patterns of urbanization in the developing world, while Section 2 turns to models of third world city growth and their empirical estimates, discussing partial equilibrium (CGE) models, demographic-economic perspectives, and household migration modeling. Section 3 considers the impact of government policies on urbanization. Particular attention is devoted to structural adjustment policies, urban biases in public expenditures, and issues unique to (ex)-socialist economies. Section 4 examines structural impediments to urban development, including labor and land markets, transportation issues, public finance and social infrastructure concerns, and urban spatial structure. The final section looks at the macroeconomic impacts of urbanization on wage gaps and income distribution, demand patterns, and economic efficiency.

Environment and Behavior Program

Charles W. Howe has just been appointed by the Water Science and Technology Board of the National Research Council to be the Chair of the new, "Committee on the Privatization of Water Services in the United States." The Committee of eleven people, from various sectors related to the provision of urban water, will evaluate trends in publicly and privately owned water utilities, their comparative performances, impacts on customer welfare, and the likely future of the industry. The Committee will carry out its mission from November1999 to November 2000.

Howe was one of four keynote speakers at the Rosenberg International Water Policy Forum held in Barcelona, Spain on October 3-5. The topic, "Harmonization of Traditional and Environmental Uses of Water," was addressed by 50 participants from various countries and disciplines. His paper, "Economic Instruments for Harmonizing Agricultural and Environmental Uses of Water," pointed to the difficulties in regulating the flow of agricultural wastes into water bodies, and he suggested ways of dealing with the problem, including taxes on inputs; subsidies to on-farm measures; increasing water prices better to reflect real costs of provision; and mechanisms for protecting instream flows under a water market system. The roles of agriculture as both the largest remaining polluter of water and source of increasingly valuable open-space and biodiversity values, pose challenging policy problems.

Gilbert F. White participated in an all-day meeting in Denver on October 9 in which two dozen social sciences researchers from across the country who had participated in studies of the perceived risks and possible effects of the proposed storage of high-level nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, exchanged reports and views on those problems in the light of current federal policies. The research in which they had joined over a period of ten years is no longer funded. In addition to reviewing the current status of both policy and research, they considered whether or not they might take new initiatives. In Boulder, White has taken part in a series of reviews by experts and citizen representatives of a comprehensive study that the City is financing on the range of possible approaches to flood problems along the valley of Fourmile Canyon Creek.

Natural Hazards Center

Mary Fran Myers presented a paper entitled, "Dealing with Weather Extremes: Current Strategies and Future Directions," at the United States-Canada Symposium on North American Climate Change and Weather Extremes in Atlanta, Georgia, October 6-8. In her paper, Myers discussed trends in strategies that U.S. and Canadian societies have used to deal with extreme weather events and outlined ideas for changes needed in the future in order to curb rising losses from such events. The meeting was organized by The Climate Institute, based in Washington, DC, and was sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency. Myers also participated in the Annual Congress of the Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) in Memphis, Tennessee on October 26-28. IBHS is an organization of the major property and casualty insurance companies in the U.S., and is devoted to reducing losses from natural disasters. At the Congress IBHS meeting, Myers moderated a panel dealing with flood warning.

David Morton, retired October 31, after 22 years of service to the Natural Hazards Center. A richly deserved retirement party was given in his honor on Friday, October 29.

Sarah Michaels joined the staff of the Natural Hazards Center in September. Michaels, a former research assistant at the Center, received a Ph.D. in Geography from CU-Boulder in 1990. She will be responsible for managing the Center's information services programs, including the Natural Hazards Library.

Dennis Mileti presented a speech, "Implications of the Nation's Second Assessment of Natural Hazards for the Emergency Management Community," to the Southern California Emergency Services Association at an annual luncheon meeting in Palm Springs, California, on September 30. The speech summarized the approaches and results of the second assessment and addressed shifts in the work of emergency managers that may be an outcome, because of changes in national policy resulting from the project. Mileti also presented the lunch keynote speech at the conference, "Protecting the Public During Chemical Emergencies," which was hosted by the National Institute for Chemical Studies in Concord, California, on October 4. His speech, "The State-of-the-Art in Public Education and Emergency Warnings," addressed what is known in the social sciences regarding effective pre-emergency public education about hazards, and what is known about the social psychology of public response to warnings of impending disasters.


BITS and BYTES from SSDAC

A new version of Amos, a structural equation modeling program in use by some IBS researchers, is now available. Version 4 has improved capabilities for dealing with missing data along with new statistical functions and an enhanced graphical interface. Amos is graphics driven in that the user can diagram a model that then produces the analytical output. The graphical representation of the model can also be used in publications or presentations. Amos is included in CU's SPSS site license and is available at the Data Analysis Center for evaluation or can be installed for users who have licensed SPSS.

And we continue to see new variations of macro viruses. Users should keep virus definition files up to date and avoid opening a file with macros enabled unless the file has been checked for viruses. Check with the Data Analysis Center for assistance.


In Focus

Processes of Political Change

Lynn A. Staeheli is an Associate Professor of Geography, who joined the IBS Professional Staff in 1989. Her research interests include processes of political change, with a special emphasis on the ways in which those processes affect marginalized groups and their standing as citizens. In addition, she has interests in the ways in which academic research is used beyond the academy, and the critically important issue of for whom research is relevant.

The terrain of democracy is shifting. In the past 25 years, we have witnessed dramatic changes in global and national economies, political and social institutions, and the rights and entitlements conferred through the welfare state. These structural changes threaten the social rights of citizenship and the social standing of individuals in the polity. My research addresses the processes that shape democracy and the strategies used by marginalized groups to intervene in those processes.

One concern in my work is the ways in which citizens make choices about political activity. Drawing on surveys and in-depth interviews in five cities, Susan Clarke (Department of Political Science) and I have argued that the changing parameters of work and family-in particular, the ways in which these affect the amount of time available for participation-hamper the types of political participation that can harness social capital. This, in turn, sets off a spiral of decreased sense of the efficacy of political participation and a pervasive sense of anxiety and anger aimed at political institutions. Against this trend-and contrary to much political rhetoric-is a more expansive politics that draws on identity. Our survey data suggest that participants in identity-based politics are more likely to engage broad public issues than are other types of political activists or the citizenry at large.

For some groups, struggles over public space are central to their efforts to negotiate the boundaries of community and the meaning of membership. Working with a former undergraduate student, I have examined the conflicts in Boulder on the Hill and the Pearl Street Mall from a few years ago that pitted counter-cultural youths against merchants and many residents of the city. While teenagers and young adults are often heralded as the next generation of citizens and leaders, their rebelliousness and the fear that they can invoke, place young adults in an ambiguous position with respect to their communities. In this case, counter-cultural groups claimed the rights to occupy public space, yet they defied the society and government on which they had to rely to guarantee their access to public space. Their position, however, was contested by others who sought to limit access to that space to "responsible" individuals who are citizens of the broader community in both legal and moral senses. The conflict over public space on the Hill raises important questions about what it means to create an inclusive community. In attempting to pass anti-loitering laws, were the merchants and the city attempting to exclude counter-cultural groups because they did not conform to community-defined norms of responsible behavior? Or were counter-cultural groups rejecting the mainstream community and creating their own? If so, what rights do they have to public space? And what about the conflicting rights of individuals? The behavior of some people meant that other individuals stayed away from the Hill and the Mall-with implications for the public nature of those spaces. These questions are at the heart of the debate over citizenship, public space, and democracy. They combine with other research to highlight the ways in which the possibilities to act as citizens are changing in light of contemporary political and economic trends.


Human Research Deadlines

By federal law, all faculty, staff, and student research that involves any contact with human subjects requires some level of prior review and approval. All new protocols requiring regular review are due in the Graduate School office by 4:15 pm on the following dates:

Contact Sheryl Jensen in the Graduate School at 2-7099 for more information on regular, expedited, and exempt review and to obtain appropriate forms. Forms are also available in department offices. Be sure you are using the most current version of the form. You can also check their Web site at http://www.colorado.edu/GraduateSchool/HRC.


Research Proposals Funded

Problem Behavior Program

David H. Huizinga
The effect of juvenile justice system processing on subsequent delinquent and criminal behavior: a cross-national comparison
NIJ, 05/01/99 - 04/30/01, new, $174,121

David H. Huizinga and Delbert S. Elliott
Understanding delinquency: a longitudinal multi-disciplinary study of developmental patterns
DOJ, 10/01/99 - 09/30/00, renew, $237,600


Research Proposals Submitted

Problem Behavior Program

Delbert S. Elliott
Safe communities - safe schools
Colorado Trust, 10/01/99 - 09/30/02, new, $1,000,000


Upcoming Colloquia

There is an online listing of upcoming and recent colloquia.


Institute of Behavioral Science

Richard Jessor, Institute Director


IBS Newsletter

Sugandha Brooks, Newsletter Editor
Julie Klauss, Assistant Editor
Richard L. Cook, Web Site Coordinator


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

(303) 492-8147

IBS@Colorado.EDU